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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
I just have a question for something that I don't really know how to do. The plants in my tank are growing, and soon I want to rescape it. When I first planted them, I didn't really put them where I wanted them, and just let them grow out from there. So, my question is, how do I move all of these? My substrate is Flourite and Eco-Complete, so it could get pretty messy if I play with it. Also, I have a few fish in the tank, and don't want to stress them out too much. When you take out the plants, do you just pull them out? What about all of the substrate thats attached to their roots?

So, what's the technique to do this well?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Anyone have any ideas? Also, just to add in. I obviously shouldn't add any more fish for a while to make things more complicated, right? And also, since I only added them in on saturday, it would be smart to let them settle in for a couple of weeks before, right?

Thanks, please share your ideas!
 

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what kind of fish? I would wait a bit before you start moving around plants until the fish are eating and coming out from hiding. I have 10 discus and fully planted tank. when I re-scape I get a rubbermaid tub and a 5 gallon bucket. I take out all plants, little one or your fronts and put them in the 5 gallon or container. then your bigger plants in the rubbermaid. I try and pull all the same kind out at the same time. That way they stay organized and much easier to put back in and no what to grab. I trim as I pull out of the buckets and lay out on a towel. I try not to rescape to often, you want those plants to get happy just like your fish. Believe or not but the plants get stressed too.
 

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You could take things slow and easy and move one or two plants at a time. You can do with with your weekly water changes. If you substrate is particularly messy make sure you do a water change. Perhaps add a little more Prime (if that's what you use) to take care of any ammonia spike that could possibly occur.

I find that my fish get used to me playing in the tank. I don't know how big your tank is but if you can do one part at a time then the fish will have a side to run to while your work. :D I try not to take everything out unless I'm doing a totaly different scape with new plants and such....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, well I have a 26 gallon long, and the fish are 3 Zebra Loaches (Botia Striata). Tex Gal, your idea was my original, because I don't think the planting will be too difficult, but its the driftwood. I have two branches that are attached to a slate on the bottom for support, so If I pulled those out it would make a mess, and digging up the substrate to get them back in would make a mess too. Maybe I could just drag it while its still under the gravel to the place I want it?

Also, I don't use Prime, what is it? Will it be necessary?

The main reason I'm worried is because the Loaches are bottom dwellers, so I may be really invading on their space and stressing them out. If it makes a difference, I will be doing the triangular aquascaping method (If it's nooby, I know, I am new :)), so one side of the tank will be fairly clear until things grow in.

If you've never seen driftwood on a slate, and just want to see why I say it would make a mess, then here is what they look like.
http://driftwood4pets.tripod.com/

Also, for the water change. How much water in a tank normally makes it easiest to plant while still giving the fish room?

Thanks:D!
 

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You could try dragging the anchored driftwood, just move slowly and lift it a bit so you aren't scraping the bottom. I can do some fairly major remodeling in my tanks without creating a huge mess as long as I move slowly when pulling up plants or hardscape that's stuck in the substrate.

You could set up a "safe" place for your loaches in what will be the open side of the tank while you're working on the other side. Just an overturned pot with a small opening the could get into would give them a place to hide while you're working. I've never had zebra loaches but my yoyo loaches have jumped out of the tank when I'm working. Of course, they're really active little guys and prefer not to sit still or stay near the bottom. Just be careful.

I usually drop my water level by about 25-40% when doing a major rescape. I position the siphon so it's taking water from where I'm pulling up plants so it can catch the worst of the detritus I stir up.
 

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If I'm moving alot of plants around I do a w/c and put Prime in to contain any ammonia spikes from rearranging and chlorine etc. from new water. I put in enough for my entire water volume. I use hoses to change the water and change about 40/50 %. It's a safe guard that I do. I've never lost a fish yet from an in-tank rescape.

Prime is made by Seachem. Link is below.
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Prime.html

If it were me I would try to drag over the driftwood. It would be better than totally emptying and redoing IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. Well right now, my plants are growing, just not so well. Waiting to get back on pressurized CO2 (I hate my DIY), and waiting for my fertilizers and scale to get here so I could do the PPS-Pro to help them out. Hopefully all will be good by then, and I wont be adding any more fish until done rescaping, so it should make it easier.

I just thought of an idea, sorry if it sounds stupid:D. Do you think it would help if maybe once a week, I attempted to get them used to me playing around in the tank, like Tex Gal said? Maybe by just moving around my CO2 diffuser and getting my hand in their way a bit? Do you think this would help at all, or would it just be a pointless way to get them more stressed?

I think I'm going to go out and get some Prime before I do anything, and while I do it, I'll probably have the tank 50%-60% full. The main side where I will be planting will be right in front of my EHEIM Classic 2213 intake, so hopefully it helps clean up a bit. I'll also drag the driftwood, and maybe I'll do them each different weeks to help it out a bit.

If I'm not too embarrassed of what is done in the end, and things look alright, maybe I'll post some pictures:D.

Thanks again.
 

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I would actually make my "tank playing" count. If you're gonna have your hand in there- just go ahead and do what you need to.

Fish get used to stuff. They watch us too. That's why they learn to come forward when you feed them. When I feed frozen food they come up and take it from my hand. That's not very stressed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, good point. I guess I save some of the bothering until later when I feel my plants are ready as well. I've heard the Zebra Loaches can be hand fed pretty easily, so maybe I'll try that later on also! Thanks.
 

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Sometimes I use a net to get debris out of the tank. I noticed the fish watching me, as if they were waiting for the net to come towards them. When they saw what I was after they ignored me. Perhaps yours will do the same when they see what your aiming for and ignore you.
 

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I think a lot has to do with the individual fish. In one tank my giant danios and rosy barbs will body slam my hand when I'm in there working or nibble at my arm hairs - no fear whatsoever. In another tank my angel and school of lemon tetra huddle at the far end of the tank and will freak out if I come near them, especially the angel. I have to carefully go to the far side of the angel and slowly lower my hand or the angel will spaz and dive into the substrate. It's rather odd since I do trim the plants in there regularly and the last time I had to net the angel was over 2 years ago. She will eat from my hand too. Just weird.
 

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I think a lot has to do with the individual fish. In one tank my giant danios and rosy barbs will body slam my hand when I'm in there working or nibble at my arm hairs - no fear whatsoever.
Yey, my cherry barbs nibbled at my hair too. The others were neons and platys. I think the neons hid in the bushes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alright well I just got back from a trip, and the plants and fish all seem to be doing well, but I'm going to be getting in my fertilizers early next week, and hopefully the plants will do even better from there. After that I'll probably make the change. Also, just another quick question. For the driftwood that's anchored on a slate, is it possible the cut off the slate? Would it still be able to sit properly? Because, with the big slate it would be very hard to get the wood in the places I want them to be, and I wouldn't be able to get them all right beside each other.

Thanks.
 

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If the wood will sink without the slate then you're fine cutting it off. Some wood takes weeks (or longer) to get waterlogged and stop floating. I don't know how you could check that without removing the slate.

I don't have any driftwood attached to slate. I've had some larger pieces of wood take a couple of months soaking in a tub before they sank completely. For arranging the wood sometimes I'll tie several pieces of wood together with zip ties to keep them in place or prop the wood with rocks if it tries to shift positions.
 
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