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Adding substrate to tank
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Ryan45
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Joined: 05 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.23(Wed)22:51    Post subject: Adding substrate to tank Reply with quote

I posted this in another forum too but I wanted to get more opinions so here it goes.

I think that I do not have enough substate in my tank. If you look underneith it you can see light come through. I have plants but I don't think the substrate is deep enough. My question is can I add some substrate on top of the plain gravel I have now? Will it hurt the fish or if I wash it really good will it work? I was thinking about adding flourite on top of plain gravel. Will it be OK with fish already in there? Would 40 pounds on top of my old gravel work with my 55?
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JeremyL
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Joined: 14 Nov 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC

PostPosted: 2005.02.23(Wed)23:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm...it is always recommended to remove all the fish from the tank before adding substrate...what kind of substrate is it? Hmm...especially with your live plants, I'm not sure if it's such a good idea. You could add a little at a time though - a few pounds a day or something.
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Ryan45
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Joined: 05 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.23(Wed)23:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK so what if I wanted to redo my substrate? What would I have to go through? Take the fish out and empy most of my water? Then take out old gravel and add new flourite? Put new water in? Then what? Would I have to cycle again?
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JeremyL
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PostPosted: 2005.02.23(Wed)23:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nonono, you don't have to go through the whole cycling process again. Your tank is planted with live plants? You'd have to take out all the fish and ornaments...take out some water, clean the substrate, and it in...make sure it settles, probably leave it in the tank for a while...make sure you wash the substrate good - NOT WITH SOAP - just hot water, aquarium salt...then probably after a while - couple hours? - you can redecorate the tank, and add the fish back in. I'm not too sure about aquarium plants, I'm not experienced with them so I don't really know what to do with that...but when I added substrate to my 150gal, about 120lbs, I took the fish out, (put them in buckets) added the gravel, then put the fish back in. However I didn't add it all in at once, the overall process took about a week and a half...I didn't want to stress my fish out so...yeah I added in some at a time.
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Ryan45
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Joined: 05 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.23(Wed)23:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see soo just make sure I get all of the old gravel out when I take everything out? Then put the new stuff in and let it sit with the filter running for a couple hours? Add the fish and I am done...
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JeremyL
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PostPosted: 2005.02.24(Thu)19:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you want to CHANGE gravel or ADD gravel?
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Ryan45
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Joined: 05 Oct 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.24(Thu)21:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Change the gravel... I think this might be harder than it sounds......
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2la
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: St. Paul, MN

PostPosted: 2005.02.25(Fri)17:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's really no need to remove the fish. Simply vacuum the gravel over and over (refilling the tank with fresh dechlorinated water as needed) until the water you suck up is mostly clear, decanting the water from the bucket after the mulm settles to the bottom. Save that mulm--you'll want to use it as a bottom layer before you add the Flourite to give the Flourite a nice kickstart.

I've done complete substrate changes twice with Flourite, and even if the water gets so clouded with Flourite particles that you can't see beyond two inches, the fish are completely unharmed. Don't take them out and have them go through the stress of netting if you don't have to.

2la
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Fome
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Joined: 21 Nov 2004

PostPosted: 2005.02.25(Fri)17:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done this before to add a layer of laterite. It really isn't too hard and it gives you a good excuse to rescape your tank.

Just do what 2la said: pull out the plants, vaccuum your gravel heavily, scoop out as much gravel as you can, replace with alternate substrate, replant, do water changes until cloudiness goes away.

if you have Malaysian trumpet snails however, be sure to sift through the gravel real well and save as many of those little guys as you can. Also, watch out for small bottom feeders like cories and otos.
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