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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an established tank for about a 2-3 months now with plants. However, i've been using medium/small sized gravel as a substrate. i know that there is nothing in there and have been using liquid fertilizer for the plants. my cousin came to my house one day and told me he had a huge bucket of flourite, it weighed like 40-50 pounds easily. i went to his house picked it up and now i want to do a complete removal of my current base and replace it with the flourite. any advice on where or how to start?

tank:
55 gal

plants:
-amazon swords
-wisteria
-riccia planted on rocks

fish:
-16 neons
-5 ghost shirmp

also, i've encountered a bit of a pest. alot of hair algae has covered my plants and drift wood. how can i get rid of it? should i just leave them in there and get some fish or shrimp that will eat that stuff? better yet, are there anything that will eat the hair algae at all?

thanks in advance!
 

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My first and biggest mistake, so far, in my sort time working with aquariums, was trying to change my gravel substrate to flourite without removing the fish. I took out the plants and put them in a bucket, lowered the water level, scooped out the old gravel and started to dump in the flourite. I didn't rinse or wash the flourite first and the dust immediately turned the water into a dark brown cloud - I couldn't see a thing. I had no idea how long this clould would take to settle and couldn't finish my work in the tank, because I couldn't see the fish (or anything else).

I panicked and began to net the fish and toss them into another tank, without any preparations or time to acclimate them to the new tank. I lost a few fish that day, although not as many as I thought I would.

Anyway, unable to give you the proper advice on how to do this transfer, I can tell you how NOT to do it.

:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yikes, that must have been a very disappointing day for you. i do plan on taking out the fishes, i have a spare 10 gallon that will hold the fishes for the time being. but i do expect the water to be cloudy. my cousin has used this flourite before, he claim to have used it for a month or two; however, since he wasn't planting anything it in, he took it out and replaced the flourite with gravel. i'm not too worried about it being cloudy because i know it will clear up eventually. but my main concern is really about the algae, if i take out everything would it be wise to clean everything or just resubmit them back into the tank so that i can get any fish or shrimp that will eat the hair algae.
 

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Yes, the cloud from the Flourite did settle within a day and I think that it only took that long, because I didn't rinse the Flourite first.

(I'm not an expert on this, but...) I'm about to move my tank and will have to break it down completely when I do so. I expect that I'll scrub much of the algea off the rocks and hardware that I take from the tank - and pick any algea off the plants that I can get to easily. I will also trim any leaves that contain too much algea. But, I don't plan to soak plants in anything. I might boil or soak my driftwood, because the algea on it is pretty thick.

That is, unless I get any better advice before I start this project.....
 

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Regarding the Flourite, what I do is to start with an empty tank, add the substrate, spray down the sides a bit, then remove all the water that is in there. I use a small airline to slowly siphon out as much as possible.

Then I add water very slowly, especially in the beginning. Basically dripping. With that, a Flourite tank starts clear. There will be little clouds as you plant, but if you are reasonable they settle down quickly.

Regarding hair alga, although I'd recommend Amano shrimp (sometimes sold as "algae eating shrimp), there isn't really anything that can outpace hair alga growth.

IME the only way to get rid of them is to bring things into balance. "Things" means mainly lights and nutrients (yes that includes CO2), to some degree also the amount of plants. Too much light and lack of nutrients (CO2, macros, and micros) is what mostly hinders plant growth and gives algae an edge. Treating plants and decoration and such with bleach or potassium permanganate or potassium cyanide does really nothing to keep the alga away. You need to give plants best conditions (not too much or too little of anything) and then algae will disappear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
seems like the issue of substrate turned into an algae issue. i hope my thread won't be banned... but anyway, my cousin, being the greatest cousin that he is, gave me a whole box of seachem and it has all three treatments. i do plan to add the substrate in the next few days. and i plan to scrub everything clean of the algae, and add the excel to give my plants the edge. i also plan to add diy co2 into the my tank. but to really keep those in check i do plan to add some algae eating stuff like the shrimps and a few oto cats. OTHER THAN ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH ALGAE, is flourite a good substrate? can it rival the much acclaimed eco complete substrate?
 

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i've started two tanks with flourite. Both times, I did the drip method. Both my tanks started clear, no clouds for me. I dont know why so many people dont do it this way. :confused:
 

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I use Flourite in two of my tanks and Eco-Complete in three others. I prefer the latter because it is darker (although Flourite Black is now available) and it doesn't have the sharp edges which can harm fish with barbels that dig through the gravel. Eco-Complete also clouds the tank less and comes with live bacteria in water to start the nitrogen cycle.
 

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I don't mean to steal this thread, but I think it would be better to ask this question in here since it's very much relevant than start a new thread.

I'm going to be adding Carib Sea Eco-Complete substrate to my already established aquarium with fish and shrimp and would like to know if...

A) I can simply mix the Eco-Complete with the current sand substrate.

B) Remove the fish and plants but leave the shrimp (It's impossible to net them out).

Thanks in advance... and you will now be returned to your regularly scheduled thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't mean to steal this thread, but I think it would be better to ask this question in here since it's very much relevant than start a new thread.

I'm going to be adding Carib Sea Eco-Complete substrate to my already established aquarium with fish and shrimp and would like to know if...

A) I can simply mix the Eco-Complete with the current sand substrate.

B) Remove the fish and plants but leave the shrimp (It's impossible to net them out).

Thanks in advance... and you will now be returned to your regularly scheduled thread.
what would your current substrate be?
 

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Flourite is my fav substrate. Especially the black ones. Onyx sand is nice too, but more grey in color.

I'd definitely start the tank over completely before swapping out the substrate. In the long run I think it will be easiest as well as safest for the fish.

I'd dip your plants in either an Excel or hydrogen peroxide solution to help kill the algae before putting them back in the tank.
 

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Oh yeah- you can also get PP in the pool supply section at Ace Hardware (lifetime supply is $10). Be careful with it, though- it stains permanently and can be toxic (if used incorrectly, as with most chemicals...)

A dilute bleach solution (1 part bleach/ 19 parts water) also can work as an algae dip, though I wouldn't use it on delicate plants like mosses.

You do want to try not to introduce algae right back into the tank if you can help it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i'm more than happy to report that my cousin supplied me with a box of seachem that has the excel in it. how should i use it? because i plan to dilute the excel and possibly use a toothbrush, new of course, to scrub off all the gunk. do i leave it out in a new tank so that it can just kill the algae, i am really new to the whole seachem excel stuff. i've only heard of it never actually tried it.
 

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i had some hair algae on some of my val. i rubbed it off with my fingers during a water change, lowered the length of time my lights are on and it disappeared in about 10 days. i also use flourite in my tank. i rinsed it a few times before putting it in the tank and cloudiness settled in less than a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well, i put the substrate in. it looks great, kind of cloudy still but i'm really hoping for it to clear up. just a curious question, upon removing my old substrate (small gravel) i happened to notice that there was still some waste at the bottom. i know that a tank should be "Recycled" and that i should at least keep 25% of the old water, which i did. is it ok for me to have left the waste still in there? i mean i could have taken it all out via suction and maybe a wet towel? anyway, maybe it'll just be plant food?
 
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