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jennesque 09-21-2011 11:36 AM

Redoing My Scape - should I redo it all at once?

I tried to look this up but I just keep finding posts about people showing off their new aquascape..

I'm going to be redoing my aquascape to something slightly more natural, no more fake bonsai tree or dragon.. Another member on here recently used cypress knees in his tank, and I decided that's what I would like to do as a refresher in my tank. The main reason I chose cypress knees is because I'm from Charleston, SC and we've got plenty of cypress trees around here, so I'd like to decorate with something local (although my fish are not..). I'm going to be getting rid of some of my plants probably, and all the decorations in the tank. I'll be keeping the same substrate though.

When I've got everything ready, should I just move everyone into a bucket, rip out everything, and put in all the new stuff, or should I be letting some of the stuff soak in my tank to start growing some of th bacteria on it? I'll probably be buying my plants in stages so I'm not buying too many so I figured I could plant / float the plants at the very least. But will the bacteria in the substrate and sponge filter be enough to avoid a cycle? Or at least only cause a mini cycle? Or should I be soaking the driftwood in the tank as well?

As far as what plants will be staying, it'll probably only be my crypts, my marimo balls, and my pennywort. Possibly the moneywort.
By the way, anyone want to trade some baby amazon swords for some anubias nana or eyes? Or a tall grassy plant? Or donate? :P

Byron 09-21-2011 12:21 PM

If you are not changing the substrate, it would be preferable to change things over bit by bit, leaving the fish in the aquarium. Doing this during a water change works well, as you can siphon out mulm and detritus stirred up.

If the substrate was being changed, I would in that case remove the fish to temporary quarters and drain the tank.


Limeylemon 09-21-2011 12:49 PM

I'm going through the same thing right now. I have the bogwood soaking in a bucket right now. Will be changing substrate completley next week, which means ripping everything up, getting everyone out, draining, hours of shoveling gravel and finally filling the damn thing again!
Gonna do that, let it sit for a few days for the bacteria's sake, then start slowly planting, and adding bogwood and such.
Gonna take a good month!

jennesque 09-21-2011 11:56 PM

Well, I've got the cypress knees ordered.. also ordered some anubias. Once the anubias come in, I think I'll remove the two fake bonsai trees and stick in the anubias in there so they'll be good and ready by the time the driftwood is done soaking.

The cypress knees I'm getting are all natural, but they're about several years old.. is there anything I should do extra since they're so old, or is it better that they're so old? (I don't know how much could still be living in them) They don't sink very well at all from what I've read, so I'll have to weigh them down anyways.. and I don't really care about tannis, I just don't want to kill anyone.

I guess this is one good thing about using anubias, they'll be easy to move once the driftwood is ready! So other than removing my dragon statue and uprooting the other plants, the rest of the transition should still be pretty easy.

I'm still thinking it'd probably be best to remove the fish while I'm getting the driftwood in, because I am using like 5-6 pieces of fairly large cypress knees. With a 28 gallon tank, there won't be much room for them to hide. Plus, my GBRs nip at me if I put my hands in the tank anyways, lol. It doesn't hurt, but it still startles me!

Limey, I changed my substrate a few months back from gravel to sand and let's just say it was an adventure. I can't imagine redoing the entire tank.. I'd just give up. lol

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