How often are you all tearing down and replant? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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How often are you all tearing down and replant?

As the title asks. Now for a little back ground on the question from my perspective.

I've been battling the 55 for several months now and ready to tear it down and start over. But I wonder if this could be avoided with a little more elbow grease on my part in the first place...

I have had all types of algae in the last few months except for Staghorn and hair algae... BBA, GSA, GDA and the black sludge in the substrate (can't remember the acronym).

So I'm wondering if I cleaned house more often would the tank be in this situation. In clean house mean tearing out all the plants in a section of the tank (or the whole thing) and give the substrate a good vacuum then replant.

How often are you doing this for your tanks? Suggested keeping methods from our members here may help many in the future enjoy better over all tank health.

As always there are thousands of factors involved so I'm just trying to understand a basic rule of thumb of cleaning that has worked for you.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:38 AM
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my last tank went about 7mos before I upgraded so it was torn down.

FUNction over form

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:50 AM
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My last tank in Minnesota went about 3 years, with minor replanting, but no gravel vacuuming. I never had any serious issues with algae. Often I had a little GSA on the glass, and BBA on the wood, but they never crossed onto the plants, so it wasn't really a big deal for me.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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My 55 setup is a few months older than my daughter who is 2 years and eight months.

I'm looking for folks that have long term tanks going and what their general replant strategies are. Come to think of it I was not having these issues till 6 months ago. But I have not been as vacuum crazed like in the old days with gravel substrate.

With the last two water changes I have hit a different section with the vacuum and it's not helping much. Course time will tell.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:54 AM
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I battled with algea all over the tank for a few months before I decided to accept my defeat . I tore it down and started completely over(I used nothing but the heater and tank in the new setup). I even threw out the 2 plants that were in there since they were covered in algea too. I put the biogrid from the old filter into the new one so I wouldn't have to cycle it and I just started over. Only took me a couple hours and the worst part was rinsing the Flourite before putting it in the tank. Haven't had an algea problem since(and all inhabitants are alive and well).
If I had an algea problem in the future and was tired of fighting it, I'd tear it down and restart again in a heartbeat.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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That is about where I'm at. But I'm leaning toward replacing my substrate an going with AS. But as a general rule how often a year did you tear out the plants in the tank?

RIP - 55g - Eheim 2026 and 2217 - DIY CO2 reactor - Turbo Twist 3x - Tek Light t5 pendant w/ 2x54 6500k - ecocomplete mixed with Red Sea florabase.
"Better to be shot out of a cannon then squeezed through a tube" - HST
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 04:21 AM
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My last algae battle was 9 Months ago.
Back then I bleach dipped all my plants,
all plastic parts in my tank and throughly
washed out my gravel and filter media.
Since then all I get are some Diatoms on
slow growth plants, and green spot algae
on my glass, which still sucks, but it's
a lot better than the hell my tank was.


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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I just did the same a couple of months ago. Not much has changed except upping my CO2 and trimming the BBA infested leaves. BBA has diminished but all the others are still present. Just seems to me the substrate is totally anaerobic and causing the rest of the tank to suffer.

So that's why I wonder if the plants were ripped out and replanted more often this would not be an issue... Hence the question at hand.

RIP - 55g - Eheim 2026 and 2217 - DIY CO2 reactor - Turbo Twist 3x - Tek Light t5 pendant w/ 2x54 6500k - ecocomplete mixed with Red Sea florabase.
"Better to be shot out of a cannon then squeezed through a tube" - HST
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 06:59 AM
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I'd probably say that if your tank's doing fine and you don't have horrible algea(some is ok), then I see no problem leaving the plants in there indefinitely,except to rearrange. I've heard that all algea can be "cured" by altering water parameters, but I've not had any experience that proves this. It really just depends on how much work you want to put into it.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 07:09 AM
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any of you use UV for the algae issue?


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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UV is not making a dent in this case.

RIP - 55g - Eheim 2026 and 2217 - DIY CO2 reactor - Turbo Twist 3x - Tek Light t5 pendant w/ 2x54 6500k - ecocomplete mixed with Red Sea florabase.
"Better to be shot out of a cannon then squeezed through a tube" - HST
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:06 PM
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I have had my 20 gallon up and running for 10+ years. 130 watts of light, EI method fertalization, 50% weekly water changes. I had some issues w/ algae over this past winter. A combination of not enough attention, I had a brief flirtation with a saltwater nano cube, and a heat storm last summer which whch generated a power outage that got the tanks out of balance.

I cured the hair algae problem with a 3 day blackout followed by the addition of many stem plants, spot treatment w/ Excel for the BBA and increasing the dosage of K2SO4. The stem plants, at least some of them, will be removed shortly and donated to our local group's plant swap.

Good luck.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 03:36 PM
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I think UV does help especially after a water change.
I notice when I use UV during that first 24 hours my
blue spot algae takes many more days to reassert
itself on the glass, then had I not used UV at all.


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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 04:20 PM
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I'm a sloppy hobbiest and frequently get neglect my tanks. When the algae fairy pays a visit, this is the order I use to try and fix it.

1. Big water change with the removal of as much detritus and bad leaves as is convenient. Followed by dosing ferts.

2. It the tank still isn't looking good, the next thing I check is my filter.

3. Then I start looking at water circulation. When plants get really thick, they can block water flow and may need thinning.

4. Blackout is usually next on the list.

5. Next I'll just pull the plants and try rescaping with just the best of what's left.

5. If none of this works, then I start taking the tank apart looking for something that's gone bad. In the tanks where it's practical, I'll pull the plants and swirl up the substrate looking for a large clump of decaying roots or a decaying bulb. I also start looking at wood to make sure it isn't breaking down. I've even found sometimes that my rock choice was the source of my problems. Be sure to clean the filter again if you have to go this far.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2007, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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My main thought in this is turning the substrate by uprooting as opposed to a monthly tank vacuum my help at times keep the substrate from going anaerobic. As of last night I chucked a piece of wood that has been in and out of my tanks for the last 25 years.

Today I'm going to try and tear down and replant after the baby goes down for a nap.

What I should expect of course is an ammonia spike. So a couple of more water changes to keep it at a minimum will be in order.

But the main question here is how often do you all take this route. My substrate being a mix is probably one factor. But there are probably plenty of others.

RIP - 55g - Eheim 2026 and 2217 - DIY CO2 reactor - Turbo Twist 3x - Tek Light t5 pendant w/ 2x54 6500k - ecocomplete mixed with Red Sea florabase.
"Better to be shot out of a cannon then squeezed through a tube" - HST
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