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Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    292

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    Because I back our Blue...thanks for your service - Silbar   Welcome back! - Slaphppy7   Have another angel fish... - Slaphppy7   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   No Message - Law Dog   

    Default Adding substrate to old


    0 Not allowed!
    Hey gang, just curious if anyone has ever tried to add eco-complete or floramax to an already established tank with gravel? i'd like to be able to expand my variety of live plants, but each time I try a new one it doesn't do well. I've found a few articles on doing this but none are straight forward, including results. For those that haven't see my tank, I have small-medium gravel. I have a small quarantine tank but it's not big enough for all of my fish to put it at one time, thus this will have to be done with them still in the 100gal. I'm leaning on towards the eco-complete, but I could be swayed to something else (just not dirt as I'd have to break the entire tank down for that). I do add ferts to the water column as well as substrate but with little help to the plants that struggle. I currently have Vals, and 2 species of Crypts that are going fantastic but my 2 Amazon Swords struggle mightily.

    If anyone has any suggestions, experience, or just $.02 to add I'm all ears!

    (BTW, I'd like to stay away from CO2)
    * 100gal show
    - planted w/ Crypts, Vals, Java Fern, Staurogyne repens and Amazon Swords
    - Neons, 4 Angelfish, Sunset Honey Gourami, BN Pleco, Spotted Sailfin
    Pleco, Odessa Barbs, Corydoras schwartzi, Serpae Tetras, Silver tip tetras
    * Fluval Spec V
    - Dwarf Gourami, , 1 Kuhli loach, 2 Black Phantom Tetras
    - planted w/ Crypts

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    2,300

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    Welcome back! - Slaphppy7   Celebrating your amazing restoration work! - showmebutterfly   Have a Candy cane ;-) Merry Christmas - steeler58   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    3 Not allowed!
    Eco complete isn't any better for your plants as the gravel you already have in there. Basically it's expensive ground up lava rock, and sadly I spent the money for it. I like the look of it, but if you want something that is going to be better for your plants then I wouldn't use it.

    A lot of people get pretty good plant growth with normal substrates like gravel or sand. You may be able to start a thread on your setup to help problem solve your issues. There's a possibility you wouldn't have to change substrates at all.

    If you are set in a substrate change this is how I did it in the past. I vacuumed my old gravel really well that way it wouldn't make such a mess when removing it. Rinse the new substrate out really well also that way when you add it it doesn't cloud up the tank as much. I did half of the tank at a time that way I could leave stuff on the other side of the tank when working. I used a red Solo cup to remove and add the substrate. You can deform them some to get more gravel scooped up. When adding the new substrate make sure to let the tank water slowly pour into the cup when dropping it into the tank or else it will stir up the substrate in the cup. Most important thing is to go slow as this will help small particles from getting into your water column.
    "They had learned to speak, and so had won their first great victory over Time. Now the knowledge of one generation could be handed on to the next, so that each age could profit from those that had gone before." 2001: A Space Odyssey
    Arthur C. Clark

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Quebec, CA
    Posts
    6,792

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    Congrats on your proven pair! - RiversGirl   Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Merry Christmas! - discusluv   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Great advice from Nautilus :) I too bought Eco and learned later the CEC (casion exchange) is just a bit higher than inert sand. I also have a 120g with black gravel, so I understand the difficulty changing substrates with a fully stocked tank. So I'll tell you what I am doing.

    I don't have the funds to replace all my substrate with specific plant substrates in a tank this size, so i'm keeping the black gravel in most of the tank, but slowly removing the color worn pieces and clearing the foreground since it's on a slant and large gravel pieces roll down. I added ECO on top of the gravel which tends to sink in between the larger gravel pieces. But as I siphon the substrate, the ECO is so light, it is bright back up the substate surface again. But this is more for aesthetics and function from rolling gravel pieces.

    I really think using root tabs helps the most. Last night, I 'planted' a bunch of fertilizer pieces individually all around my little plants like dwarf sag. I used this fert from China that reminds me of the little Osmocote granules although they may sink better...
    It's tideous, but I like to spread the granules out better and I feel there's too many granules in the Osmocote size 00 medicine gel capsules. Also, I can't buy Osmocote in Canada.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    292

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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Because I back our Blue...thanks for your service - Silbar   Welcome back! - Slaphppy7   Have another angel fish... - Slaphppy7   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   No Message - Law Dog   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    After much debate I decided to just add more gravel to the tank and add fert tabs I made with Osmocote. Now the intense waiting period to see how the plants react to the ferts!
    * 100gal show
    - planted w/ Crypts, Vals, Java Fern, Staurogyne repens and Amazon Swords
    - Neons, 4 Angelfish, Sunset Honey Gourami, BN Pleco, Spotted Sailfin
    Pleco, Odessa Barbs, Corydoras schwartzi, Serpae Tetras, Silver tip tetras
    * Fluval Spec V
    - Dwarf Gourami, , 1 Kuhli loach, 2 Black Phantom Tetras
    - planted w/ Crypts

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Quebec, CA
    Posts
    6,792

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    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Congrats on your proven pair! - RiversGirl   Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Merry Christmas! - discusluv   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I saw your pic in your other thread, it looks so nice :) I added sand to my 90g to help hold down the dirt bed I have under the substrate. I just added it like you did after rinsing it well.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

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