How to convert an established tank to a planted aquarium - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Question How to convert an established tank to a planted aquarium

Just wondering if anyone had any good hints or advice about turning an established aquarium into a planted aquarium.

My current tank has been established for roughly 2 years. It is 400l tank with JBL profi external filter.I am currently about to upgrade the lighting and have been running a tmc ph monitor and C02 for about a year with mixed results. Plants have been growing ok with the usual battle with algae.

After upgrading the lighting, I was looking to redesign my aquascape as currently there is no real structure to the layout. However I am unsure of how best to go about it whilst keeping the current occupants healthy e.g. should I do a large water change, retaining as much original water as possible and work quickly or is it ok to do major work with the fish in the tank etc.

Any help or advice would be great!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 01:38 AM
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It is better to remove the fish while you are doing that major a change. Here is how I would handle that:
During the week before vacuum the substrate pretty well. Try to get up as much of the debris as you can.
Clean the filter.
If you need to do anything to prepare the water for a water change, do that. Assume a 50% water change, so make sure the GH, KH, TDS are the same as the tank.

The day of the major change:
Turn off, unplug... the equipment.
Put some of the aquarium water in enough buckets to hold all the fish. Aggressive or predatory fish separate, Loaches separate from others, schooling fish together. Put lids on the buckets. About 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons of water in a 5 gallon bucket is fine for most fish.
Remove the plants. (This is a good chance to treat for algae- read more details about possible dips that are safe for plants, but will kill algae)
Drain as much of the water as you can.
Rearrange the substrate, making hills and valleys, use rocks, driftwood.
Plant, misting often.
Put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and refill the tank, allowing the water to seep slowly over the edge of the plate. This will minimize clouding.
Add the fish, but net them out of the buckets. Fish under stress with produce more than average ammonia, and stress hormones. Do not use this water to refill the tank.

Keep the light off the rest of the day. Feed only if they are behaving normally.
Next day: Test for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and be ready to do a water change if needed. Lights on, feed normally.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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That's great. kind of what I thought. Thanks for the advice! Now all I need is some inspiration on how to design my aquascape! ;-)


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teachercjc View Post
That's great. kind of what I thought. Thanks for the advice! Now all I need is some inspiration on how to design my aquascape! ;-)


Posted from Plantedtank.net App for Android
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAoU7CIwc_c

This can get your inspiration started. There are loads of other stuff on youtube as well. This site in itself has alot of good member tanks too. I have only been in the hobby since 02' but being on here as rejuvenated my aquarium intents to go for the wow factor. The more you see, the more ideas you can get. I have managed to gather alot of aquascapes and visually put together one big one aquascape in photoshop. All the little details I'd like to incorporate, I can see from what I have pieced together.
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