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Old 08-07-2012, 01:21 AM   #1
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How to Switch Substrate?

Hello everyone!

Today I realized that my corse gravel probably isn't the very best substrate to grow live plants in, so I finally figured that I would at least think about changing the substrate. Well, I see no easy way to do this because I do not have a holding tank for my 5 neons, 2 otos, and 1 flame tetra in my 10 gallon tank. In addition, there is already DHG planted, so I think I may have to uproot it and replant it.

If anyone has any idea on how to do this effectively, it would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
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I'd get a 5 gallon bucket, siphon some tank water into it, put the fish in and then uproot the plants you already have and put them in with the fish. Empty the rest of the water out of the tank, scoop out the gravel, pour in the new substrate, refill with water the proper temp, add fish back in.

I'd make sure I had the new substrate rinsed well and ready to go before I remove the fish. If you think it's going to take awhile to do the change maybe put a heater and airstone in the bucket with the fish (if your bucket is large enough). If you think your filter pad might dry out during the change you could let it float in the bucket with the fish so your beneficial bacteria doesn't die.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
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That sounds like a pretty good process to me. You're going to want to keep a real good eye on your water parameters for a little while after you do this, just in case a large amount of BB happened to be living in there. There's some debate about exactly how much BB we have in our substrate, and if changing it causes a mini cycle or not. It really varies from tank to tank, but with your stock, I don't think it will upset anything.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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Okay, thank you both for your advice! I think I will try that if I do not see any process with my DHG. Right now I am starting to see a bunch of runners after I added the DIY Co2, liquid ferts, new lights, and root tabs.
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