Adding substrate to an established tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Question Adding substrate to an established tank?

I want to add some straight to my tank but there is fish and gravel already in there I plan on using some Seachem substratebut I don't know how to get it in without completely taking apart the fish tank and I don't feel like completely deconstructing it as I don't have the time for it. want to put it underneath the gravel so are there any ideas on how to do that.
Or could I just use root tabs as a substitute
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 02:29 AM
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Are you thinking that your plants need more nutrients at their roots? If yes then you can add root tabs.

Or do you think he substrate isn't deep enough?

What kind of gravel is there now, and how deep? Is it clean? How long has it been there? What kind of plants are growing in it?


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 02:38 AM
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if u want to add the substrate what you can do is take a cup(decent size) and slowly allow the water to fill the cup with substrate in it so that it doesnt get all turned up and then slowly shake the substrate out on the area you want it. Now obviously if u are wanting to add a good amount then this could be very annoying and i would have to suggest you taking the fish out and removing as much water as possible, but depending on your situation you might not be able to do that ether. If you are just looking for nutrients i would just add some root tabs where needed.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 02:44 AM
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Forgot to add that you can freeze the new substrate in a ice cube tray, then push that into the existing gravel. Never tried it but heard it works.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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I plan to add some big root feeders, I don't have any plants right now though. I have root tabs but have decided that substrate is the way to go

Bump: Gravel is 2 inches deep and is regular gravel, about a month old

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 05:09 AM
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Adding to already established substrate will most likely send your tank back into a cycle. That being said, since no matter how you do it a cycle is inevitable, and since you don't currently have any plants that will get disturbed, do it right the first time, and you won't regret it down the road.

You can leave the fish in, scoop out most (if not all) of the gravel, put in your base layer, put your gravel back in and carry on from there. Run the filter as you remove the gravel, stop it as your putting sub back in tank, start the filter back up when your done and let it run for a few weeks to a month before cleaning. Watch your ammonia and nitrite levels in the mean time and address accordingly with partial water changes. If the filter is fairly well established when you begin this process your cycle will be minimal.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 03:17 PM
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I try to go the easy, quicker, way when one is available.
Moving substrate is a place where I have a large amount to move so I use a largish container. I don't want it to disrupt the bacteria on the top of the existing so I try to add it somewhat closer to the bottom of the existing rather than the top. I also don't want a major dirt storm!
I cut the bottom out of a two liter, leave the cap on for temporary and fill the bottle with the new stuff. With the water drained down to near the height of the two liter, I remove the cap, hold the stuff in with a thumb and slowly let the bottle fill with water to reduce the dust/dirt floating out. I move the top and my thumb to the bottom through the existing and down to the glass bottom. Then I pull my thumb and drag the bottle along as the new pours out.
This doesn't get all of it on the bottom but mixes it. The existing being over the new reduces the dirt cloud. I often do the new addition in several different periods and give things time to settle before adding more. Adding two liter at a time gets even a pretty big tank done in a week/ten days.
The advantage in time is that it looks better and doesn't require a total cleanup or rebuild.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sohankpatel View Post
I plan to add some big root feeders, I don't have any plants right now though. I have root tabs but have decided that substrate is the way to go

Bump: Gravel is 2 inches deep and is regular gravel, about a month old
A month old tank? So you just finished your cycle? And you want to add Flourite or Onyx sand under your existing gravel?
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2015, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grizzly_a View Post
A month old tank? So you just finished your cycle? And you want to add Flourite or Onyx sand under your existing gravel?
I want to add black flourite under my gravel, yes.
I have 2 dwarf gouramis and 2 cories.
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