Big changes are coming for my tank. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Big changes are coming for my tank.

I went out and purchases a new filter and heater tonight for an old 15 gallon tank that I can keep my fish in while I change substrate. I didnt really have plants in mine when i originally set the tank up years ago, and its just has cheap aquarium gravel now. I have caught the fever though, and want a beautiful planted tank like so many of you have. I have already updated my lighting, and feel it is adequate for my needs, although time will tell. For my next project, I am going to change substrate. Taking some advice that seems sound to me, (thank you Amberoze) I have decided to use an inch or so of miracle gro organic choice potting mix topped with an inch or so of black diamond blasting abrasive. I have a couple of questions though. 1. what is the best method for washing the sand? 2. how will the soil affect the nitrate in my water? I plan on leaving the 15gallon set up as a new quarantine tank, will it be necesary to keep the fish there for a while? 3. is there anything i should be prepared for that I might not have foreseen? Thank you in advance for all your help.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 01:42 PM
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when washing fine substrate, i like a 5 gallon bucket and a hose for large amounts and for smaller amounts i like a bowl and the sink

i love using miracle grow and it has given me a "green thumb"

your soil will leach stuff into the water for weeks and be prepared to let the tank cycle well. i add snails for the first few weeks and a bit of flake food to help the cycle. 2-3 weeks later a few fish. once your tank is cycled the nitrates should be no different then a normal tank

-be sure to use the organic choice potting mix in orange bag

-soak the dirt in the tank for as long as possible in the tank to get as much air out as possible before adding the cap

- dont make it to hard, i cut open the MG and pour it in, soak it, cap it, fill tank

It is better to travel well than to arrive.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-16-2013, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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I have an established biological filter, and plan to save 70% of the water that I is already established to reuse, I am also thinking about putting some of the existing substrate in a filter media bag to help with cycling. I am hoping that taking these measures will speed that process up. Its probably too much to to hope for, but I would love to see the nitrite stay at 0. I figure I can keep my fish in the quarantine tank and do regular water changes for a few weeks to deal with the nitrate and be back in business in a few weeks. Thank you for the tips!
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