Starting over

mlw

Junior Poster
Apr 5, 2009
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New Jersey
about to change out the substrate in my tank. Tank is a 75 gallon that has been set up for almost 12 years with the same gravel.

New substrate will be a combination of eco-complete (5 bags) and flourite (2 bags). First I was in love with flourite and I got some on sale then I read eco-complete was better so I got that on sale.


My question is can I prevent the tank from cycling again with this plan

get 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub, Clean well

Add aquarium water to Rubbermaid tub

Remove hardscape (driftwood etc), plants and fish to Rubbermaid tub

I have two nylon bags with about 6 cups of the new substrate in the tank now

Run filters on Rubbermaid tub

Then I will place top over rubbermaid (keep fish from jumping out)

Drain tank remove old substrate

Clean tank add shims cause it is 1/4 inch off balance after 11+ years

Add new substrate

Add hardscape, plants and seeded gravel in the nylon bags

Refill with RO water mix

Hook filters back up

Drip water into Rubbermaid to slowly acclimate fish to new tank water
(should I add some of the original tank water in the rubbermaid container back to the tank?)

Add fish back to the tank

I am thinking the fish may have to spend the night in the Rubbermaid but if the filters are still going that with the addition of the two bags of seeded gravel along with hardscape stuff the beneficial bacteria will be there and prevent a mini cycle.

It seems well planned out but sometimes others see potential problems you can't so feedback and comments are welcomed.
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
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If your plant density is high, you won't need to worry about a cycle. The first couple weeks should see intense water changes; 50% every other day really saves your sanity in the long run. For the second two weeks, water changes at 50% twice weekly is nice but I've never been that strict about it. By the time you're into the second week, presuming there's high plant density and good growth, NH4/NO2 shouldn't be an issue.

-Philosophos
 

mlw

Junior Poster
Apr 5, 2009
3
0
1
New Jersey
Well it is done. Changed out the old gravel. I found Duplarit K laterite balls that were placed there in 1998. They were smaller, but still in there almost 11 years later.

Like the look of the tank. So far no ammonia, but I was very careful.
Used tank water to fill two rubbermaid containers and a bucket
kept filters running on rubbermaid container with the fish in it
had three nylon bags of the new substrate that was in the tank for about three weeks prior to the change out.
Have 7 nice sized pieces of driftwood most with ferns attached and only 21 fish, so I think it is going to be okay.

Crypts are melting already, but I expected that. Aside from that, things look pretty good. Lot of growing in before it looks like I want it to, especially the foreground and the moss.

 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
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Surprise, AZ
Nice Tank!

Hi,

Nice Tank! :)

I should have mentioned this before, it will still help. :eek:

One trick, here is if you can get a hold of a big bunch of plants preferably cheap, such as Rotala rotundifolia or some such, toss a bunch in it helps stabilize things till everyone gets settled. ;)

Biollante
 

mlw

Junior Poster
Apr 5, 2009
3
0
1
New Jersey
Biollante;43237 said:
Hi,

Nice Tank! :)

I should have mentioned this before, it will still help. :eek:

One trick, here is if you can get a hold of a big bunch of plants preferably cheap, such as Rotala rotundifolia or some such, toss a bunch in it helps stabilize things till everyone gets settled. ;)

Biollante

That is too funny. I actually have Rotala rotundifolia that I pulled from the main tank. Guess I should put it back huh? At least for now anyway. Thanks for the tip