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Discussion Starter #1
i have been getting your advise on CO2 (very helpful)

i am thinking now that if i'm going to invest in CO2 i should have a better substrate- i have cheap fine black gravel.

i'm thinking of useing ecocomplete and black sand over the top

is this a good substrate? or am i missing something

This leads me to a second question- i'm going to have to break down the whole tank

will it work to put my fish in a bare rubbermaid and set the filter running on the edge- will i be able to prevent a biofilter crash this way? I'd put my heater in there too.

or is this way too much stress and i should just stick with my gravel and root tabs?
 

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It will be a very stressful for your fish and when u are all finished you will get a lot or ammonia spikes becuase all of the good bactria is gone from your gravel.....if u do chose to do it get some bio-spira its suppost to make your water safe for fish in 24- hours....
I have also wanted to do the same thing as you are doing...i have a 20 gallon with regular gravel, i wanted to switch out the gravel for eco-complete but i didnt want to kill my fish so i just used seachem florish tabs....works fine for me.....o and if you do put the sand on top of the eco-complete i think it might just fall to the bottom.....not sure though...and yes eco-complete is a good substrate, but before you make up your mind read this.....http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s...rmulation-contains-sand-rinsing-required.html
hope it helpss.....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i know it's going to deplete the biological filter a little. I have a large amount of driftwood and lavarock, and the plants themselves who will also have surviving bacteria

if done carefully do you think i will achieve a good result

or are you saying i should under no circumstances do this?

i read the link too- i think that it will work for me even tho the formula is changed.
 

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The substrate can be changed, your just taking a chance that the fish might get too stressed and die.....but dont get me wrong it can be done ive done it and didnt lose anything in my ten gallon but it was tough, the fish didnt eat for a while and i had an out break of mold or something covering the ground. But after a while it was gone.... now the tank is fine. its up to you:)
 

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I have changed substrate on a few tank a few different times. My twenty gallon has been switched three times with the same fish and none had any problems. I removed half of the substrate and replaced with new substrate. I put some of the old gravel in one leg of a pair of pantyhose(preferably new) and put that in the tank. A week later I would switch the other half. Never had any ammonia/nitrites. I would say as long as your filter is up to par and you have a good amount of plant mass, you shouldn't see any problems. I have a bag of the new eco as mentioned in the other thread. You really don't need to top it with sand. Most of what is in that tank is small enough for cory cats so sift through their mouths/gills. Good luck.
 

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i pulled out about 3/4 of my substarte was in the tank for a good 5-6 years to replace it with flourite. had no big problems with it what so ever. glad i did it too.
 

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Lil boy blue said:
the pantyhose idea sounds good......i think im goin to try it:) so you put half of the old gravel in the pantyhose.....then did u put all of the new substrate in? or only half?
I removed exactly half of the old substrate and put one bag of flourite in the empty spot. I didn't put all of the old gravel back in the pantyhose, just enough to fill it up 10 inches or so. A week later I removed the other half and put in another bag of flourite in it's place. I left the old gravel in the pantyhouse for another week or so. I did rinse the flourite well, but it clouded up anyway, probably because I was putting it in an established tank. It cleared up within a few days. I used a new sock once with success as well, but make sure its new and isn't colored. I also used a pair of pink tights(my daughters, not mine:) ) once and it turned my water pink.
 

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IMO there is no need for you to change your substrate. All you need for a successful planted tank is good light, CO2, and a steady supply of nutrients. The substrates main job is to hold the plants. The specialty planted tank substrates do provide some nutrients which varies by manufacture, but again IMO the nutritional benefits of these substrates are overstated.

I have used EcoComplete, Flourite and Onyx and so far I have had the best success with Soilmaster Select (less than $18 for a 50#bag). Why, because I have plenty of light, and efficient CO2 reactor and a good fert. regiment.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
wow, thank you so much!

i think i'm going to go ahead and do it- for the corys, the plants and the asthetics
(i have noticed that my once pitch black gravel is more gray now; it was cheap)

i'm going to get some kind of CO2 set up this weekend

maybe in a couple weeks i'll have time to do the substrate- it's always fun to rearrange everything!
 

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i contemplated eco-complete for my corys as well. I was reading on various forums it may not be good for their whiskers? I don't know how true this is. I myself will be running Florabase because the corys I have at work seem to love digging in it. My corys at home don't have any substrate to dig into in their 10 gallon because i don't have any substrate in there (but they have super long whiskers :hihi:).

I will probably use my eco-complete for a different tank since I worry about the corys.

Who knows maybe it's okay :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
is there a chemical substance in the eco-complete that hurts them?

or is it the texture?

if it's texture i'm planning on putting inert black sand over the top i like the apperance of the sand and i know how much fun corys have with it!

i definately won't use it if it's going to poison my corys
 

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kyle3 said:
is there a chemical substance in the eco-complete that hurts them?

or is it the texture?

if it's texture i'm planning on putting inert black sand over the top i like the apperance of the sand and i know how much fun corys have with it!

i definately won't use it if it's going to poison my corys

Actually, I forgot you're using black sand over the top. But I think eventually that sand will go to the bottom of the tank since the sand is finer than the eco-complete.

I think the corys will love the sand anyway because they seem to love to sift. I think when their whiskers/barbels hit against the larger particle substrate is when you may have an issue. I don't know for sure if the ecocomplete will come up more on the surface. But if you use a vacuum to clean in the subtrate, I think eco-complete will rise to the top.

Corys won't be poisoned because of the eco-complete. I think maybe if eco-complete is the main substrate, it may affect their barbels (therefore texture). I am not sure since i haven't done this to my corys yet so I don't have the experience on that.
 
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