Changing Gravel to Flourite - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Changing Gravel to Flourite

I am planning to change the gravel in my 31 gallon tank to Flourite, as the gravel is raising the GH and KH. The tank dimension is 80cm x 35cm. How many bags of Flourite do I need? I have 35+ fish in that tank and lots of plants. What do I do with them when I am changing the substrate? Should I buy a big Rubbermaid plastic container to hold them? What else do I need to know before I start this project?

Any help will be appreciated!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 02:43 AM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html

That will tell you how much you need.

Your tank will most likely undergo a mini cycle.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 03:41 AM
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If i where you, Yeah i will buy a big container and put the fish on it, plus another conatiner for the plants, do it on the time you WC your tank, keep half of the water on the container with fish and plants. Remove all the gravel then put the Rinsed Flourite, you can also put some Peat and Mulm under the Flourite.

then after that i will cut each stems of the plants and discard the rooted one.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2006, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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A mini cycle? Will that be lathal to my fish?

Also, why do I have to throw out rooted plants? I can't plant them in the new substrate?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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A mini cycle? Will that be lathal to my fish?

Also, why do I have to throw out rooted plants? I can't plant them in the new substrate?
A mini cycle might kill or hurt your fish depending on how delicate they are. Test and water change daily. Don't know about the plants.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-25-2006, 02:14 AM
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It will not harm the plants. But by removing the substrate you are removing a large amount of the helpful bacteria.

I would load up the tank with fast growing stem plants once the change is made.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 05:52 AM
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Another thing you can do to help minimize the mini-cycle is put some of the old substrate into a nylon sock and put that into the tank. After a few weeks once bacteria gets a chance to colonize onto the new substrate go ahead and remove it.

Also in addtion to the dusting of peat moss you can add a little bit of mulm from your existing substrate. This is bacteria rich. I wouldn't worry about the bacteria too much though because the filters are established.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 07:12 AM
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From my understanding most of the bacteria is in the filter and it will quickly re-produce. I just put new gravel in my tank with no problems but there is hardly any water movement on the gravel in this tank.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 12:18 PM
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From my understanding most of the bacteria is in the filter and it will quickly re-produce. I just put new gravel in my tank with no problems but there is hardly any water movement on the gravel in this tank.
The bacteria in question live on every surface of the tank. Including the upper layers of the substrate. In a healthy tank they will live though the complete substrate.

Now what has more surface area? The filter or the substrate? In most tanks it's the substrate.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Where can I get the peat for laying underneath the Flourite? Putting the current gravel in a nylon bag sounds like a good idea.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 09:19 PM
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Garden Center.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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So the peat for garden is safe to put in aquarium? How do I wash it?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 02:11 AM
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You don't.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 05:05 PM
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just make sure the peat you buy doesn't have Miracle Grow or anything else in it. The only stuff I found at HD or Lowes had other junk in it...I finally found a nice big bag of just plain peat in the garden center at WalMart for like $2.50. It'll last you for freaking ever.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-02-2006, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg View Post
The bacteria in question live on every surface of the tank. Including the upper layers of the substrate. In a healthy tank they will live though the complete substrate.

Now what has more surface area? The filter or the substrate? In most tanks it's the substrate.
I'd have to agree substrate has alot more surface area, but I would also have to say that surface area does not mean much when you have an oversized canister. There is little water flow over the gravel which brings the nutrients to the beneficial bacteria. I probably have 3 times the surface area in my canister that I need and I'd say there is literaly 1000's of times more flow through my canister than over the gravel so the bacteria in the filter will get the majority of the nutrients they need. The colony in the filter will be much more dense (even if the surface area was greatly decreased). Thus I would find most of the bacteria in there!...Now if you have a UGF or RUGF then thats another story...

You may experience a mini cycle, or you might not..

Actualy though, the tank's gravel that I changed did not use a canister, but a cheap HOB aquaclear. But I did just dump the new gravel on top of the old. Still, I would imageine it would have a similar affect to removing the gravel.
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