Advice on complete rescape without causing a mini cycle

misscaretaker

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Hi, as the title suggests, I am planning on totally gutting my 4' tank adding new substrate and plants etc. All there is at the moment is rocks and sand :( . How can I do this without causing a cycle or will it not do this anyway? Sorry if this is a stupid question and/or in the wrong place!
 

GreenNeedle

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As long as you keep your filter media wet then you shouldnt get a cycle. A mini cycle shouldnt be too much of a problem.

empty the content of your filter into the bottom of the empty tank and then put some of the existing sand in there. this will retain some of the substrate bacteria and also seed the new tank. Then put you new substrate on top and plant away.

When I rescape the fish are out of the tank for up to a day sometimes and then returned with no problems.

If you are worried then do daily water changes for a while to reduce any ammonia that may be there but I dont bother with this!!

AC
 

steve2tanks

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Hiya,i'm no expert but i would try and save the water in a bucket with the filter running and the fish in that,then plant up your tank with new substrate, transfer the water into the new setup and keep an eye on your water readings,but wait for someone else to help you out :?
 

misscaretaker

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Thanks for the replies, as you can tell, Im a newbie fish keeper! Now all I have to do is work out how I'm gonna affordthe substrate!
 

Luketendo

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Substrate isn't as important if you have co2 and lots of fert dosing, but then you might want to have some plant substrate wear any root feeding plants will be.
 

GreenNeedle

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Always better to have a nutrient rich substrate with or without CO2 as it can fill in gaps that any off the shelf fert misses. Also if you forget to dose ferts then there is something there to bridge the gap.

Another reason for a good nutrient rich substrate is something like Tropica or Aquagrit or other clay types will soak up some of the nutrient from the water column and can act like a reserve.

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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Luketendo said:
Substrate isn't as important if you have co2 and lots of fert dosing, but then you might want to have some plant substrate wear any root feeding plants will be.
nutrient substrate isnt as important for any plant if you are water column dosing wether they are supposed "root feeders" or not. supposed "root feeders" will grow just as well in inert substrates as they will nutrient rich as long as the water column dosing is sufficient. Plants will feed from the water column first and go to the roots if the water column dosing beomes defficient.

Therefore if you are water column dosing then root tabs are a waste of money. Clay substrates are a huge benefit to those of us who are lax with our water changes/dosing etc as it can always have a reserve in it.

There are a few of us who question the idea of root feeders in a dosed aquarium. This can be shown in that where some of us used to have inert substrates and have moved over to nutrient rich there is no discernable difference in health/growth of crypts or echinodorus as long as water column dosing is adequately administered.

However like anything most of us now do use them as backups just as many of us use pink lights even though as above question the plants requiring a certain human perception of colour in the lighting. All hypothesis but that can be said for many things within this hobby. A lot to learn and explore and try ourselves rather than leaving Tom Barr to test everything. lol

AC
 

a1Matt

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misscaretaker said:
Hi, as the title suggests, I am planning on totally gutting my 4' tank adding new substrate and plants etc. All there is at the moment is rocks and sand :( . How can I do this without causing a cycle or will it not do this anyway? Sorry if this is a stupid question and/or in the wrong place!

Definitely not a stupid question :) Triggering a cycle in your tank is possible from a rescape, I've done it myself on more than one occasion before :oops: It was my tanks way of telling me that my filtration was not quite up to par :!: I have since upgraded my filter (from fluval 4+, to Tetratec EX1200).

As far as I understand the cycle is caused when your filter 'can't keep up' with the amount of ammonia being produced.
The rescaping can cause problems as the disturbance of the tank (mainly the substrate) can cause an increase in ammonia levels.

SuperColey's first reply was good advice - I would follow it all including the water changes. The water changes will help remove any ammonia, easing the load on the filter.

I had a little reshuffle yesterday and disturbed a chunk of substrate, I did a 50%WC straight after, and will do another 50% today just to be on the safe side.

Enjoy your rescaping :D
 

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