Substrate Change Question
In a few weeks I plan on buying some Flora Max or Flourite and adding it to my Aquarium. I have plants in the my ten gallon now, but I am going to take some of the gravel out and add one of those two substrates and add a lot more plants. My questions is, can I add the substrate with the fish in or will it kill them when it clouds the water? I can net them all and do it, but I want to know what would be less stressful, and have a better chance of not losing fish. I have eight neon tetras, two julii cory catfish, one hillstream loach, and one mini mexican lobster. Any help will be appreciated.
IMHO the best thing to do would beto empty the tank and redo the substrate.
But you can add new substate but it does create a mess.
There seems to be some question as to whether those substrates make any real difference in the plants. liquid and substrate fertilization might do what you need without the whole hassle of a substrate change.
Is there an issue that you are trying to address with this plan or is it just because you are adding more plants?
I'm going to be adding more plants, and to be honest I want the tank to look more natural. I am going to make a slope coming down from the back of the tank to the front, and put a piece of wood and a rock in. They are going to be jutting out of the slope. There is going to be a good amount of more plants and I'm going to put java moss all over. I want something that the plants can root into better. I may even use soil instead of substrate.
I agree that perhap's just emptying the tank and starting new would be easiest for relatively small tank.
I WOULD however leave a bit of mulm in the bottom of the tank to help kick start the bacterial process in the substrate.
Some folk's use ladies nylon filled with sand to help create/maintain slopes in the aquarium where everything seem's to want to settle over time, and slopes level off.
As for the flourite,,it is little more than clay product which help's hold nutrient's, but nutrient's take time to settle in substrate so this type of material work's better as it get's older.(plain unscented cat litter work's as well).
To add substrate to existing tank's you can rinse the substrate well and then place it in freezer bag's .
Then lower the freezer bag into the aquarium near the bottom,and gently pour it out on top of existing substrate.This method help's prevent too much clouding of the water.
If you go with soil,,I would remove the existing substrate,leave some mulm in the bottom,place a layer of damp soil about one and a half inches deep,then plant the plant's,then add about an inch of flourite,then cap it with about an inch or inch and a half of sand or fine gravel.
This way you don't kick up a lot of dirt trying to plant after all layer's are placed.
Take note to place plant's that will grow tall near the back and shorter growing plant's near the front.
With soil,,you don't wanna be moving plant's about lest you also end up with cloudy muddy affair.
hope some of this help's.
P.S I found that "Special Kitty cat litter" found at walmart work's just as well as flourite and is way less expensive.
Here's a video of "the DYI king" adding substrate to his aquarium with his fish still in it.
HOW TO: Add Sand To Your Aquarium - YouTube
After watching that video, I just might use sand. That's a lot of great ideas guys, and I have a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do now. I don't want too crazy of a slope, but want to give the tank a little dimension. I think I may be able to work with sand. Maybe a few rocks in the back, and cover them with sand will help with the slope. I appreciate all the help guys.
I think the stockings would be a good idea too for the slope.
FWIW I used sand and it worked just fine for live bearers but I also noticed neon tetras did not fare well.
But with peat moss in the sand they lived for years.
decades later (literally :lol:) I finally measured hardness and found the tanks with just sand became very "hard". 20 degrees carbonate hardness (KH), and 35 degrees for GH.
but with peat moss in the substrate the hardness did not increase for the 3 years Imeasured.
So now I recommend using the peat moss as the bottom layer in the substrate.
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