Will changing plant substrate restart the cylcling process? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Will changing plant substrate restart the cylcling process?

Hi, I have a tank that has been fully cycled and running well for the past three months. I was planning on changing the gravel to a clay substrate. Does this mean that the tank will have to partially recycle somehow?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:12 PM
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Yes. Bacterial will re-establish in the substrate.

If you keep the established filter media, there'll be a much smaller cycle. I doubt it'll be big enough to harm your livestock, but keep an eye on your water parameters.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 10:52 PM
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you can keep part of the substrate too.. Keep all of the mulm in the bottom of the tank. Don't 'clean' that out.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 11:48 PM
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I completely removed an UGF (45 gallon tank) and all the old gravel - replacing it with 2 canister filters, fine substrate with laterite.

I ran 1 of the canisters on the tank for a few days prior to the changeover.

I put 1/3 of the water into a bucket and added the driftwood and attached plants. I put 1/3 of the water into a bucket and added the fish. The remaining 1/3 of the water I drained.

I completely removed the old gravel and UGF down to the bottom glass (wiping it clean). I added new substrate and laterite. I next filled the tank 1/3 of the way full and added the driftwood and plants (planting the remaining substrate heavy at the same time). I then added the next 1/3 of water and the fish. I then filled the tank up the remainder of the way with fresh treated water. I connected the canister and added the second and never missed a beat.

Although a 9 hour project, my water parameters didn't change and I didn't lose a fish.

The tank now (8 weeks in) looks very, very good. The bacteria, etc. left in the canister and water outweighed that in the substrate that I removed and the changeover went without a hitch.

Good luck!
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