Restarting a tank with old substrate?

Damien

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9 Mar 2019
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England
Hi,

I’m after some advice about my nano. I had set it up 18months a go and for a year it was going good. Unfortunately when I was away on holiday the co2 was left on by the person looking after the tank. Unfortunately all the fish and shrimp died. After this I’d left the tank and it crashed.

I’ve recently cleaned everything (remover algae etc), and I’m looking to start a new tank. Should I keep the current substrate (it’s full of detritus), so I have been siphoning and changing the water. I’m hoping to do another full planted one but don’t know if it’s best to replace all the substrate with new or use the current (once cleaned a bit more) and add some nutrient capsules in there.

Any advice thoughts would be appreciated,
 

Damien

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9 Mar 2019
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9
Location
England
It’s JBL Proscape Shrimp Soul. I know not the best for plants but it worked ok. And how much detritus should be removed. As in just keep siphoning and water changes until it’s all gone. Or a moderate amount removed.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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This VLOG video from Filipe Oliveira offers a great tutorial

 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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the fish and shrimp died. After this I’d left the tank and it crashed
Did you happen to allow tank to dry out or everything still wet and running?

If the latter, I’d put more effort into cleaning the substrate and filter media (depending how the livestock disintegration went, there may be some interesting bacteria etc present in low numbers - assuming it’s been awhile since the crash) ... I’d replace any filter sponge media

OTOH as you mention this is a nano tank, I’d just replace the substrate with new Tropica Soil Powder (or whichever brand you prefer) - it’s a lot less effort than cleaning the existing substrate and you don’t have to guess as to if/how much to boost substrate fertilizer levels
 

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