Changing substrate help needed

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by TheresaC, 22 Mar 2014.

  1. TheresaC

    TheresaC

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    Hi,

    I want to replace my current black & white aragonite with flamingo. How do i go about doung that without losing essential bacteria that's currently in my tank?
     
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  3. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    You remove it piece by piece. Say 2 cups a week. The bacteria will move into the new substrate
     
  4. Bendor

    Bendor

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    The problem is mixing substrate colours and eventually ending with black/pink/grey substrate.

    Remove all your current substrate with a perforated spade. Keep it wet, remove the rest with a syphon. Wash your flamingo substrate properly with lots and lots if tap water until no more dust comes of it. Drain all the tap water, rinse once or twice with RO water. Place the new substrate in the tank.

    Now clear a hollow in one front corner of the tank and place one or two cups of the original substrate in that corner. Cover with egg crate to prevent fish mixing it too much. Wait a week or two and syphon all the black substrate out. You will lose a little flamingo but it will look great and be seeded.
     
  5. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Adult clownfish and especially those breeding love to move substrate and "furniture". It will be a challenge replacing substrate but it can be done. Perhaps it will be suitable to place the new substrate in silk stockings and place next to old substrate. Slowly start removing the old substrate over a couple of weeks. When all the old is out you can cut the stockings open using a Stanley blade And spread new substrate evenly.
     
  6. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Another would be to place the old substrate into silk stockings, add an spread new substrate in dt and place old substrate stockings in your sump or dt. This will make new substrate placement a one day job. You can then slowly start removing old substrate over a few weeks time.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    simplest method is to loose the bacteria in the substrate. Siphon 25% substrate out per week, during your water changes. Starting from one side of the tank. That would give the bacteria count in the liverock enough time to respond to the lowering numbers of bacteria elsewhere in the tank. Remember that total bacteria population will be equal to the total food available. So the bacteria numbers in the sand is kind of competing against the bacteria numbers inside the liverock.

    When tank is clean, no more substrate, basically bare bottom, you can add the new substrate after cleaning it and rinsing it. You can use a bit of the new substrate in a bucket in your sump during the same time you siphon out the old substrate. Easier to take out and add it to the display at the end. so the bit of new substrate in the tub had 4 weeks to "cycle"

    Only big loss would be loads of worms in the old substrate.
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2014
  8. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    Thank you very much for the advice.
     
  9. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Do a quarter every week, Try get 2 small glass panes that are about 100mm high and width of your tank. Siphon out first section with one glass pane. Add new gravel, leave pane in, following week add second glass pane and siphon next 25%, add new substrate. remove first glass pane. Carry on like this until all old subtrate has been removed. At the same time add some bacterial colonies to your tank.
     
  10. jclaas

    jclaas

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    I would use this method. I have a lot of perspex so for me it would be practical and i would build the divider in a L shape so it can have a foot for support.

    Thanks @theresacloete for the thread, good advice floating around.
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    as long as you do not have sand sifting gobies. They could foil your well designed plans.
     
  12. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    Hi @RIAAN. I don't have one anymore cause my Nennie caught and ate poor Simon.
    I'm not sure if I should change it - it's so risky and a lot of time consuming work. I don't like my current substrate though...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  13. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    Ok, so I bought new aragonite today... I did a 25% water change today and siphoned out about 20% of my current substrate. Quite a mission. I have no idea how I'm going to pull this one off... How do I siphon out the sand undereath lr and around corals at the bottom of the tank?

    Should I siphon out as much as I can during the following month when I do water changes and leave the substrate under rocks for last? Do I then take the lr and some corals out and siphon out what's left?

    Can I use a stocking for the new substrate and place it in my sump in a stocking for bacteria growth or what would be the best method? My sump is overcrowded with equipment and pumps thus I'm not sure I should 'dump' it in there... It's gonna be a mission getting it out again.

    Any advice will be much appreciated.
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Yes you can. I done the same the other day to one side of my tank, but it was to re-scape the left side.

    Do you have buckets to keep the liverock and corals in temporary? How much liverock in terms of KG are we talking about?
     
  15. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    I have about 30kg live rock in the tank, Riaan. I have big containers which I bought when I moved the tank about 4 months ago. They should be sufficient for the job.

    What's gonna be the best method in preparing the new substrate?

    Thanx...
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    New substrate needs to be rinsed.

    Do you have somewhere a picture of your sump and display. Always easier to give the better advise if I can see what you got.
     
  17. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    Hi,

    Will take a pic of my sump tonight.
     
  18. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    A picture of my sump.

    image.jpg
     
  19. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    I have a ts1 reeftek skimmer, orca bio cubes 'pocket', reef octo reactor (currently running phosguard). Auyo top up and the pumps.

    I did the substrate change last night. I siphoned out 25% of the old substrate twice a week when doing water changes. I used a bucket in my sump which I filled with the new aragonite. It wouldn't fit in my sump so I fastened it on top of the sump. I then took a small pump with a tube connected to it and it poured sump water into the bucket and as the bucket filled the water poured back into the sump.
    In doing that over two weeks I think and hope I got some of the bacteriathe tank needs.

    Last night I took out the last 25% of the substrate. I then added the new substrate after removing all live rock and fish. Once rhe flamingo aragonite was added I took a small quantity crushed coral and scattered it over the top. The ratio is about 10:1 being aragonite:crushed coral.

    I took the old aragonite and put it into a stocking in the sump. That will hopefully also contribute to bacteria. I will remove the stocking in a few weeks time.

    Please tell me I did good? All the living sea life is still healthy and happy.
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Sounds good.

    I will just put the skimmer in the first chamber and the old substrate in the bag in the second chamber.

    depending on how much sand, you could even leave it as a shallow sand bed in second chamber. Adding a light and you can add cheato or caulerpa. But with Orca cubes its not that crucial.
     
  21. TheresaC

    TheresaC Thread Starter

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    Thanks Riaan. Sounds like a great idea. Where can I get cheato or caulerpa?
     
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