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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
was wondering what people would do if in my situation. currently got a 50gal with black quartz as the substrate but i want to replace this with some form of aquasoil (ADA/JBL/etc) but heard rumors of ammonia spikes?

i was going to vacuum out my old gravel and pour back the water in the process and then fill the tank with new substrate nice and gentle (never happens and will always look like mud)

but if this is the case i still need some more substrate as i have an inch max so what would people recommend?
 

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New Aquasoil does cause ammonia spikes, mine showed 6-8ppm when I first put it in a new tank. You can do a few water changes before putting fish in to help and if you have an established filter it should reduce it pretty quickly. May take a few days - week to completely leech out. But again frequent (%50) water changes should keep it at bay. did it in my 5 gal and didnt notice any issues, it was however just some nerites and a betta in that tank.

I have however changed substrate in an established tank more then once and you dont need to take all the water out. I just remove all plants/decorations,any big fish and bring down to %15-%20 h2O. Then I scoop up the old stuff, leaving a few bits here and there to help reestablish bacteria in substrate quicker, put in the new stuff and fill her back up. With aqua soil I will usually let it sit for an hour, do a %50 change and repeat once more. Then do this a few more time in the week as those organics leech out..

Personally I have really enjoyed ADA Aquasoil, but I havent used any other brands yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying! Have you changed the substrate on an established tank to aquasoil before and managed to beat the ammonia spike with water changes? I don't want to harm my fish but I wish I started off with this substrate In the first place..... Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
 

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I changed mine over to aquasoil by cycling a spare filter in a bucket with ammonia. Once it was populated with bacteria, I siphoned out all the old gravel in the tank, added the AS and added the spare filter. I therefore had two (original + spare) mature filters running for double the ammonia processing capacity. I never did see an ammonia spike. The fish never even blinked, though the water did turn rather murky for a few days. I also dosed with prime just in case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok thanks for the idea. Would it be possible to cycle the aquasoil in a bucket with a filter etc and then once it has leeched the ammonia transfer it into the aquarium? Or would it cause a mini cycle in my tank anyways?
 

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Thanks for replying! Have you changed the substrate on an established tank to aquasoil before and managed to beat the ammonia spike with water changes? I don't want to harm my fish but I wish I started off with this substrate In the first place..... Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
Well the fauna in my 5 gal are pretty hardy so I didnt have to watch it too much, but the water changes really only help minimize it. You cant remove it all (reliably) with water change. I would probably go for it (assuming many water changes) since your filter is aleady cycled.


And yes it seems you should be able to do a mini cycle in a bucket, BUT you would have to have the timing purfect because if your cycled filter sat w/o ammonia or nitrites too long they could die and then you will be back to square one with your cycle for your pump..
 
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