Need help with substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with substrate

I have a 55g aquarium that currently just has the rocks/gravel from the fish store. I would like to change this and have been doing research and found that I could use sphagnum peat moss (1L per 8us gallons) red clay (1kg per 8us gallons) I also read that we should add Dolomite but not sure how much to add.

My process thought on this is to empty the tank and remove the fish ( I would transfer them to a rubbermaid bin with at least 90% of the water), remove the gravel and then add the new substrate. Just curious before I do this if it is safe and any other tips one can give me. The tanks contains, yoyo loaches, one shrimp, Oto cats, 5striped barbs, neon tetras, lemon tetras, and other fish in the tetra family. Thanks for the help.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 12:09 AM
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It might be easier for you to scoop out the gravel with a cup until you only have a tiny bit left, then you could always use a larger diameter siphon hose (get some hose large enough that won't clog from the gravel size) and vacuum out the rest.
You could use a shop vac if you have one as well.

Just make sure the water that the livestock is in has some sort of airstone/powerhead in it to oxygenate the water. It took my about an hour and a half to change the sand in my 90 gallon tank, so I don't think it would take you as long since the gravel will come out easier.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 05:29 AM
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Loaches can produce excess slime coat when they are stressed. This has proven deadly to other species in the same container when the volume is small.
I would house the Loaches separately, and absolutely not reuse any of their water to refill the tank.

Yoyos can become predatory. Before mine were full grown they ate adult Neon Tetras.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-08-2013, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks for the tips. But my main concern is really the Type of substrate I want to use as well has how much dolomite to use. Of all is good then I guess I have a new project.
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