Swapping tanks AND substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-15-2009, 04:47 AM Thread Starter
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Swapping tanks AND substrate

So I got sick of my scratched up CL 29 gallon and the same pea gravel/bad scape I've had in it the last couple years. Decided to buy a new tank and some bags of AS, found stone and madrona locally, and have scaped it thus far:



I'm into day 3 of the dry start method in hopes of getting this thing semi cycled before filling. HC and microsword is all I'm planning for the left side/front and the back right will later be planted w/ vals and stems. Meanwhile the old tank (my only tank besides a 2.5 gallon) continues to chug along.

My concern is, w/ the drastic slope I've got going on here, how do I go about handling the inevitable ammonia spike when I fill this thing up and the back right finally gets wet?? As you can see, it's going to probably stay pretty dry back there for the next few weeks.



I'm lighting this w/ the old tank's hood overnight after lights out. The old tank's got a 2215 for filtration (which is underpowered but I'm hoping the simplicity of the new scape will improve its efficiency) and a Rio powerhead and I have no spare filter for the new tank. I want a 2217 instead, but I've been holding out in hopes that the 2215 will work.

So... any opinions? I'll fill it up next month, and plant the back, but should I immediately throw my fish and shrimp in it? Just the fish and then cram 50 or 60 RCS in my 2.5 gallon for another week or two to be safe? Throw the powerhead in the new tank until the cycle's over and try dispersing CO2 via it or a spare glass diffuser, meanwhile keeping the 2215 on the old tank? Vice versa? Should I just cave in and buy a 2217, seed it, and call it day? Anybody wanna trade theirs for a 2215?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Nobody has an opinion on what to do if they were in my shoes?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 07:10 PM
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I just did what your doing. If your not changing filters, you should be able to make the swap w/o inccident, and w/o any cycling. Save a 5 gallon pail of original tank water. nice and dirty stuff. Thats all I did for my 38 gallon switch over. I am admitedly overstocked. The 2217 eheim that I had running on the old tank was not running for very long before I switched over either.

Are you going wasabi? or what ever its spelt? I dont know about the pitch of your slope... but you might be able to maintain it.

I cant see how a 2215 is underpowered for a 29 gallon.

James
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-16-2009, 07:59 PM
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I saw a photo recently where someone did a sloped substrate, dry start, by propping up the low end of the tank to nearly level the substrate. This shouldn't hurt anything since the tank is nearly empty. Then, of course, you remove the prop and set it back down before filling the tank. I think it is a great idea. And, doing it this way mineralizes the AS all over, so no ammonia problems when you fill the tank.

Hoppy
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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That is a great idea, Hoppy. Thanks. I'll give it a go. Just keeping that back right moist, even if I still don't plant it til after filling, will remove the ammonia then, huh?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zavikan View Post
I just did what your doing. If your not changing filters, you should be able to make the swap w/o inccident, and w/o any cycling. Save a 5 gallon pail of original tank water. nice and dirty stuff. Thats all I did for my 38 gallon switch over. I am admitedly overstocked. The 2217 eheim that I had running on the old tank was not running for very long before I switched over either.

Are you going wasabi? or what ever its spelt? I dont know about the pitch of your slope... but you might be able to maintain it.

I cant see how a 2215 is underpowered for a 29 gallon.

James
It won't be full on iwagumi. I've got driftwood to place once it's filled, but there's no point in adding it now and letting it dry out.

W/ my old tank being heavily planted in both corners and across the back w/ vals and stems, my 2215 can't do the job. CO2 tank ran out while I was away for a couple days, and I haven't been able to get rid of BBA since, no matter what method of diffusion I try. That was like 4 months ago... I've been able to beat back BBA before, but my tank was much more lightly planted then. That's why I'm hoping the lack of tall plants through 3/4 of the tank w/ the above scape will help along the 2215. We'll see.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 04:09 PM
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Yes but is that a filtration issue or a flow issue?

Are you setting up a new stand+tank in a new location, or are you ripping down the old tank and putting this one in its stead? (alot harder).
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-17-2009, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Flow was what I was getting at by "underpowered". And I don't want to add add'l equip to the tank, though I've been able to deal w/ a powerhead. Just glass pipes and a drop checker would be ideal for me.

Old tank will be torn down and the new one will go on the old stand. I'm chalking up an entire weekend when the time comes. Fish in one bucket, plants in another. 2, maybe 3+ hours of shrimplet and fry hunting before I drain the old tank and move it off the stand. It won't be fun, but I'm sure I'll be much happier w/ the result, even if I run into some unexpected hassles along the way.
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