How to add SMS into tank with fish in it? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Post How to add SMS into tank with fish in it?

Just ask before I start adding substrate in the tank with fishes in it right now. I don't have spare 180 gal containers to take all the water out and put SMS in main tank first like most of you guy did. Do I have to rinse SMS to remove fine particles? Will 150 lbs of SMS affect water parameter if I add them all at once? I am planning to use a divider to isolate 1/3 the tank, add the substrate and use power filter to clean that section. remove divider when the water on that side completely clean then i do another section with same method. Do you guy think that will work ?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:19 AM
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I wouldn't ever do a substrate change with fish in the tank; take them out, put them in 5 gallon buckets, you don't need to save all of the water. In fact you'd probably want to do a couple of 100% water changes before you put them back in. I simply added a bag of ECO-Complete to a running aquarium, which is certainly less messy, AFAIK, and it was still a mess... that was before I had fish in mine.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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My fish is big . can't fit in 5 gal bucket. not even trash can. Only place is my 125 gal sump. if so I have to take out stuffs in there.
what do you mean by couple 100% change? I can put SMS in trash can and filter all the particles before I put them in main tank.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 04:56 AM
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I can only speak of my experience with adding Eco Complete, I found that when doing so I needed to do several complete water changes, as in... drain to gravel, refill, drain to gravel again, etc. I could have alternatively run a diatom filter, but at the time I didn't have one.

Your divider method would probably work, I would rinse the SMS as well as possible to help eliminate any dust and fine sediments that would cloud the water.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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ok I get it. thanks.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 05:43 PM
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I did a complete substrate change on my 120gal about 6months ago, replacing with SMS. I'd certainly recommend rinsing it first, as it is dirty. I rinsed it really well (at least I thought so) and upon placing in the tank, was a dust cloud for 36hrs. I run an Ehiem 2028 on my tank, and used cotton floss to help pull out dirt particles. I changed the floss daily for a week before noticing that it got any better.

I did my whole swap with the fish in there, and did a couple 50% WC's along the process.

I also found it helpful to gravel vac it after about a week - allowing the particles to settle to the bottom. Gentle stir with the hose and all the sediment goes down the drain without the mess.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 05:49 PM
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I can only speak from my own first hand experience;

I added 3" of dry SMS to a 12x24" tank full of shrimp
and snails, from the bag without rinsing it. I gently
sprinkled about a pint of SMS at a time so it would
lightly rain down giving the shrimp time to move away.
SMS is light weight with a lot of air trapped in it's pours
so it falls down slowly like fish food pellets in water.
The tank water got dark gray, but cleared up after
only a day with regular canister filter and rinsing of the
filter sponges. when I pushed plants into the SMS two
days later, I kicked up some of that fine settled dust,
and released a lot of air bubble trapped underneath,
but it would dissipate after only a few hours. If you
don't trust what I've written will work for you, then
just try it in one corner of your tank and if a day later
you get the results I've described, do the whole tank.
I doubt I lost any shrimp, and whatever snails I may
have buried were Spixi's, so they emerged just fine.
I'm so glad I didn't waste energy rinsing this stuff or
removing my tanks inhabitants first, and would do it
again even on a far larger tank with gilled fish. just
wait a day before planting the tank, or you'll get the
black SMS dust all over your plant leaves. because
you tank has not cycled yet, you may still see a white
haze for a week or two after, but that has more to
do with biological filtration than using dry SMS. to
reduce the duration of that white haze, use a already
biologically active used media filter, transfer some
mulm from another active tank, or get a few pouch's
of new tank starter solution like BIO-Spira.
since a
180 tank will require 3 bags of SMS, you could slowly
dump it directly from the bag into one end of the tank,
so the fish will gravitate toward the far end, then
spread it around with your hand or a spade/spatula.
I also used a plastic ruler to get it all nice and level,
but had to do it mostly by touch since I could not
see through all the black SMS dust. it's best to get
the grade the way you want it that first day, since
doing it a day later will only kick up the dust again.
the dust will not settle on the SMS surface, but will
seep into the nooks and crannies between grains, so
don't worry, your water finished SMS will look fine.
if you don't want to overwhelm your fish's gills,
perhaps you could do one bag an hour, rinse your
filter sponge medium, do the next bag, and repeat.

http://www.marineland.com/products/m...l_biospira.asp

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...select-11.html



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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spypet View Post
just wait a day before planting the tank, or you'll get the black SMS dust all over your plant leaves.
Yeh, good point. That's a PIA to deal with.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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if I do like section, I will use super fine filter pad with Aquaclear and Emperor 400 to clean out it. and of course 1 hour or less I have to change that filter.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-01-2008, 09:00 PM
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you don't need any expensive use once pads,
just get a bag of this, cut a few layers into
the final stages of your filter, and rinse that
and the regular prefilter pads each new bag.
any super fine pad will just clog too quickly.



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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-02-2008, 03:15 AM
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SMS is dirty in my experience... the dust will settle and my tank had a HOB filter. I just vacuumed gravel a week later and a week later after that... now its nice and clean, tanks doing great.

My 29 gallon planted:
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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before I do any plant. I want the dirt complete gone so they doesn't stay in plant leave.

Question: do you guy use any powerhead to get water movement around so the dirt won't stay on the leaves? I am thinking to get 2 powerhead (Koralia 4) to help the water movement and dirt.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 08:56 PM
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you might want to rephrase your questions.
at least to me, it does not make any sense.

if you didn't plant yet, then why bother with
all this power head nonsense, it won't matter,
since the current itself will stir up the dust
all over again.

maybe you should re-read your own thread.
there's a lot of good advice here that should
apply to whatever you have in mind.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-12-2008, 09:17 PM
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I too am confused...
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-14-2008, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spypet View Post
you might want to rephrase your questions.
at least to me, it does not make any sense.

if you didn't plant yet, then why bother with
all this power head nonsense, it won't matter,
since the current itself will stir up the dust
all over again.

maybe you should re-read your own thread.
there's a lot of good advice here that should
apply to whatever you have in mind.

That is new question I wanted to ask. Instead open another thread, I posted here. (Sorry to give some confusion to someone).
I think the tank need water movement from the powerhead help bringing the dirty stuff to the filtration and keeps them away from landing on leaves( not only dirt from SMS but fish poop, algae and etc.) Besides they also deliver liq fert and CO2 to plant as well. Am I thinking right ?

Update:I added 1/2 bag of SMS yesterday in 1/3 of divided section with the help of my Aquaclear 300. I ran out to get Rite Size one and went home 2 hours later, the whole tank is clear up, so I have spare Rite Size pad. will add other half tomorrow.
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