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Melinda 02-21-2009 04:45 PM

help with changing gravel to substrate
I have an 80 gallon fresh water tank that I would like to change from gravel to eco-complete substrate I do have plants low light in the tank already but they are not growing like they should so how would you advise me to switch from gravel to eco I do have another tank I could set up and put the fish in if necessary. Any advice would be appreciated. And would I really need 6 bags?
R/O water is used
Fluval 405
Aqua Glo 18,000k or 40W bulb

Thank you

FordMan 02-21-2009 08:54 PM

i mean you'd more or less have to break down the whole tank not to mention it would do a mini cycle after you were done it deffinately has the oppertunity to be catostrophic

aunt kymmie 02-22-2009 12:44 AM

What if you were to make a divider of plexiglass, all edges smoothed, the width of the tank and a little taller than the gravel bed? You could insert the plexiglass at one end of the tank, across the tank, leaving an area of about 8 to 10 inches from the end of the tank. Scoop out the gravel from that 8 to 10 inch area and put down the eco-complete. About five days later remove another portion of gravel and put eco-complete in its place, moving the plexiglass further and so on, and so forth, every five days or so, until you've reached the other side of the tank. Hopefully the process that I just typed makes sense.
Doing it this way is slower than replacing it all at once but you would avoid a mini-cycle and your fish wouldn't need to be removed from the tank. It worked for me :-)

FordMan 02-22-2009 01:07 AM

i was under the impression eco complete was a soil substrate i was kind of worried it may take a day to settle in which time it would be getting into the filter causing impeller problems along with the fish maybe having a problem with it in their gills but thats just my speculation

aunt kymmie 02-22-2009 01:10 AM

Eco-Complete Plant Substrate

Not cheap but a very effective product. You can see the size of it from the above link. Pretty easy to do the swap as I described above.

FordMan 02-22-2009 01:13 AM

thats pretty neat i might have to try that in my next tank i bet the stuff aint cheap i'm always looking for ways to boost my plant life

aunt kymmie 02-22-2009 01:17 AM

Guaranteed to boost plant life. I was amazed at how quickly my plants went from a pathetic pale yellow to a lush green. It's great stuff. :-)

Melinda 02-22-2009 11:14 AM

Thank you that is a great idea. Do I need to rinse the eco-complete before putting it in? and will it turn the tank brown? once I put the first section down can I go ahead and put a few of the plants from the gravel side into it or should I let it wait? I like the ideas of doing sections my husband wont complain about the expense if Im doing it weekly the eco-complete is expensive I found a place that I can get it for 25.00 a bag and it will take atleast 6 bags for my tank. I have already purchased 2 bags.

aunt kymmie 02-22-2009 11:27 AM

Yes, wash it prior to adding it to the tank. If you rinse it you'll find that it won't turn the tank water brown. Rinse it until the water rubs clear.
Yes, you can follow behind and put plants in the eco-complete as you add it. You're right about doing sections and it not being as painful that way as far as the money.
Good luck and post pics when you're done. Maybe before & afters?? :-D

Melinda 02-22-2009 11:47 AM

Thank you so much for your help. And I will take pictures before, during and completed.

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