Tank Tear Down Q's - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Tank Tear Down Q's

Long story short, I am going to tear my tank down for a new scape. I have some nice rocks I want to play with, and like the thought of a more minimalist/ iwagumi scape. Anyways, the questions:

1. I want to keep the dirt/ flourite black substrate, and would like to keep them from mixing during the transition. Any ideas how to go about this while tearing up crypts, lots of wisteria, and r. rotundifolia? All seem to have very nice root systems.

2. I have DHG, and it is doing good, sending out runners like mad. I want to keep this as a mid/background plant, any ideas for foreground? I don't really want HC, and I like the look of glosso, but am afraid the leaf size might throw off the scale in a 5 gallon. T/F?

3. While I have tore down a few tanks in the past, it never seems to go as fluid as I would like. What are your usual steps to do this? Any methods/tips/hints/secrets would be great!

Thanks for looking, and for any advice you can offer!

Rex
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 12:05 AM
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UG's a nice foreground plant. Flows beautifully with water and roots deep.

I'm growing glosso in a standard 2.5gal tank right now and I think the scale is nearly perfect. It's worth a shot and it grows really well in nearly any fertilized substrate I've tried.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 02:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerkosaurus View Post
1. I want to keep the dirt/ flourite black substrate, and would like to keep them from mixing during the transition. Any ideas how to go about this while tearing up crypts, lots of wisteria, and r. rotundifolia? All seem to have very nice root systems.
Drain down your water BEFORE you pull the plants. Carefully pull the plants. Now get something like a scooper. Slowly shave off the Cap of flourite black substrate.

Put that in a bucket. Now scoop out your dirt, it get's it's own bucket. keep some of the water you drained to keep both buckets wet. When your ready put the dirt back in. Stir up the flourite black substrate, drain off the water. If it's not clean enough rinse it. Put that back in your tank.

I did that same protocol to recycle the sand cap & MTS from an outdoor emersed tub to use in the set up of my Nano. Worked great.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot, guys, that answers my questions! Glosso it is, then. Anyone happen to have any they're willing to part with?

Edit: Oh, hey, I just thought of a different way to solve the substrate issue... maybe. Who cares if it mixes up, just run it through window screening or something- the dirt washes through into a bucket, the flourite stays on top. Plus then some of the mulm in the sub would get washed into the dirt... would this work? Any more ideas?

Rex
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 12:59 PM
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It'll be easier for you and will look much better if you separate the two.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 04:24 PM
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You need to put the dirt in before you put the top layer on, and the dirt can't be soupy or the top layer will sink down under it. Much better to have the dirt just damp. So, you will probably want to try to dry out the dirt by spreading it out in the sun.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Hoppy, I hadn't thought of that. But maybe since it's been submerged for so long, it would settle out pretty quick, and I could just pour off the water. Plausible, yes, no? I appreciate the help, guys!

Rex
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:32 AM
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Yes, the dirt will settle and allow you to pour out the majority of the water. I do not know your timeline for the switch, but the settling will take awhile to complete. Sure you could pour off lots of it quickly, but not enough to make the dirt dry enough that the sub wont sink into it, and at the same time you will be pouring out your dirt as well.


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#15

Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:25 AM
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Today I had to break down a tank (glass was moving and the silicone was stretching ). I did exactly what Dog Face suggested, it worked great. I made sure the Flourite was rinsed until the water ran clear. I didn't dry out the soil, or the Black Flourite. I used the cup/saucer method to fill up the new tank. Water was clear, plants and fish were fine.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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I remembered that in the MTS thread at APC, it recommends a runny mud for placing it in the tank. How long would it take for the dirt to dry into "runny mud"? Probably I will just wait until I am actually tearing the tank down to decide what to do in regards to the substrate. Whatever seems easiest at the time, I guess. Thanks again for your help guys.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-29-2011, 09:49 PM
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What I did with my tank was, once I got it drained, my plants pulled, and the gravel scraped off, i used a rag to suck up all the water I could with it. The dirt was perfect for going right back in as it was, no further drying was necessary.


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#15

Just because its dirt doesn't make it low tech.
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