Changing from gravel to Eco-Complete - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Changing from gravel to Eco-Complete

Hi All,

I am about to change from white and black gravel to Eco-Complete...like this weekend or next (in the next month). My plan is to take all the fish out and put into a large rubbermaid tote with as much water as I get get out of the tank on Friday (after work), then on Saturday, come in with a 2nd tote for the heavy decor, as much water as I can salvage. I plan on swishing around in the gravel to stir up the YUCK so I can syphon it into the 2nd tote. The gravel will go into a 3rd empty tote (unless I need a 3rd tote for water).

Once the tank is empty, I am planning on spray painting the back of the tank black to hide all the wires, tubes, etc. that hang down the back of the tank (Hubby helping). Once that is dry, I will add water from the decor tote (I want all the YUCK from that tote) and then add the Eco-Complete. By this time, I am sure it will be lunch time, so we will take a break and let the Eco and YUCK settle, then I will add the decor back into the tank (Plants will come later..I know it is easier to add now, but I will be removing from my 10g RCS tank and I don't want to cause a mini cycle in that tank). I have a Roman Collusiem? that I will put back in the tank and use that as a buffer for replacing the water. I will probably end up doing a normal 25% water change during this, so I am not to worried about adding all that YUCK back into the tank.

Now after all this...how soon should I add the fish back? Can I...should I...add them back as soon as the tank is full of water (acclimating them of course), or should I wait until Sunday or Monday to add them back. Should I expect a mini cycle in this tank? I use Prime as a water conditioner. Remember, this is the tank I have at work, so it will be a special trip to come back on Sunday (one I am more than willing to make).

Thanks all!

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 08:18 PM
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I used Eco on my last tank, 55G. As i understood it, the substrate is supposed to be "Complete" meaning it contains benefitial bacteria from the get go.

quote:
"Biologically complete means it contains live heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants; creates a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer; packed in Liquid Amazon buffered "Black Water" solution for immediate organic water conditioning; unsurpassed MacroPorosity for healthy roots and bacterial efficiency. You would need to buy 4 bags of ordinary gravel to equal the surface area of this one bag of substrate. "

I added eco into the 55 and then added 4 german gold rams the same day. So far i haven't had any ammonia problems what so ever. I should note that i did plant the tank right away but it was a very light planting as i didnt have enough extra plants available. Depending on your bioload i would guess that you can add your fish pretty soon after the changeover.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 08:35 PM
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i swapped from gravel to eco in a 10 g. pretty simple. pulled everything out into a 5g bucket, filled with tank water. dumped everything else into the backyard. threw in eco complete. pulled everything out of bucket and into tank. put in tank water. filler to top with dechlor water. and drank a beer. all said, 30 minute process.

you have a LOT more water and "stuff" and the painting thing, but it's a pretty simple process.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 09:58 PM
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You should be able to add your fish back in right after the substrate change (once you get water in the tank, of course).

I have changed 2 tanks over to Eco that were already established (one being a 55g) and was able to immediately put the fish back in once the tank was planted and filled up.

Eco is packed wet, so it shouldn't cloud the tank up much at all. Since you are preserving the bacteria in the filter, you should be fine and not experience a mini cycle.

*Kristin*
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2007, 10:32 PM
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I changed my gravel, well most of it, to Eco with the fish still in it. All the fish are fine. I scooped out the top half of my gravel and added the Eco on top. No cloudiness or anything. I didn't even lower the water level.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!

I have 1-10g with Eco, and I love it! So easy! I was just worried about my fish (the SAE mainly). We are going to do this tomorrow after we get back from the International Motorcycle Show in Fort Worth. So we will be starting about 4pm. While we are waiting for the paint to dry, will will have dinner.

I plan on using Krylon Spray paint. If there is anything better, please post!

Thanks again guys!!!!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 04:16 PM
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I use the cheap spray paint from walmart. .98 a can. Dries in about 10 minutes

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2007, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
I use the cheap spray paint from walmart. .98 a can. Dries in about 10 minutes
ditto. the side of the paint you'll see means it doesn't matter what the actual surface of the paint is like.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-12-2007, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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I got Krylon Fusion $5 a can (only needed 1 can), it was the only one that said "glass" on the can.

It looks great!!!!! I will post pictures soon. We did all of this Sat., and I went to feed the fish and the water is crystal clear! I will slowly start to put live plants in there (a little every Friday when I do my water changes).

Thanks for all your help!!! I will go cheap next time for the 150g (it is put on hold for a few more months, but I am getting one).

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 05:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovenmit331 View Post
i swapped from gravel to eco in a 10 g. pretty simple. pulled everything out into a 5g bucket, filled with tank water. dumped everything else into the backyard. threw in eco complete. pulled everything out of bucket and into tank. put in tank water. filler to top with dechlor water.
I did the same thing with my 10 gallon. Simple process, and good choice on the substrate.

The only other thing I have to add is that the water will be cloudy for a few days.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GIO590 View Post
I did the same thing with my 10 gallon. Simple process, and good choice on the substrate.

The only other thing I have to add is that the water will be cloudy for a few days.
if you're gentle with adding the water back, it should only be cloudy for a couple hours... if at all.

set plate on substrate, gently pour water on plate, water flows over plate edge VERY gently and doesn't stir things up much.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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I used a Roman Colosseum decoration to add the water back in (same as a plate, only I can leave it in). It was a little cloudy, but the next morning it was crystal clear!

I will post pictures as soon as I get home and get them uploaded...I still have fake plants in there for the beneficial bacteria on them until I get it planted. They are all floating, so it will be easy to remove them.

I have not figured out a way to refill the tank yet (hubby lifted 5g buckets up and I siphoned the water in. I will probably do the same only with a 2g bucket.

I plan on changing the decor and do drift wood with plants tied to it...although I have a cave decor that will stay for the Ghost shrimp to hide in...or the Endler's fry.

Thanks again....I like Eco-Complete because it is sooooo easy!!!

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 10:02 PM
 
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True if you are gentle thing probably won't get so messy...
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