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Discussion Starter #1
Now that my incredibly busy summer is over and I am ACTUALLY ready to switch to AS 1, I need some advice. I have a 46 bowfront, quite a few plants but not heavily planted, I would say medium. I have maybe ~25 small fish. The current substrate is turface. I looked through 11 pages of threads about people switching substrates, but no one really explained how it was done. I have no ability to take my fish OUT of said tank for ~1 month while the substrate cycles (no where to put them).

My plan is to buy the stuff, and then let it cycle in buckets, until ammonia reaches 0. One thread said this is bad for the AS as moving it around like that can turn it into mud. Another thread said to add it in batches, but how to do this I don't know as I don't want to MIX the turface and the AS, I want to replace it.

Will the bucket thing work?

Thanks!
 

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Last time I changed my substrate, play sand to pool filter sand, I took out half of the substrate and put the new on top. I kept the fish in a bucket while I made the changes and then put them back in. Also put some of the old sand in a bag in the tank. I had a mini cycle which remedied using an extra filter with charcoal and water changes (2x in 1 week). The water was cloudy. I used Nutri Fin Bio Clear and it cleared up in a few days.

You may have a different result if you use something like Shultz Aqua soil. I think at the worst you have to do water changes every other day. You could also add some Hornwort to absorb the toxins.

What are you planning to switch to?
 

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The bucket thing will work, but will take time. The more WCs, the quicker it'll go. I found seeding it really didn't do much to quicken things up, I suppose b/c of the smaller surface area of AS compared to your filter. If you're easy w/ the stuff, it won't break down too much--I've found AS II turns to mud easier than AS I. You could try using one of those big rubbermaid bins to soak the stuff in, to give more of the AS contact w/ the fresh WCs. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, I contacted Jeff at ADG, and he said that he thinks just changing the substrate, doing daily water changes, and running established filters should be OK for the fish. I am keeping my fingers crossed but am going to try this, along with stuffing the tank with stems.

I got amazonian 1, which should be here soon. I am pretty excited.
 

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At least get a filter bag from pet store and put some of the old substrate in it and put it in the tank. Also use filter media from a cycled tank.
 
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