Changing from gravel to new substrate help? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Cool Changing from gravel to new substrate help?

Hi. I'm relatively new to planted tanks. I've currently got a nice planted tank going although am having quite a problem with black algae so I'm debating on ditching all my plants and starting fresh. Not sure on that one yet cause I really like them haha!

Anyhow, I currently have a mix of med to large gravel and the plants have been doing ok so far but I keep reading about how I should have a nutrient rich substrate so I am thinking on mixing in some eco complete to my current gravel. How do I go about this? Do I remove all the fish, and plants and then replant and re-stock once settled?

I currently have wisteria, amazons, baccopa, vallisnera, java fern and java moss. Wisteria is growing but slowy. Vaccopa is shooting out new side shoots all the time but the lower parts of stems are always bare it seems, although it's getting better since I've starting dosing fertilizers of flourish. Amazons always did the best but they're covered with black algae now so I've trimmed back to almost nothing in attempts to get rid of. Vallisnera isn't doing the best currently since I started dosing daily with flourish excel.

My LFS just got a huge selection of plants in although he's a salt water guy and doesn't know much about them.

I don't wanna get into doing CO2 but I'm ok with daily excel dosing.

So.... How do I add in eco complete, and also, should I even bother?

PS: How do you clean the poop off the bottom with eco complete. Right now a lot falls between the cracks so I vacuum down quite deep into the gravel in areas that aren't planted (stock is pretty much maxed so not taking it out isn't much of an option). Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 07:36 PM
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first ecocomplete doesn't have nutrients. something like ada aquasoil or miracle grow potting mix or worm castings will add nutrients to your soil. or you can add root tabs into your gravel which will work as well and you won't have to redo your tank.

If you want to redo it, it will be a complete rebuild. taking water, fish and plants out. scooping out old substrate. adding new one and putting everything back. I would just try root tabs and ferts to water as your plants are relatively easy to grow. if you have algae issues also consider if you have too much light. good luck! also i'm not sure deep vacuuming is needed in planted tank

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-08-2014, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I forgot to add that I was just going to add in some eco complete to the current gravel because I keep reading that the plants won't do as well in larger gravel and because so much poop is falling down between the cracks!

I've also been entertaining the thoughts of trying to get a carpet going. I was thinking the possibility of marsilea minute because it doesn't need CO2.
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