Worth The Rescape?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by oodelally, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. oodelallyValued MemberMember

    I bought two amano shrimp from my LFS that died 2 days after I bought them. They are willing to replace them, but only when I lower my ph (7.8) because they keep theirs at 7.0 and think that’s what killed them. After a week without getting it to budge, and testing my tap water (7.2) and my empty QT (6.6) I decided to just get a 3.5 gallon that was on sale as a second tank and go from there.

    When I first set up my 10 gallon I just got some cheap aqua gravel from Walmart and I’ve wanted to upgrade for a while but since it’s heavily planted I was going to put it off until I had to move it or do something else major. Since the tanks will be next to each other I was researching a bit since I wasn’t sure if the quality and price was better than them matching and discovered that it was that cheap gravel that was raising and keeping my ph high!

    I would just leave it at that, but another reason I wanted to lower the ph is so I could get some tetras in there. They would be in there with my 3 adfs and shrimp.

    Would it be worth spending a weekend to rescape? Would replacing all the substrate mean I’d have to recycle the tank? I’ve had a large piece of driftwood I want to put in there, and it would be nice to have some more thought put into the design than beginner me did just trying to make it work, so it’s no completely about lowering the ph for the sake of it.
  2. endlercollectorFishlore VIPMember

    I've redone so many tanks over and over that I have to tell you, yes, it'll be worth it, and you can use cheap materials, which are better than more expensive. One inch of Nature's Care organic potting soil (made by Miracle Gro) and an inch of well-rinsed play sand or Petco Imagitarium black sand (still cheap as your tank is small).

    Gently pull everything out and gradually work the roots free of the gravel. You will be astounded at how they reach everywhere. Rinse your tank out well, put in the potting soil and reroot your plants. You may need to in a thin layer of soil, then the plants, and then the rest of the soil if the roots are extensive. Cap with sand, then cover as much of the surface as possible with plates--aluminum foil may work since your tank is only 10 gallons. Use airline tubing, gently weighted down with nets and a container of water above the tank to refill the tank.

    As for the pH, a simple way to keep it down, in case the sand raises the pH in the future, is to cut your tap water with a little RO water. Around here, I buy water at the machines outside the grocery store.
  3. oodelallyValued MemberMember

    The roots in the gravel is one of the reasons I’ve been putting off redoing it since I don’t want to hurt anything. Will redoing it with soil help reshaping it in the future?


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