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My Fatal Rescape

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by The Rockster, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. The Rockster

    The Rockster Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to planted tanks, but have had fish only tanks for about 30 years.
    The only time I have tried to rescape my planted tank, I had a unexpected, fatal problem that freaked me out! ( I have not done any since.)
    I replanted about 4 plants and did a 50 percent water change (using Prime).
    Then sat back and watched my celebes rainbows (Marosatheriina ladigesi) have, what looked like, heart attacks and die.( It reminded me of the aerial dogfights of WW2.) I added some nitrate remover and O2 that kept the loss to just a few fish. However other rainbows died shortly after.
    So, the next time I went to the locaL LFS (Big Al's), they told me my problem was due to a release of anaerobic gases (nitrates), which was from disturbing the substrate. I was advised to do a 100% water change after rescaping. This is not an option for me.........I am using a 30 gallon water change drum for a 60 gallon net fishtank. What is the correct method for rescaping? I have read to do one-third at a time.........I only did 4 plants!

    Also, due to algae problems, I have less plants. I would like to vac my soil substrate (esp the open areas), however using a convential grav cleaner does not seem to work out............even my Eheim Sludge Cleaner does not seem to be the answer either!( Python not an option, won't attach to my Kohl's faucets)

    thankxs,
     
  2. shane

    shane Lifetime Charter Member
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    Are you sure the water change wasn't the problem? Maybe some contaminated water?
     
  3. The Rockster

    The Rockster Guru Class Expert

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    Same water I have been using for 9 years (tap water + Prime).
     
  4. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    I got a used Magnum hot shot micro filter and I use that to do deep cleaning once in awhile. What soil do you have? I have just had to restart my tank because the water company added chems to the dam and that raised my PH by a lot. I used the first treatment of clout for leeches and with the PH spike everything died really fast. I always disinfect my plants before adding them to my tank. I hate pest snails. So people will also do this for possible bad bacteria or algae. Here is a post on disinfecting plants

    Jake’s Planted Aquarium Pages | Disinfecting Plants - Before or After
     
  5. crystalview

    crystalview Guru Class Expert

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    oops double post
     
  6. The Rockster

    The Rockster Guru Class Expert

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    I have soil substrate from Aquariumplants.com.

    AquariumPlants.com's own: Freshwater Plant Substrate

    I am wondering if it would be beneficial to use my Diatom XL Filter, during rescaping. All though, it wouldn't be effective against gas, ie. with the anaerobic release of hydrogen sulphide/nitrogen gas.

    !00% water changes, are not really an option, as I am restricted to 50% due to the size of my w/c barrel.

    We really don't think it would be a good idea to continually remove the Discus & other fish from the tank prior to rescapes.

    Weekly stimulation of the substrate, to expose pockets of gas, sounds tedious at best. Also we do have a sub layer of play sand, (2 inches) that we would like to leave untouched.

    I have never used the siphon that came with my 350 Magnum Currently, I have a leak with one of the double valves on the outtake line, that I need to replace.
    In the past, I have used gravel filters for cleaning gravel and they worked. But they don't work well with soil. Either the siphon is too strong or not strong enough. The results is a mess.
     

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