Changing the substrate

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by LondonDragon, 21 Feb 2008.

  1. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    Hello everyone,

    Just found your forum today and been reading a lot of posts, haven't really posted anything as I didn't feel the need to add anything else to the posts, as I am a newbie to this planted tank world and so far don't have much knowledge.

    I am just wondering whats the best way to go about changing the substrate on a tank that has been running for a while. Can i change it while the fish are in there? What are the dangers other than maybe stressing out some fish?

    My tank is heavelly planted at the moment as you can see from the image below, I just want to change the look of the substrate/gravel as I want to create a carpet at the front of HC or glosso. what would you guys recommend?

    [​IMG]

    Hope that I can get some pointers here in the right direction. I also have 3 clown loaches which I want to find a better home for, don't really want to take them back to the store, any other suggestion? Anyone wants to give them a better home?

    Many thanks, any help appreciated.
     
  2. nickyc

    nickyc Member

    Messages:
    208
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Hello and welcome!

    I think your tank looks great - don't underestimate yourself!

    I removed my fish to an old spare tank when I redid mine - siphoned out half of the water and rehoused the fish for the afternoon. Wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Good luck!
     
  3. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Yaxley, Peterborough
    Hello and welcome too.

    I always try and keep as much of the old water as possible, and scoop all the old gravel with a new dust pan (not metal).

    I'm thinking about changing my substrat again...
     
  4. nry

    nry Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Location:
    Cumbria, UK
    Glosso will likely do OK in your gravel, I was surprised how well it did in my tank with pea gravel in once it got going.
     
  5. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    I second the call to not under estimate yourself!! That tank looks quality!!!

    If you want to change the substrate, its really a complete strip down, which means taking everything out and starting fresh. Changing the substrate is a sod of a job, but it can be fun, I tend to take a weekend over it, its quite therapeutic!!!

    Sam
     
  6. plantbrain

    plantbrain Expert

    Messages:
    1,950
    I'd suggest the ADA aqua soil alone and some water column dosing, say Tropica line or making the macro ferts with the DIY ferts from AE.

    Hard to go wrong this way and then you have both methods to add ferts, the sediment and the water column, this gives you the easiest method to grow plants well and garden without too much cost.

    I remove the plants first, then vacuum the sediment, do several water changes to remove the muck, then refill etc.

    Then I'll add the new sediment.
    I'll add carbon and maybe zeolite in the filter and do water changes 2-3x a week for 1 month.

    After that, you are fine.
    Gives you a chance to really rework things and get them the way you want.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

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    10,281
    Location:
    London
  8. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    For that price you might as well go for aquasoil which is the top notch stuff. Having two substrate types may be nice for all of 5 minutes but it mixes readily, perhaps ruining the effect you wanted to create.
     
  9. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    Which aquasoil would you recommend?
     
  10. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Personally I haven't used aquasoil, but since being stingy and buying aquaclay which is £14.99 a bag vs aquasoils £27.99 I am regretting it. Plus everyone seems to have awesome results with it. Amano obviously uses it which is the biggest plus, now arguably his second Tom Barr recommends using it.

    As soon as I have the money I will be changing over.
     
  11. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for the reply. There are 3 types of soil that I have seem Africana, Amazonia and Malaya.
    Any specific diferences between the 3? I like the dark colour of the Amazonia, would I need anything else other than that?
    I reckon for a Juwel Rio 125 I would need at least two bags of 9 liters??
     
  12. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
    Yeah I worked it out to be 2 bags. I believe different ones have different nutrient levels and colours. There should be a thread about it. I would do a search but you can only do one every 20 seconds or so so give me a few minutes...
     
  13. Lisa_Perry75

    Lisa_Perry75 Member

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Southampton
  14. Fred Dulley

    Fred Dulley Member

    Messages:
    512
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    I have Malaya in my Rio 125. One 9l bag was fine. Personally aqua soil wouldn't be my first choice for any future tank I do. Mainly because it's just so messy when you move plants around. Huge clouds of "dust". But maybe that's just me, Im just giving you a different opinion.
     
  15. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    Amazonia is the most widely used and is recommended for rapid plant growth, but it does release ammonia when first used. If this is a new tank then no worries as there will be no fish in but, if fish are present then you need to do daily large water changes to reduce the levels (They're a good idea when first set up anyway to stop algae getting a foothold IMO).

    The other two types are supposed to be formulated for longer term scapes and are different colours. Richard has all three types on his AE website.

    After using Aquasoil for my latest tank I would recommend it wholeheartedly for a planted tank.
     
  16. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    Thanks guys, last Saturday after the re-homing of my Clown Loaches, I have now rescaped the tank creating a lot more open spaces at the front. I have purchased some HC and some glosso is on its way so I will plant that and see how it works out. I got rid of the Riccia as its a pain to maintain.
    If I don't get any sucess with my gravel then I will change it.
    Many thanks
     

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