Switching substrates in established tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-04-2012, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Switching substrates in established tank

Wondering if I could get a little help.

I have a 75 and 90 gallon planted tanks that i keep rainbows in that I'd like to change up the substrate.

Was thinking of just adding the miracle grow organic potting mix, and then capping it with the eco-complete/standard gravel mix that i currently have in the tanks.

My concern is how soon can one add fish back into the tank once you put the miracle grow potting mix into the tank?

The rainbows are pretty big, there's a limit to how long you can keep them in a bucket, but at the same time most of them are pretty rare and I'd hate to kill them.

Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Is there really no one with any suggestions? Please, your comments are much appreciated???
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 09:02 PM
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Mostly it take 1 week to 2.
First step is to plant plant plant.
Check your ammo lvl after 1-3 days if its low.
80% water change and watch closely for ammo lvl.
If the ammo lvl doesn't bump up you can add fish back.

Another way to do this is. By wet/dry step.

You wet the soil, let it sun dry and repeat that step 3-6 time.
This will lower remove the ammo from the soil.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-05-2012, 09:10 PM
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Why not root tabs or something like that?


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In.a.Box View Post
Mostly it take 1 week to 2.
First step is to plant plant plant.
Check your ammo lvl after 1-3 days if its low.
80% water change and watch closely for ammo lvl.
If the ammo lvl doesn't bump up you can add fish back.

Another way to do this is. By wet/dry step.

You wet the soil, let it sun dry and repeat that step 3-6 time.
This will lower remove the ammo from the soil.

Thanks for replying. I live in an apt., which sadly makes the wet/dry steps impossible...no balcony. Could you effectively soak the soil in a tub for a couple weeks with frequent water changes to let it release some of the ammo?...this i can do inside.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pejerrey View Post
Why not root tabs or something like that?
I've tried this with mixed results. The tank is so planted you end up spending a lot of time messing with tablets, and they're not as cheap as organic potting mix is. $10 for a giant bag that will last months vs. the same for a handful of tabs that willl last 1-2 months...running on the student budget here!

Its to a point where i think most of the general nutrients in the eco-complete are getting depleted, its coming on nearly 2 yrs, and with pressurized CO2 and Kessil LED's its probably time to redo the substrate. Besides, its another tinkering project, and i've been away for almost 3 continuous months of medical rotations and the tank really just needs something of a redo....its been a tad neglected thanks to surgery and its lovely schedule and its begging for a bit of TLC to restore its former glory..
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 03:54 AM
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Any substrate whether it comes with some fertilizer or not will eventually need to have fertilizer added. It is sort of like the plates and bowls in your kitchen: They hold food, and you do not replace them when there is no more food in them. Just replace the food.
Same idea with the substrate.

You can replace the fertilizer in any of several ways, or combine methods. Try adding the tablets under the soil AND water column dosing. This will load up the substrate much better than just barely adding enough tablets to get by.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-06-2012, 04:04 AM
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If you read the "dirt" related threads in this forum you may notice a common problem with people that don't use a sand cap over"dirt" with ammonia spikes and crazy cycle times.

I'm pretty convinced a sand cap is needed to get great results with dirt. Eve n though my Toxic Ten tank has a radical "recipe" it's a success because I do simple basic things, use media from an established filter, intel planting is heavy with fast growth rate plants like Hornwort.

Member Wkendracer has a few dirt thanks that are over 4yo I believe. Maybe Mike will join this thread and expound on how old his tanks are.
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