Should I replace 10 yr old substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2007, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Should I replace 10 yr old substrate?

I have a 40gal tank (36” L x 24” H x 12” W) that I originally planted approximately 10 years ago. I used a layer of sand on the bottom, then Sera Floar Depot, followed by a typical aquarium gravel of fairly small size. I then inserted “laterite balls” into the gravel (some of which are still somewhat intact!) The short story is that due to a severe outbreak of algae (BGA covering the plants and some other dusty stuff accumulating on the glass, I am working at reviving the tank. I removed all the plants from the tank and physically removed the BGA, and did the same to the wood pieces and rocks. I then did a major vacuming of the gravel, replanted the pants and inserted some of Karl Schroeder’s plant tabs I still have kicking around from years past. I had a small amount of Aquatic Gold fertilizer that I dosed the tank with. The Algae is beginning to show up again rather quickly and I want to get this under control by heavily re-planting the tank and begin doing using the EI method. I have good lighting and pressurized CO2, as well.

My Question is as follows: Should I re-do (replace) the substrate while I am going through this re-birth of my planted tank? I’d be interested in hearing different viewpoints on this (if there are any…) and any suggestions that anyone might have!

40gal H
Pressurized CO2
AH Supply 1 x 96 W (new)
JBJ 4 x 36 W (began dying years ago – now gone to pasture.)
echappee is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2007, 02:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
frozenbarb's Avatar
 
PTrader: (51/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA NY
Posts: 2,332
Send a message via AIM to frozenbarb
Replace everything and start Fresh Especially if your planning on reset Substrate

One month in.
frozenbarb is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2007, 05:48 AM
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 1
Send a message via AIM to proverbs308
Don't give up

One thing that I have found is that algae doesn't like its light messed with. If you give the tank a couple of days with no light and then set your lighting on a timer for 4 hour on, one hour off, and 4 hours on this should help you make a dent in algae problem. Mine has come a long ways. The only other thing that I have done in the last couple months to help is add a UV sterilizer. Good luck.
proverbs308 is offline  
 
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2007, 10:45 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Gatekeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (96/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 6,628
I would reccomend new substrate.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Gatekeeper is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-26-2007, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
The consensus, so far, seems to be to replace the substrate. Anyone have an explanation as to why? Has anyone used the Substrate Retro-fitting Kit from the PlantGuild? This looks like it might be easier than breaking down the tank and starting from scratch. Also might be less $$$... I am fairly confident that I can get the algae under control with a heavy planting of fast growing plants, I just don't want to do this and then end up having to replace the substrate.
echappee is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-15-2007, 03:43 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 99
i think the best option for you now is to replace the substrate. you've been stuffing more and more fertiliser stick into it and you havent really removed any of it. so your substrate would now be somewhat "dead" its got irregular densities all across it and that means you've got pockets of nutrients or at least pockets of dead water which is very condusive for algae growth.

if you insisnt on maintaining your old substrate. just take out all your plants. turn over everything (mix it all up) and change almost all of the water. I did this with my 60L tank. except it was just coming to a year old.

the results is substrate that is rather messy and a large cloud of dust that stayed in the water for about a week.

but i replanted and my plants just took off. note that i'm using ada africana and powersand. everything's mixed up. with only a couple of JBL's "the seven balls" all mixed up with my AS and powersand. algae growth is minimal and i didnt lose any fishes or shrimps (i didnt take them out when i tossed the substrate about)
iridescencet is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
Thanks for your input! I have not yet replaced the substrate, but will be doing so in the near future. I picked up a bag of SMS at the local Lesco (Portland, ME) to experiment with. I intend to get some manzanita wood and do a total re-scape. In the meantime, I've loaded up the tank with some great plants I purchased from Bigstick120 and started EI dosing this week. Alge seems to be under control right now and the plants are mostly doing well. The crypts and vals I salvaged from the BGA episode are also doing excellent. Once I have assembled all the pieces, I'm going to do the big change over. In regards to the old substrate, if you read back you'll see that I removed all the plants and did a major stirring / vacuming a couple of weeks ago to eliminate dead spots. I will start rinsing the SMS soon and decide if this will end up being used or if i'll spring for the Aquasoil. I would really like to go with the darkest color.
echappee is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 02:30 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 99
good to hear your plants are doing well. sorry if i mis-read! =)
iridescencet is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-16-2007, 10:31 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Modesto, CA
Posts: 73
what's your fishload? have you had fish die off recently to cause an algae outbreak due to less mulm buildup? have any plants die off that could cause algae to break out? new lights? substrate shouldn't DIE, as long as fish are still in there, and eating and pooping etc.
caoboy is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome