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Thread: Rescaping a tank questions

  1. #1
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    Question Rescaping a tank questions

    Hey all,

    So I'm curious, everyone does it at some point in time, for whatever reason. And it's currently crossed mine after learning so much more and wanting to improve my very first tank.

    How do you all go about rescaping an established tank that still has healthy fish? Stirring up the substrate I know is a no, no! I'm guessing a lot would re-home the fish temporarily? If that isn't possible what do others do?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Just get a large container and transfer your filter and fish there. You can do this for a long time if you are good with your water changes.

    Stirring up substrate isn't too bad but it's best to remove the fish first. If you can't then double dose prime or similar daily for two weeks afterwards.

  3. #3
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    So empty water in a big container, run the filter into that and a heater? The fish wouldn't freak out or stress with no light for ages? Whats a long time?

    Hope you've been well mate!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sup3rFly View Post
    So empty water in a big container, run the filter into that and a heater? The fish wouldn't freak out or stress with no light for ages? Whats a long time?

    Hope you've been well mate!
    That is what i do, I think with the filter running you could leave the fish in the container for a fair while, days / weeks if needed. My last rescape I got done in 1 day (fish sat in the bucket with filter running for about 10 hrs) but previously I had to leave the container with filter running outdoors for a week, fish where fine without any heater just the filter, sensitive fish may be different, gotta keep the filter running to keep the good bacteria alive.

  5. #5
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    Interesting:- I don't have anything sensitive anyways. All community fish, just going to have a hard time getting the 2 bristlenose, they don't like each other already, not sure how they will go in a big container with no where to hide. Might have to add some drift wood.

  6. #6
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    I have actually done the complete opposite and didn't remove the fish when i rescaped a few times. I know it's against the norm but I didn't have anywhere else to put them except a bucket.

    I didn't stir the substrate so that kept things under control.

    It also helps if you keep very hardy fish that can handle big changes like that. I had zebra danios which are super hardy and they were fine. I just scaped around them lol.

    Good luck with what you decide

  7. #7
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    Is there any concerns with removing old substrate (ecocomplete) and replacing it with black earth or something from ada? Don't want to the substrate leaching ammonia
    Last edited by Sup3rFly; 14-12-17 at 05:34 AM. Reason: Spelling

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sup3rFly View Post
    Is there any concerns with removing old substrate (ecocomplete) and replacing it with black earth or something from ada? Don't want to the substrate leaching ammonia
    If you add new ADA or Black Earth they will both leach ammonia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doylecolmdoyle View Post
    If you add new ADA or Black Earth they will both leach ammonia.
    Yes, The only option here is to age the aquasoil. Chuck it outside on a mat and keep it moist for 2 weeks or so. You will lose quite a lot of ammonia this way.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Yes, The only option here is to age the aquasoil. Chuck it outside on a mat and keep it moist for 2 weeks or so. You will lose quite a lot of ammonia this way.
    According to Cal Aqua, Black Earth will leech 0 ammonia...find that hard to believe.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by doylecolmdoyle View Post
    If you add new ADA or Black Earth they will both leach ammonia.
    When you rescaped did you not change the substrate and added the fish back to existing substrate ?

  12. #12
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    Another more complicated option is if you had a spare tank .. you could remove the fish and keep them in a bucket for a few hours to a day. Then drain your main tank completely, remove all your gravel and move it to your spare tank. Add your existing driftwood/rocks/plants. Fill it up with water and move the fish back in.

    Now your main tank is completely empty and you can add new gravel (ADA/Black Earth) and cycle it without any fish. You could also do a new scape. Once done you can then put the original plants/wood/rocks back in from the spare tank and then move the fish back in

    Advantages

    1. Changed the gravel to something better
    2. New scape
    3. Tank feels new again

    Disadvantages

    1. Time consuming
    2. Now have a second tank (possible advantage?)

  13. #13
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    You should have a quarantine tank anyways. :P I always say to my family that other tanks are absolutely required for this hobby. It's part of the deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    You should have a quarantine tank anyways. :P I always say to my family that other tanks are absolutely required for this hobby. It's part of the deal.
    I have the long one I posted in the gallery here. But it's full of shrimp and my other fish would demolish them all. If i was only needing to move some, that would be fine, but 30+ not ideal.

    When I do another water change if I add the new substrate to a big container (60l bucket) and use older tank water, would that help leach ammonia and then be safe to use after a week or two?

    Sorry for all the questions!
    Last edited by Sup3rFly; 14-12-17 at 10:53 AM.

  15. #15
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    Yes you can add new sub to a container and continue with daily (tap) 100% water changes. Then just check the water for ammonia before adding it into the tank.

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