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Old 02-25-2015, 11:08 AM   #1
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Helpppp!!!!!!!

I just made a hugeeeeeee mistake!

Let me start from the beginning:
I started my tank 6 months ago, putting this thing called plant substrate by tropica underneath my gravel which would provide nutrients for root feeders such as my crypts. This dirt like substrate needed to be removed as they recommend because 6 months have passed and nutrients would have been spent (I had used half and was going to use the second half today).

I removed everything but after I uprooted the plants, I could no longer see the gravel, the water was brown!!! Despite my many efforts, I couldn't save the gravel as it was mixed in with this dirt.

Now, I sit here looking at what used to be my prized tank and what I see is a mess of a tank with no gravel (bare bottom) and all my lovely plants floating (don't have anything to anchor them down).

I realise that my tank will need to be cycled again so should I do fish in cycle or put these fish in my other tank which is already overcrowded with fry???

My readings are:
Ammonia 0.5
Nitrite 0
Nitrate0
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:12 AM   #2
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You may not have to cycle again, if you have a HOB filter or canister give the BB some time to process the ammonia. In the mean time you can add a single dose of Prime, a water change prior to this would help even more.

You shouldn't have to replace the plant substrate. Instead you would just have to use root tabs to supliment the lost nutrients.

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Old 02-25-2015, 11:17 AM   #3
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I cleaned the sponges on the filter before all this happened 😣
Maybe I can borrow the sponge from my other tank, would that help?

I am definitely never using this dirt again! I will use root tabs in the future.
Tomorrow I need to go to my lfs to get gravel so I'll add them to my shopping list.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:21 AM   #4
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Taking some of the sponge from you other tank will definitely help. Dose Prime if you have it to make the ammonia into ammonium which isn't toxic AFAIK. Also a specialized bio media like Biomax from Fluval will help because you are not supposed to clean or replace it. If you have to clean anything in your filter user old tank water

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Old 02-25-2015, 11:22 AM   #5
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Should have posted first! That's what root tabs are for; )

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Old 02-25-2015, 01:03 PM   #6
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Can't you just pull the gravel out of the tank and rinse it?
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:19 PM   #7
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Can't you just pull the gravel out of the tank and rinse it?

That's what I was thinking. If the dirt is thinner just use a strainer to strain the dirt from the gravel.


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Old 02-25-2015, 03:23 PM   #8
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Can't you just pull the gravel out of the tank and rinse it?

I tried that but there were lumps of dirt the size of the gravel (about 1/4 of a pea). It was impossible to separate them
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:28 PM   #9
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That's what I was thinking. If the dirt is thinner just use a strainer to strain the dirt from the gravel.


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The whole thing was a big mess! I couldn't strain it. It was like mixing small gravel with compost and dumping the whole thing in water, then trying to separate them. I did try to save it but I was rinsing it for 2 hours and it got me nowhere. The water kept coming out dark brown!!
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:29 PM   #10
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I even tried to leave it to settle but it wouldn't!!!
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:35 PM   #11
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How long did you let it rest for? Using a small HOB filter might help clear it up.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:52 PM   #12
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How long did you let it rest for? Using a small HOB filter might help clear it up.
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Thanks but I threw everything away.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:19 PM   #13
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Thanks but I threw everything away.
Try a dirted tank with sand this time around
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:24 PM   #14
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Or Eco complete with sand on top.


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Old 02-25-2015, 05:25 PM   #15
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Or Eco complete with sand on top.


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Try and get the fine eco complete, it is like a sand and is easier to plant in.

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Old 02-25-2015, 05:28 PM   #16
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Try and get the fine eco complete, it is like a sand and is easier to plant in.

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I have the regular in my planted tank and it's still pretty easy to plant. But Eco sand on more sand would probably look better


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Old 02-25-2015, 05:42 PM   #17
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I have the regular in my planted tank and it's still pretty easy to plant. But Eco sand on more sand would probably look better


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Have heard from others on here that planting fine plants can be difficult in regular EC. I have the same issue with my flora max.

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Old 02-25-2015, 05:44 PM   #18
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Have heard from others on here that planting fine plants can be difficult in regular EC. I have the same issue with my flora max.

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I would say so with finer small plants like Repens till they get going.


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Old 02-26-2015, 05:38 AM   #19
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Try a dirted tank with sand this time around

Thanks but I think this little episode has put me off having dirt in my tank again 😜
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:41 AM   #20
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Or Eco complete with sand on top.


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I have never heard of Eco complete, my lfs certainly doesn't have it. The one I got is the only plant substrate they have!
I think I'll go back to plain gravel instead...

Arrhhh this whole thing makes me want to cry! 😣
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