Ideas on how to save plant substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ideas on how to save plant substrate

Hi,

Any bright ideas on how to save my layer of Plant Substrate ? Need to empty a new tank completely.

Having setbacks with my first hightech 150G.

The substrate is brand new but covered with a thick layer of sand.. 30 kg plant substrate covered with 45 kg sand..

Water leak from canister =

1: Ruined floor (2 weeks since new floor where installed)
2: Ruined furniture on my very expensive 2 week old 150G tank
3: Need to remove substrate since it will be too heavy to lift (75 kg substrate, 100kg of glass)


Lessoned Learned: No chinese brand stuff will ever enter my tanks again ( 4th error in 3 months with this canister).. it was just to stay in there waiting for my standpipes to the sump.. Eheim made in china, QA in germany only from now. lol.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 03:49 PM
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As long as the tanks not leaking I'd fill up about halfway then use a gravel vacuum to skim across the sand until its all gone. If you do that most of the sand should be separated.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 04:01 PM
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Ugh, so sorry to hear about the spill. As for saving substrate, it may be more of a hassle than it worth. I couldn't imagine myself slowly scraping off the top layer of sand, then trying to sift the rest to separate.

Here's an idea. I good gravel vac should be able to suck up the sand. You'll need a few buckets or perhaps a large container of some sort. Doing the best you can to leave the soil behind later you can either suck up the soil or scoop it out.

Ultimately it should be okay if the sand you are not able to suck ups gets mixed up with the soil. You may have to pick up some new sand to compensate for what is lost and use it to recap the soil substrate.

140 gallon FW planted
29 gallon FW planted
17 gallon FW planted
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 08:41 PM
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This isn't as hard as it may seem, you won't be able to separate everything though. But it shouldn't take you long to separate the majority of the sand from the substrate.

First step:

Drain your tank, try and get as much water out as you can.

Second step:

Let sand dry out for 10-20 minutes, the sand should be moist not wet, similar to sand used to build a sand castle.

Third step:

Use a dust pan or putty knife to scoop the sand layer off of the substrate layer, some care must be used here to not dig too deep. Since the sand is moist and has had a bit of time to dry it should stick to itself very well while not sticking to the dirt as much. The sand you are unable to remove can easily be mixed into your planted substrate without any ill effects.

Hope this helps.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2014, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the ideas. i think i will siphon some out and then let it dry as suggested.. anyways its not much money compared to destroyed floor and aquarium furniture..

atleast i can now seriously consider a proper overflow box for the sump since the tank has to be emptied again ( my first tank with a sump)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-17-2014, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiAi View Post
Thank you for the ideas. i think i will siphon some out and then let it dry as suggested.. anyways its not much money compared to destroyed floor and aquarium furniture..

atleast i can now seriously consider a proper overflow box for the sump since the tank has to be emptied again ( my first tank with a sump)
Canisters creep me out a bit. I purchased my 1st just a few months ago for my 9.5 gallon. Unless the sump system is plumbed properly with appropriate safe guards it too can make a mess. We will leave that for another thread

140 gallon FW planted
29 gallon FW planted
17 gallon FW planted
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