Can I add substrate to existing tank?

5av10ur

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27 Apr 2008
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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.
 

Ed Seeley

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3 Jul 2007
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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.
 

5av10ur

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27 Apr 2008
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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.
 

Garuf

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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.
 

beeky

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21 Aug 2007
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Chippenham, Wiltshire
5av10ur said:
The tank is due it's 6 monthly strip down and clean and I was ....
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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