Can I add substrate to existing tank?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by 5av10ur, 27 Apr 2008.

  1. 5av10ur

    5av10ur Newly Registered

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    I have an exisitng, fairly mature 160l tank, which I am slowly starting to plant. I have always struggled to get plants to grow and having read the forum posts here I can see why. I'm about to buy a pressurised CO2 kit but want to also put a substrate like ADA Amazonia in. The tank is due it's 6 monthly strip down and clean and I was hoping to be able to add the substrate then. However from what I have read the substrate releases ammonia and needs at least a week to stabilise and the fish probably wouldn't enjoy being in the tank whilst this happens. I don't have another tank I can put my fish into whilst this happens so does anyone know of a substrate that is safe to put into a mature tank or an idea of a way round this. I was perhaps thinking of putting the substrate into a large container with a filter, heater, some plants and aquarium water to get it settled and then putting it into the tank. Do peopl think this might work?

    Cheers.
     
  2. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

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    I have recently redone one of my tanks and totally stripped the tank and added Amazonia to the tank and I added the fish back after two days as there was no Nitrite reading! I think if you have a mature, overspec'd filter and did 50% water changes every day for a week or so you will be fine to put the fish back in the same day.

    I have heard of people soaking aquasoil for a week or so to help with this stage too.
     
  3. 5av10ur

    5av10ur Newly Registered

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    Many thanks for your reply. Soaking the substrate for a while sounds like a good option as well. I reckon I'll take a nitrite reading before each water change just to see what happens.
     
  4. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    Soaking the AS would produce the same effect as doing a dry start up, the sediment would become cycled and the necessary bacteria and such would mean the start up period is greatly reduced.
     
  5. beeky

    beeky Member

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    Just wondering why you strip the tank down every 6 months? Is it for aesthetic reasons i.e. you want to try new a new scape/arrangement or something else? My old tank was running for 7 years or so without any major clean...
     

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