Changing substrate in established tank

PeachesPanTao

New Member
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Points
3
What is the best method, if any, for changing the substrate in an established tank? I have a 20 gallon freshwater aquarium that like many beginners I started on a whim without a lot of prior research. I've added a lot of improvements on to the original starter kit such as a decent fluval external filter, finnex LED light, and a new cover. From the start I added a few plants. However, they don't seem to be growing as well as I thought they would, especially after investing in the finnex light. I think my substrate might be an issue. Having not done proper research when I first started my tank, I bought very large pebble sized gravel (about the size of two peas). I'm guessing this isn't the best for plants to root in. So my question is: are there any safe/effective ways I can change my substrate in my existing tank? Or would this be too drastic a change that would upset the nitrogen cycle? Also, what are some of the best substrates to use? I've read a little about doing layers of different media. I've even looked at some brands such as this. Do these sorts of media require being changed or are they good indefinitely?

Thanks in advance for any input. I really appreciate the helpfulness and friendliness of this community...
 

abbytherookiehuman

Valued Member
Messages
205
Reaction score
58
Points
38
Experience
2 years
You could always just add a layer of something on top. Or you could scoop it out bit by bit. Do you have any fish? How long exactly have you had the tank? You might be able to just pull up some of the plants so it's easier to change the substrate. What substrate you choose depends largely on the fish you keep
 

smee82

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,601
Reaction score
1,940
Points
398
Experience
More than 10 years
1 remove 3/4 of your water then remove your fish.

2. Remove old substrate and let all the gunk settle on the bottom before vacuuming the bottom to remove as much as possible.

3. add new substrate pre rinse it if you need to.

4. Replant tank and refill

5. Turn on filter and leave it settle

5. Re acclimate your fish.

6. Grab a beer or whiskey and enjoy a job well done.

I cant find the edit button sorry mods.

As far as substrate goes in my experience for plants aquasoil is the best but most will leech ammonia so unless you heavily planded you might have a spike
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

PeachesPanTao

New Member
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Points
3
You could always just add a layer of something on top. Or you could scoop it out bit by bit. Do you have any fish? How long exactly have you had the tank? You might be able to just pull up some of the plants so it's easier to change the substrate. What substrate you choose depends largely on the fish you keep
I have gourami's, a molly, two guppies, some neon tetras as well as ghost and amano shrimp.

1 remove 3/4 of your water then remove your fish.

2. Remove old substrate and let all the gunk settle on the bottom before vacuuming the bottom to remove as much as possible.

3. add new substrate pre rinse it if you need to.

4. Replant tank and refill

5. Turn on filter and leave it settle

5. Re acclimate your fish.

6. Grab a beer or whiskey and enjoy a job well done.
Thanks! Wasn't sure it would be that simple. Appreciate it.
 

Redshark1

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,448
Reaction score
1,862
Points
333
Experience
More than 10 years
I changed half mine with a physical gap so they didn't mix and a time gap of three weeks in between to allow the new substrate to be colonised. That was simple and effective.
 

qquake2k

Valued Member
Messages
383
Reaction score
162
Points
203
Experience
More than 10 years
I also did mine half at a time, about a month apart. This was several years ago. Even though I rinsed the sand, the water got really cloudy. I guess I didn't rinse it enough. I used an old hang on canister filter I used to have to help clear it up.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom