To rinse or not to rinse? That is the question. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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To rinse or not to rinse? That is the question.

Currently I'm running a fish only tank that I'm planning to change over to planted. While doing my research on what I'm going to need and what needs to be done, I've come across several comments on web pages and forums about people claiming to not rinse their substrate or only rinsing a fraction of it to use on top.

Some of these people go on to state that they were just being lazy about it, while others come across as if they're on to something the rest of us aren't tough they never go on to explain their "secret" knowledge to us.

So is there actually any benefit to not rinsing the substrate other than rewarding laziness? If it's only about the laziness, I find that rather ironic since these folks go on talk about having to do multiple water changes, set up extra filtration, wait up to several days for the water to clear, etc. So it seems to me as if they are not actually saving themselves any time or work. They're just moving it all to the back end. Not to mention any future issues involving digging fish, uprooting plants, etc.

Personally, my inclination would be to rinse the bejesus out of it since I'll be doing it to an established tank and I don't have anywhere to keep my fish for any extended length of time. Which means taking them out, getting everything in and planted, and filled back up to get them back in ( how long can they hold they're breath - or water as the case may be - anyway ) as soon as possible.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 04:29 PM
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Depends on the substrate.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I'm talking mostly along the lines of the standard commercial fare. I know Eco Complete doesn't need rinsing so it doesn't apply to this thread. But any benefits to not rinsing Flourite, Onyx Sand, SMS, or any other commonly used substrates other than soil.?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:14 PM
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Some think the nutrients in the smallest particles and dust are more readily available and good for plants. If you fill the water very slowly, there is little to no cloudiness. This worked fine for me w/SMS.

But if you have fish that dig at all, you will want to rinse.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:21 PM
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I don't rinse, but I would to an established tank. I also don't tend to do a lot of rearranging or have livestock that dig the substrate to any observable extent. If I did, then again I would rinse.

In your case, I don't think you have much choice.

However, fines provide a larger surface area to volume ratio and I believe they serve a useful function for exchange.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-22-2008, 05:34 PM
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5g buckets are ~$5 at Home Depot. You could use those to hold fish while you change out the substrate. This has worked for me in the past.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 04:45 AM
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I'm moving in a few weeks I'm wondering if I should rinse the eco-complete in my currently set-up tank to be put into my tank after the move. I feel that if I rinse it I will wash out a lot of the nutrients. Is this a good or bad thing for a new tank?
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:44 AM
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I'd save plenty of mulm to jump-start the cycle in your new tank, but personally I'd rinse the substrate out as much as possible. Much less mess when setting back up.





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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:55 AM
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If you're talking about aquasoil, no need to rinse.
I've never rinsed my aquasoil. In fact, it recommends that you don't. Also, I would think that with the softer nature of the aquasoil (compared to fluorite), rinsing it and rooting it around with your hand or a spoon could be more damage than good.

If you're talking about fluorite or eco-complete, I'd rinse it very well.
I even saw someone who baked the fluorite in the oven and it helped reduce initial cloudiness.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 08:02 AM
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flourite... i will never touch it again... aquasoil or eco complete from now on.

if you add water slowly to aquasoil... you won't have any problems with cloudiness. Mine stirs up when i'm planting but it settles out in a couple of days just fine. Eco complete is the bomb! i poured a bag of eco complete through a full tank of water and the cloudiness went away in less than an hour. So both of these you shouldn't rinse.

I have noticed that eco complete is the easiest for me to plant in out of flourite and aquasoil. This really becomes apparent when planting things with tweezers.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:46 PM
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I am talking about Eco-complete and it is important to know this is NOT new eco-complete I'll be adding to a differant tank, its old and full of mulm. I think Laural Lee is the only one who fully understood me.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:01 PM
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If it was new substrate, I'd follow the directions. If it was old from another tank I would rinse it. I don't think I'd be concerned about getting it sparkling clean but I would get the majority of the crud out. I would be concerned about all the ammonia release of the major stir up. All that crud trapped in the substrate is great while it's in the old tank and not totally upset, trapped where the plants can use it. But once it's ALL stirred up it can to "too nutritious" for the water column and harm your fish.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 02:57 PM
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Thanks Tex Gal! This is what I was originaly thinking I should do just for the reasons you stated. I think a little mulm is good, but a lot is bad!

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Originally Posted by Tex Gal View Post
If it was new substrate, I'd follow the directions. If it was old from another tank I would rinse it. I don't think I'd be concerned about getting it sparkling clean but I would get the majority of the crud out. I would be concerned about all the ammonia release of the major stir up. All that crud trapped in the substrate is great while it's in the old tank and not totally upset, trapped where the plants can use it. But once it's ALL stirred up it can to "too nutritious" for the water column and harm your fish.
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