Important Preparing to Replace Substrate from sand-capped dirt, to eco complete, can someone with experience look over my steps?

ethantobey

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Planning on replacing substrate(dirt capped with sand to eco complete) tomorrow and have started preparing for it. I mainly want to replace it because: I like darker substrate better, The sand is very dirty, and the dirt is old. Can some people with experience look over my steps to make sure everything goes well?


1. Take out 50 percent of water, put in temporary tank
2. Take out filter, heater, decor, plants , fish and put in temp tank (5 praecox rainbow, 4 cherry barb, 5 otos)
3. Take out as much water from main tank and place in temp tank (temp tank can only hold 20 gallons, main tank is 36)
4. Dump out rest of water from main tank
5. Completely clean out tank, replace with eco-complete, place root tabs, plant plants
6. Take 50 percent of water in temp tank and place in main tank
7. return fish, take out rest of water,
8. If needed, top-off main tank
9. Return heater, filter
I also plan to skI'm the top layer of the sand and place it in a mesh bag in the filter to prevent a minI cycle.

If you have any experience or thoughts with this, please share.
 

saltwater60

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I think your plan is good. Also don’t forget ecocomplete is supposed to have BB in the substrate already. I doubt the bagged sand would do much anyway. You could put some of the sand under the ecocomplete if you want.
 

MissPanda

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I did this, I had gravel capped dirt and replaced it with fluval stratum. My tank is separated into 2 sections though with sand in the middle. I left everybody in the tank. I just kept both my filters running. Used a large syphon hose with no attachments and sucked out all the gravel and dirt. I kept both filters running and waited a bit, I'm way over filtering so everything cleared pretty fast and then I refilled the water. I then used a plastic water bottle with the bottom cut off. I loaded it with the stratum and kept my fingers over the opening, let it fill with water from the open back and lower it gently into the tank. Then I let my fingers off the drinking hole of the bottle and the stratum gently came out. It did cloud the water, but with the filters running it cleared up fast. You don't have to do it my way, just food for thought on different ways of tackling this.
 

Noroomforshoe

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Be sure to keep your filter media wet, don't rinse or clean all the cartridges and the inside of the filter on the same day unless you only clean whith used tank water.
 

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