Tropica Aquarium Soil

russchilds

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8 Jun 2009
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Hi All,

Hope everyone is well. Just a quick question. I have an establish tank. Low tech and going for a few years. Fish super healthy (mixture of tetra and some amano shrimp). I've had rubbish growth with some crypts and stems but good on Java Fern and Anubias. I want to swap some of the plain gravel for Tropica Aquarium Soili in the back section behind some rocks. Would I need to remove the fish or could I carefully put it in with a cup? Worried about the effect on water chemistry.

It's a 240L - 120 cm aquarium.

Thanks,
Russ
 

Kalum

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8 Jan 2018
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Always a good idea to remove fish, if you tried to rescape completely or change substrate without fully draining the tank you'd soon realise it's not a great idea, it'll be a mud bath and very stressful for both you and the fish ;)

You'll end up with a much better finished product and less rushed if you manage to put the fish in a temp holding tank/bucket/container and give yourself a day or 2 to get the work done and a couple of water changes after
 

russchilds

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8 Jun 2009
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Cheers!! You're right. It will end up a mess.

I'll get my old 70l out of the loft and put everyone in that. Drain the 240 and then do a change of soil.

Thanks!
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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5,912
It can be done with minimal clouding (the dust fines that you’ll find in every substrate - though in my experience Tropica Soil is the least offender), just needs some planning
You don’t mention how much soil or area dimensions, it will obviously be a relatively slow process (depends on your equipment)

But as I almost always end up wanting to change things up More rather than Less, I follow Kalum’s method of removing fish etc and taking the opportunity to give things a good clean

(Note drain off tank water to holding tank before you start messing about, I usually mix with 50% tap etc water
This way fish will transition from tank (which I make sure is in good maintenance before beginning this sort of project) to 50% tap water (holding tank) to 100% tap (rescaped tank) - if the rescape takes more than a day, I’ll also do daily 50% water changes on the holding tank (which is usually significantly smaller than the main tank)
I’ll often place shrimp or much smaller fish in a separate bin, community that “works” in a 240l space compete with hardscape etc, may not “work” as well in a temporary, bare, smaller space

You don't mention filter or fish details, so take time to evaluate how much of your possible biofilter may be substrate gravel vs filter media vs plants etc and plan on a suitable water change schedule post- rescape :)
 

russchilds

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Thanks! Some great tips!

I've decided to leave the tank alone. I'm just going to get a few more narrow leaf Java ferns and a bit more Anubias. These are growing so well already. The tank is really established and I don't want to mess with it. The rummy nose and Cardinal Tetra are a few years old now and look super healthy and vibrant.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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Unfortunately Jurijs mit JS demo’s in the video are “dry”

I’ve done a 45cm x 10-15cm strip in an established tank (densely planted with lots wood and stone crannies) with livestock - while I could easily remove the shoaling fish, I could not net the Chocolate gouramis without significant stress and upheaval (nor many of the shrimp)
I increased water change frequency during the 2 weeks prior, so that tank water was essentially tap
Dosed 2-3X levels of Prime intermittently during the process
Siphoned out the sand area - easily done with minimal clouding - refilled water level to good working height
Added Tropica Powder Soil to a small container, filled and dumped a few times to remove any fines (at the kitchen sink), then placed in tank, allowing water to slowly fill container while keeping soil in place, then gently pour soil onto tank bottom (keeping container as close as possible to the glass bottom)
This step took longer - using a relatively small container meant that I kept myself and materials to that confined area, fish didn’t seem overly concerned (though choco’s played least in sight, there was no thrashing or leaping about)
Once Tropica Soil was in place, I did a 50% water change and left tank alone for an hour or so (prepped plants)
Then dropped water column level to a good working height and filled in the new plants
Refilled tank, then did another large water change as water was slightly cloudy - 10 min later fish were back to usual activities
Note I usually leave filter running during water changes so this was no exception

I did not feed fish for 24h prior (just in case) and waited a some hours after everything was completed before feeding

Aquarium dimensions 60cm x 45cm x 55cm tall

(I didn’t have a suitable sized funnel/tubing - soil kept getting stuck during test runs)

@russchilds should you decide you want to add soil (with livestock present) there’s no need to do it all at once, you can easily replace 1/3 etc on a weekly basis
 

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Nottingham
Thanks! Some great tips!

I've decided to leave the tank alone. I'm just going to get a few more narrow leaf Java ferns and a bit more Anubias. These are growing so well already. The tank is really established and I don't want to mess with it. The rummy nose and Cardinal Tetra are a few years old now and look super healthy and vibrant.
I've always found root tabs work really well with Crypts in particular, but may help stem plants too, and can be easily added by hand without draining your tank so they may be an alternative to adding a complete new substrate. There are numerous brands available, but the Seachem Flourish tabs seem pretty good for me so far, and I've also used the JBL variants in the distant past to good effect..
 

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