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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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Question Eco-complete LONG before plants?

I'm working on turning my 36 bow front from fake into a planted tank, and am hoping to be able to do things in different stages. I've already decided that I'm going to get a 2x65 Orbit CFL fixture, DIY CO2, and various medium/low light/difficulty plants.

What I'm wondering though is, can I change my gravel from generic to 1/2 Eco-complete and 1/2 gravel now, even if I'm not getting the new light, CO2, or plants for at least a few weeks yet? Would there be any concerns with the Eco-complete being in an tank with only fake plants, malaysian driftwood, and some fish... as in would it promote algae growth, etc?

Thanks
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 03:45 AM
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It shouldn't be a problem. If you get any sort of algae bloom it won't likely be from the Eco.

You may get a bit of bacteria bloom, so keep an eye on your water parameters- this is common any time you switch out substrates, since so much of a tank's N-bacteria colony is hosted in the substrate.





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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Question

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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
It shouldn't be a problem. If you get any sort of algae bloom it won't likely be from the Eco.

You may get a bit of bacteria bloom, so keep an eye on your water parameters- this is common any time you switch out substrates, since so much of a tank's N-bacteria colony is hosted in the substrate.
I'm prepared for a bacteria bloom, I had one when we changed the cheap gravel ("pretty" blue rubbish that lost its color) my wife and daughter wanted for our 10g. Took a few days and some water changes then, and I'm fine with doing it again in this tank if needed... all praise the python!

I assume changing the gravel should be done the same in this tank as it was in the other- fill 5 gallon bucket(s) with tank water and fish, empty aquarium of driftwood and (fake) plants then empty water & gravel, then work backwards?

How much tank water should I try reusing of the original 36 gallons- ~50% to make sure it's clean but aged? How long can my filter (AC70 HOB) be dry before the bacteria are harmed, should I just let the media sit in one of the 5-gallon buckets instead of leaving it in the filter? Any tips for preventing the bacteria bloom, other than putting the old gravel in nylon in the tank for a few days?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 03:36 AM
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If the filter dries out, then the bacteria in it will be dead. You can't even leave one wet but unplugged for too long, b/c the bacteria will also die from lack of oxygen from the lack of water flow. If you can take it down and set the filter back up all on the same day, that would be much better.

If you can do this, it would be best to leave all the media inside the filter, and disturb it as little as possible (don't even clean the filter out for at least a few weeks till after the switcharoo).

Keeping 50% of the water sounds about right. Keep it in a separate bucket from the fish, though- so you'll be able to dispose of the water that the fish were in during the swap- that water will be full of unfiltered and uncycled waste. I'd put all the decorations (plants, etc) in the bucket with the fish- this will help reduce stress on the fish as well as keep the N-bacteria on the decorations alive.

If you can throw all the decorations back in the tank right after you add the Eco (fake plants and driftwood) that would also help increase the amount of bacteria being added back into the tank- the N-bacteria colonize all the surfaces in the tank.

I'd just do it all on the same day, put the old water, fish, and decorations back into the tank. Don't remove the old decorations till you're ready to replace them with live plants.

No matter what you risk getting a bacteria bloom- but this hopefully will reduce the severity of the bloom if one even still happens.





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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks laura, I appreciate the help.

I hadn't even thought of the lack of water flow killing the bacteria or about not reusing the unfiltered water the fish are in... I'll set the filter up somewhere to keep it running during the switch and make sure not to clean it for a while. I don't see any reason why it would take more than a couple hours to completely empty and replace the tank, so it seems like there shouldn't be any big problems.
Time to order a couple bags of eco.
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Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
If the filter dries out, then the bacteria in it will be dead. You can't even leave one wet but unplugged for too long, b/c the bacteria will also die from lack of oxygen from the lack of water flow. If you can take it down and set the filter back up all on the same day, that would be much better.

If you can do this, it would be best to leave all the media inside the filter, and disturb it as little as possible (don't even clean the filter out for at least a few weeks till after the switcharoo).

Keeping 50% of the water sounds about right. Keep it in a separate bucket from the fish, though- so you'll be able to dispose of the water that the fish were in during the swap- that water will be full of unfiltered and uncycled waste. I'd put all the decorations (plants, etc) in the bucket with the fish- this will help reduce stress on the fish as well as keep the N-bacteria on the decorations alive.

If you can throw all the decorations back in the tank right after you add the Eco (fake plants and driftwood) that would also help increase the amount of bacteria being added back into the tank- the N-bacteria colonize all the surfaces in the tank.

I'd just do it all on the same day, put the old water, fish, and decorations back into the tank. Don't remove the old decorations till you're ready to replace them with live plants.

No matter what you risk getting a bacteria bloom- but this hopefully will reduce the severity of the bloom if one even still happens.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 02:31 PM
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If you could set filter up on the bucket with the fish, that would probably be ideal. A cheap rectangular plastic bin from Walmart would probably do the trick as long as the filter fit on the side.





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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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If you could set filter up on the bucket with the fish, that would probably be ideal. A cheap rectangular plastic bin from Walmart would probably do the trick as long as the filter fit on the side.
That's the plan. Since I've only got 3 dwarf platy, 7 harlequin rasboras, 4 ottos and 5 cories it shouldn't be hard to hold them for a while. Catching them on the other hand...
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