I plan on completely removing the sand/Flourite/gravel mess of a substrate in my planted tank -29g- and replacing it with dirt and Oil-Dri as a cap (at least this is my intent
). Please be kind as I am not good with rhetoric.
Never swapped out a substrate before and I want away from sand. I am not a fan of sand anymore. I'm going to dump that mess in the woods as soon as it's out of my 29g and let the outdoor kitties use it for a potty spot. I just don't like it anymore- had it in there for about 3 years.
Right now,I have about 80% of the 25lb bag of Oil-Dri in 5 gallon buckets soaking in fertilized water and plan to do this for two weeks until I go on vacay from work and have a day or two to devote to this project. Also to maybe help combat the Oil-Dri lowering my pH. I have to buffer my water with crushed coral (my driftwood made my pH crash well below 6.5 when I started,and straight out of the tap it's off the charts well past 8- Mississippi River water
gH was 3 and kH was 5 or so if I remember right) and really want to be proactive about helping prevent it as much as I can.
I have some questions as I am fretting about the day to come,worries are taking over in my mind...hoping I can be put at ease or pointed in the right direction.
1) Where I live,my supplies are limited thus me purchasing the Oil-Dri. I have researched it for weeks and surprisingly the bag I purchased is a nice dark gray color mixed with red and brown pieces. I really wanted the reds and browns so I am happy about this-but it is MESSY. Will the Oil-Dri hold down the topsoil (I am buying Scott's Topsoil brand)? OR,would you fore-go the soil all together and just do the Oil-Dri? I am torn and unsure,figured I'd ask advice of some pros out there. I know down the road I'll have to add fert tabs and all that,but I do that now so that's not really a concern. Thoughts?
2) In the 29g right now I have about <20 mixed danios and a bunch of plants. I have two sponge filters and a HOB (established for years). I need the plants and fish to go back into the tank within 24 hours as I really will be taking a chance putting them in a smaller tank with curious kitties in the house who will destroy everything they touch (like kids). How long would you wait to put them back in providing I already have established filtration? Worried about this as well...
[[[Also,I feel the need to shout out that I got a great deal on a 30" Finnex Planted + fixture due here any second and I am super excited! My first LED fixture.
Thanks to this forum I discovered it existed. ]]]
Sorry about the fretting,I do this every time I go through a huge tank change and I am a noob first timer doing it. I appreciate your time.