• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up

Fish safety - doing a partial rescape with aquasoil


21 Dec 2021

In my established tank i have an island scale that I want to extend a bit with soil and also change the sand.
Since it's near impossible to remove all fish and amanos my idea is to do it while they are still in the aquarium.

My first plan was to just remove the sand since I didn't like the colour but now I also want to add a small section with soil too.
How would you do this in an already established tank?
Have you done something like it and what was your experience?

Last edited:
Yeah sorry for the lack of info:

It's a 70x40x50cm, 140L aquarium and pH is around 6.7. it's a bit hard to say the amount of soil but perhaps around 1 liter, maybe 2L max.
Removing sand will cause a lot of mess - I would not do that.

Adding soil is fine. Fish should be fine either way, just leave an airstone ON if you make the water completely brown.

Thank you Matt,

The sand is about 1-2cm deep and not more than 3 liters. My plan was to just siphon the sand out to not disturb it.
Is that a good idea or should I just use the soil anyway?
One question about the new soil, should I soak it before applying it and is there any point in rinsing it to reduce the loose particles in the water column?
In my 60P (60 litre) whilst fish & shrimp were in, I siphoned out the soil between islands and at the front, and replaced with gravel. A week later I did similar, as I did not like the gravel, so siphoned that out, and replaced with finer gravel. I didnt have any problems, I just made sure that I did large water changes.

My last scape was more of a dutch style, and every so often, i would take out a large section of stems plants, remove the aquasoil, and replace with new tropica aquasoil, then replant the stems. Again, I just made sure I did a large 75% water change after, and if needs be another 50% water change mid week. I did keep an eye on ammonia by doing tests for it, but I never got a spike doing it this way.
Thanks Keef, that sounds reassuring. That's basically the same process I had in mind. I need to siphon the sand to make some room for the new soil and when that's done I'll add new sand of another, lighter kind
I would think Tropica has less ammonia the ADA, you could put a cup full in every couple of days and test for ammonia ,or soak it in a bucket of water for a month
Aquasoil will spike ammonia as it contains ammonia inside. Could be risky business.

+1 to this - surprised at the other recommendations above to just dump the soil in.

Tropica soil leaches ammonia on first use. I certainly wouldn't add it fresh to a stocked tank.

Best bet would be to soak it in a bucket for a week or two, changing the water in the bucket periodically, before adding to the tank.
I had a leaky tank so a new tank and a quick rescape was required. With two new bags of Tropica soil (18ltr) (in addition to the existing, established soil, the tank was 120 rather than 100) I was doing twice daily 90-95% water changes for maybe 10 days in order to keep nitrites at bay. Of course, some of that impact will have been the imbalanced established ecosystem rather just the new soil. Just adding 2ltr of additional soil, I would still be doing big daily water changes, but not so dramatic that I had to. And my water is very, very soft
Aquasoil will spike ammonia as it contains ammonia inside. Could be risky business.

Totally agree! Regardless of choice of enriched soil (aka ammonia leaching soil), when introduce as suggested above, I would say the chance of killing or jeopardizing the livestock would be pretty high, especially considering that the water is only slightly acidic with a pH of 6.7...

Last edited: