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Tropica Aquarium Soil

kellyboy47

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9 Mar 2008
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224
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Essex
Hi,

I hope someone can help.

I am in the process of moving house (some 70 miles away) and so will be draining down my tank. I have livestock and it is quite heavily planted. I spoke to a guy at Aquatic Design Centre and he said if I
tried to reintroduce the fish once I had made the move I would more likely suffer huge ammonia spikes and therefore endanger the fish. He said that perhaps I would be better throwing the old soil out and buying new
because the 'mud' as he referred to it would breakup. Is this true or could I reuse it ? It has been in place for 14 months
 

Angus

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29 Aug 2008
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Vauxhall, London.
From experience using degraded/muddy amazonia it does spike really heavy when you move it, even if you rinse it which is pointless anyway, and by that point it's exhausted a lot of it's nutrient stores, so i would say just get new and start again.

Keep the fish in temporary housing while you wait for a "darkstart" or your cycling phase, if you plant really heavily from day one, ie 80%+ of the substrate planted, you can get away with adding a part of your stocking and doing water changes, but myself i don't like doing that i just wait for ammonia and nitrite to disappear and put the fish in, also if you can get mature filter media this makes the process much more speedy,

New soil will spike ammonia too, not just the old clapped out stuff, but the difference is the new stuff is "clean" and prepared with a specifically calculated nutrient mix, the old stuff is just full of dirty detritus, silt and broken down clays.
 

kellyboy47

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Thanks for your reply. Would I get away with adding another small layer of Tropica soil over the top of the existing instead of getting rid of it ?
 

Nick potts

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25 Sep 2014
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Torbay
Thanks for your reply. Would I get away with adding another small layer of Tropica soil over the top of the existing instead of getting rid of it ?

As above, the new soil is also going to release ammonia into the water for a few weeks, how much depends on how much soil is used.

There are a few things you can do to help, add seachem amgaurd or similar daily along with daily 80-90% water changes, leave it until the bacteria remove it.

How big is the tank you are moving? Would it be possible to drain it but not disturb the soil and scape and move it that way?
 

kellyboy47

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9 Mar 2008
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Essex
How big is the tank you are moving? Would it be possible to drain it but not disturb the soil and scape and move it that way?
It is a Juwel Vision 180 litres. My idea was to remove the plants and drain the tank down to a manageable level
 

Nick potts

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It is a Juwel Vision 180 litres. My idea was to remove the plants and drain the tank down to a manageable level

Removing the plants and hardscape is going to be what causes most of the problems for you unfortunately.

If you can't house the fish separately for possibly weeks then your best bet is going to be ammonia binders and large daily water changes.
 

kellyboy47

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Essex
Removing the plants and hardscape is going to be what causes most of the problems for you unfortunately.

If you can't house the fish separately for possibly weeks then your best bet is going to be ammonia binders and large daily water changes.
I was going to get a specialist aquarium mover in to do the move but they would have the same problem as me with the soil. I have 2 filters in the tank...the internal Juwel and a Fluval U4 so I could house the fish in a polystyrene box and add the Fluval and heater to that. The hardscape which is Dragon stone (not a colossal amount but heavy enough) would have to be removed and I would probably leave the plants in situ....If they fail I would just buy anew. My other half suggested I sell the complete setup and buy a new Vision 180 (but with cabinet it is about £480) and I've worked too hard to get my current tank running efficiently and looking as it is...
 

Nick potts

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I was going to get a specialist aquarium mover in to do the move but they would have the same problem as me with the soil. I have 2 filters in the tank...the internal Juwel and a Fluval U4 so I could house the fish in a polystyrene box and add the Fluval and heater to that. The hardscape which is Dragon stone (not a colossal amount but heavy enough) would have to be removed and I would probably leave the plants in situ....If they fail I would just buy anew. My other half suggested I sell the complete setup and buy a new Vision 180 (but with cabinet it is about £480) and I've worked too hard to get my current tank running efficiently and looking as it is...

Yep moving a tank is never fun at all.

I would do as you have said, remove hardscape while disturbing as little as possible, transfer fish to temp housing with filter and heater (don't let the other filter sit, keep it running until you need it, otherwise all bacteria will die off) and then I would clingfilm the tank up for the move, the plants will likely be perfectly fine like that for a good while.

When you set up the tank again, just refill and leave it running with the filter and plants, large water changes for a week and then see where your at.
 

kellyboy47

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Yep moving a tank is never fun at all.

I would do as you have said, remove hardscape while disturbing as little as possible, transfer fish to temp housing with filter and heater (don't let the other filter sit, keep it running until you need it, otherwise all bacteria will die off) and then I would clingfilm the tank up for the move, the plants will likely be perfectly fine like that for a good while.

When you set up the tank again, just refill and leave it running with the filter and plants, large water changes for a week and then see where your at.
Yes good advice...Thanks a lot
 

Tankless

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How much time do you have? 18 months ago I had to do emergency building work which meant moving the tank from upstairs to downstairs. I knew the date in which we'd commence the work so on a daily basis I removed bits of the hardscape and plants that I didn't plan to keep whilst increasing the frequency of water changes. When it was time to remove the fish and shrimp on the day, all I had a was a few plants to remove before netting the fish into a plastic box. I didn't lose any fish during the move (just my lost own interest in the tank until recently). Create a plan and start early is my advice.
 

Onoma1

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12 Aug 2018
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West Yorkshire
I had the same problem last year when I moved house. I reused the substrate with a bit of Osmocote and a cap of new material. I treated it like a new tank (as @Angus said it will spike) and kept the fish in a large plastic tub until the tank was ready for them.

In the past I have dried substrate in the oven and reused it as a base layer when needed. It's expensive stuff and well worth keeping.

The best solution, however, would be just to keep the substrate in the tank as @Tankless @Nick potts suggests.
 

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