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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I would like to change the substrate in my 10 gal high light tank from plain gravel to a more attractive and benifical Eco-Complete. I was wondering if I did a complete swap, all at once, how bad it would affect my bacteria, etc. I have 7 neon tetras and 4 Amano shrimp. Obviously it is heavily planted, CO2 injected. For filtration I have a Pengiun 125. I obviously would not change the filter for a bit so there would be some bacteria in it. I would like to enter this tank in the AGA but don't want to end up with a bad algae or bacteria bloom. I could always throw and extra filter with a bad of the old gravel in it for a little while. Would that help at all? Would it be better to do 1/2 at a time, or 1/3? I don't really have a good place for the fish or shrimps in the mean time or I would just do it. WHat do the experts think:)

Thanks in advance:)
 

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IMO, its more than just the bacteria, although thats a big part of it. I don't know how much of a problem it is with eco, but with onyx, you have to get through silicates causing brown algae for about a month. Your plants will also take about a month to reestablish enough of a root system to air-ate the gravel to move the nutrients from the water column into the substrate. Floating plants can help while the tank stabilizes. My most recent journal,
http://aquascapingjournals.com/journals/18_gallon_onyx.htm
been about a month and the brown algae is no longer a problem, still dealing with some hair algae on the glass.
 

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Dennis,
Another thing, you might want to consider using flourite, depending on how high light the tank is. Over 4wpg and dosing iron in the water column doesn't help as much, and you need to have more in the substrate. I am using onyx sand and will switch back to flourite because of this.
Flourite™
Iron 18500 mg/kg
Onyx Sand™
Iron 2846 mg/kg
Eco-Complete
Iron 41,600 mg/L *I don't know how kg and Liters relate so this number doesn't help much.
If you look at this website,
http://home.infinet.net/teban/jamie.htm
it has Eco Complete at
Iron 4,170 mg/kg
but flourite is a little off, so I don't know how accurate the numbers are at this website.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info IUnknown:) Much appreciated. THe silicate part is what I wondered about. I already have the Eco so I will use it, and I don't really like the look of florite anyway, I just did not wan tto upset my Bacteria levels to badly and cause greenwater or a bacteria bloom. Thanks again:)
 

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I would NOT replace the substrate in portions. It's a 10 gallon tank after all - that's tiny. :mrgreen:

You can avoid the new tank syndrome by planting heavily right from the start, which you are already planning to anyway. Furthermore, the liquid in which Eco-Complete is packaged in is formulated to cycle the tank instantaneously. Although I do recommend that you DISCARD this liquid as it contains buffering agents that will temporarily raise the pH; thereby interfering with the pH controller (if you have one).

Green water due to lack of bacteria is a non-issue IMO because the initial heavy planting will suppress any NH4 and/or nitrite buildup.

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TIP: If your plants are not faring well due to the new substrate system, then perform a 50% water change with water from a mature established tank. That will perk up the plants.
 

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Very little bacteria is on the substrate due to the filtration type you have. I did the same change with a 20 Gallon high. Just drained most of the water out, removed the gravel and put in eco-complete. No mini-cycling or anything. I have a penguin 170 on the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you all very much:) That is a good tip cS, thanks. I had thought that about Eco (the hetertrpthic bacteria) but was unsure. It will be pretty heavily planted. What about the fish and shrimp. Can/should I keep them in the tank?
 

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I've done the substrate swap from Profile to Flourite in a 10 gallon. What I did was to siphon most of the water into a rubbermaid container. Then I took all the plants out and floated them in the water. Then I caught all the fish and stuck them in there as well. Then I tore down the tank, cleaned it out, added the new gravel, and filled the tank part way with water. Replanted it and filled it up the rest of the way with the old tank water and acclimated the fishies to there new home.

I honestly didn't test for cycling, but I never had any problems w/ bacteria or green water blooms.
 
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