Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - General Discussion
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
View Poll Results: Will changing 100% of the substrate in an aquarium harm biological filtering?
Yes 12 100.00%
No 0 0%
Voters: 12. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 12-15-2003, 06:50 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Gloucester, England
Posts: 19
Substrate change

I am about to embark on planting my aquarium . Unfortunately this is going to require changing the substrate in my tank. At the moment the substrate is purely pea gravel, which I intend to change to a combination of silver sand, quartz and a laterite based substrate with an undergravel heater.

I am concerned that I should change the substrate in a way that effects the tank as little as possible. I have read a web page or two that says that when changing the substrate it is best to change only half in one go, and wait a few weeks before doing the other half. The reasoning behind this being that a lot of the biological filtering in the tank occurs in the substrate. I find that a little hard to believe, this information probably being the result of the Chinese Whispers effect. I can't imaging a lot of water flows through the substrate of a tank that is not undergravel heated, and hence little of the substances that require biologically filtering would get in to it. I can also imagine that conditions in the substrate are rather anaerobic, and hence only nitrate converting bacteria would live there anyway.

Based on the assumption that the bacteria in the substrate are probably not very helpful to biological filtering, I am planning to change all the substrate in one go. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice about this?
__________________

__________________
30 Gallon Tropical Freshwater

1 Common Plec (7")
2 Humphead Cichlids
2 Three Spot Gourami
2 Clown Barbs
3 Tiger Barbs
2 Panther Catfish
jbrown03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2003, 09:48 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,536
Actually a goodly portion of the nitrifying bacteria are found in the substrate. Keep in mind they colonise surfaces, and there is a LOT of surface area in the gravel. Much of the detritus which isn't caught by the filter falls into the substrate, where it rots and is converted to nitrogenous waste. Theres a good food source for nitrifying bacteria down there.

So removing all of ithe substrate in one shot can affect the water parameters. It depends on how much other surface area is colonised by the bacteria; if you have a Bio-Wheel for example, the effect on water parameters wouldn't be as severe.
__________________

__________________
aka Cycling Guru and the Ich Slayer

*glares at Terry and QTOFFER*

Card carrying member of FTAS & GCAS.
Allivymar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2003, 10:00 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Franklin, TN
Posts: 3,967
It will. You will be basically starting over with a little jump start.
__________________
Bearfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2003, 10:27 PM   #4
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Based on the assumption that the bacteria in the substrate are probably not very helpful to biological filtering, I am planning to change all the substrate in one go. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice about this?
When you assume something you make an *** out of u and me. Your assumption is wrong. If it were correct you would be fine. But it's wrong. As has been mentioned there is a massive surface area involved with even the first 0.5" of the substrate depth. But I'm more concerned about your use of a undergravel heater. If you are going to do any moving of crypts, swords, or many stem plants down the line the heater cables are going to give you no end of grief.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2003, 11:56 PM   #5
AA Team Emeritus
 
TankGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 8,974
I can attest to the perils of changing out substrate completely in one shot, and that was on a tank with a Biowheel. However, I simply added a shot of Bio-Spira and all was well, lickety split!
TankGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2003, 11:47 AM   #6
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Gloucester, England
Posts: 19
Thanks for the replies. Lucky I asked, otherwise I would have been in trouble. I'm not looking forward to doing this.
__________________
30 Gallon Tropical Freshwater

1 Common Plec (7")
2 Humphead Cichlids
2 Three Spot Gourami
2 Clown Barbs
3 Tiger Barbs
2 Panther Catfish
jbrown03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2003, 03:05 PM   #7
AA Team Emeritus
 
TankGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Richmond VA
Posts: 8,974
I am assuming that you can't get your hands on Bio-Spira, so you will indeed need to be careful. Putting laterite into an existing tank is a trick in and of itself! Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
TankGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2003, 06:39 PM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Palm Bay Fl
Posts: 4,075
Send a message via Yahoo to oscarbreeder
I have changed gravel in my 55gal tank before but done it as found here(I think) only changed half at a time waiting a week or so in between.
Everything was fine.
HTH
__________________
oscarbreeder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2003, 05:59 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Gloucester, England
Posts: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TankGirl
I am assuming that you can't get your hands on Bio-Spira.
What is Bio-Spira? I'm not sure I am not aware of it, but I might be able to get some. Presumably it will help bacteria growth?!
__________________
30 Gallon Tropical Freshwater

1 Common Plec (7")
2 Humphead Cichlids
2 Three Spot Gourami
2 Clown Barbs
3 Tiger Barbs
2 Panther Catfish
jbrown03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2003, 08:43 AM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
A simple Google search will turn up tons of information about Bio-Spira. Or you can go to http://www.marineland.com/science/nspira.asp and read about it. It actually does what many other products have claimed to do over the years. It basically instantly seeds the tank with bacteria to jump-start the nitrogen cycle.
__________________
  Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
change, substrate

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Substrate change dkpate Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 66 10-14-2009 01:30 AM
I want to change my substrate. mdaniel2882 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 3 10-08-2009 09:40 AM
Substrate change after filter change Floyd R Turbo Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 6 03-18-2009 01:02 AM
Necessary to change substrate? Swank Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 9 11-30-2006 02:59 PM
should i change my substrate? mumrah Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 11 07-14-2005 03:40 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×