Cleaning substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning substrate

What's the best way to clean Flourite and fine gravel before using it in a tank?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 01:21 AM
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Get some sort of fine mesh screen and spread it over a large container, put the substrate on top, and run water through it until no coloration or sediment comes out.

I've seen posts on this forum by Rex who recommends using a paint strainer over a 5 gallon bucket.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I saw that post too, but I couldn't find it! I wasn't sure what he posted, but you just confirmed what I had thought, so thanks! I will look to get one this week.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 02:13 AM
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If your tank is still empty, you can try this.
When I purchased my first aquarium I also bought some white gravel. I didn't know anything about aquariums. So I put the gravel in a bucket and washed it very good and dumped it in the tank. When I filled it up with water it was real cloudy. Bad Bad Bad. So I drained and refilled a few times. That didn't work either. So I eventually took the tank into the bathroom wrinced it with the shower wand and siphoned it at the same time. I continued this for about 2 hours until it finally looked better. Boy what a mess it was. Never again will I use white gravel.

Joe

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29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 02:15 AM
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That's great for a small tank...but once you have a tank of a certain size, "taking it into the bathroom" is no longer an option.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, my tank already has fish in it! I actually have a 10gal.

Okay, I guess here's the lowdown.

A month ago, I got a 10gal tank and of course, I was new. So I ended up getting all the wrong stuff. I actually only found out about planted tanks 2 weeks ago and I immediately wanted to convert.

Changing the substrate won't affect the fish, right?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 04:40 AM
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I swapped some flourite in a 20 gallon and all the fish made it just fine. I rinsed it really well and changed out half at a time. It was still pretty cloudy for a few days, but cleared up with time and multiple filter cleanings. The fish didn't seem to mind the brown water for a few days. Some water changes afterwords helps as well.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 08:13 AM
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Half the good bacteria is in your substrate though so you may want to take it steady with the bioload until it's up to scratch again. Perhaps use some of that stress zyme or something to add bacteria to the water to help with the breaking down of ammonia.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 01:45 PM
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www.rexgrigg.com

I discuss the method there.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2006, 05:09 PM
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I just swapped out gravel for fluorite in my 10g and everything worked out. First you need to get a paint strainer that fits in a 5g bucket from homedepot and some Cycle from almost any pet store, this has the bacteria you need. Now the time frame of when you do this depends on your fish. If you have tougher fish then you can do it over the weekend 1/2 on friday then 1/2 on sunday. But if you have fragile fish then I would recommend doing it at 1/4 parts over a week or so again giving a day at least in-between swaps to let all the stuff settle. Then use the Cycle at every swap this will stop any spiking of ammonia. I think that is it so good luck! Let us know how it goes
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