User Tag List

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Replacing substrate

  1. #1
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Replacing substrate

    Do you guys have any tips on how to replace expired substrate? My substrate is becoming more and more powder-like and now theres a whole layer. I think it is time. Only problem I have is that I have about 50-75 shrimps that I have to home while I do this and I have no idea how to get started. First time using substrate that expire and it is making my water cloudy and the powder-like substance doesnt look good. Also I know it can be bad for the shrimp in the long run. Any help is much appreciated.

  2. #2
    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2017
    Location
    91762
    Posts
    2,224
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kole Hopkins
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ahboram View Post
    Do you guys have any tips on how to replace expired substrate? My substrate is becoming more and more powder-like and now theres a whole layer. I think it is time. Only problem I have is that I have about 50-75 shrimps that I have to home while I do this and I have no idea how to get started. First time using substrate that expire and it is making my water cloudy and the powder-like substance doesnt look good. Also I know it can be bad for the shrimp in the long run. Any help is much appreciated.
    The problem with totally replacing the substrate is that active substrate leaches ammonia, and your current substrate has all of your beneficial bacteria that keep your tank cycled. When changing out the substrate your going to have to re-cycle the tank while the substrate leaches.
    What kind of shrimp do you have in the tank? Do you have another tank that is cycled that can house your shrimp for a month? Do you have another tank with the same parameters as the shrimp? You can get a Large Marina Breeder box, put a piece of sponge where the outflow is, and hang it on the side of another tank while this tank cycles the new substrate. Also, depending on the plants you have in there, you could cap your expired substrate with sand and the bacteria from your old substrate will colonize the sand pretty quick and sand is inert so it won't leach.

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

  3. #3
    SCAPE Member Jr. SCAPEr Gjosuem's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    94
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Josué Moir
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Have you considered adding in new substrate? Maybe a little bit before each water change?

  4. #4
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kole85 View Post
    The problem with totally replacing the substrate is that active substrate leaches ammonia, and your current substrate has all of your beneficial bacteria that keep your tank cycled. When changing out the substrate your going to have to re-cycle the tank while the substrate leaches.
    What kind of shrimp do you have in the tank? Do you have another tank that is cycled that can house your shrimp for a month? Do you have another tank with the same parameters as the shrimp? You can get a Large Marina Breeder box, put a piece of sponge where the outflow is, and hang it on the side of another tank while this tank cycles the new substrate. Also, depending on the plants you have in there, you could cap your expired substrate with sand and the bacteria from your old substrate will colonize the sand pretty quick and sand is inert so it won't leach.

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    I have cbs/crs. The only problem is that Im seeing one or two die off. I never see them dead cause they usually eat them before. I am just worried its affecting my gh/kh which ill test tomorrorw. I have other tanks but it is specifally neo parameters. I think I might replace little by little but just worried about scooping/sucking up small shrimps :/

  5. #5
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gjosuem View Post
    Have you considered adding in new substrate? Maybe a little bit before each water change?
    Can I start to add inert sand/gravel to it and will it be fine? I am afraid the expired soil will start to trap oxygen or what not. Also My shrimp have adapted to 7.0 ph, so I prob dont need buffering soil anymore just worried about my crypts and anubias that are rooted.

  6. #6
    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2017
    Location
    91762
    Posts
    2,224
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kole Hopkins
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ahboram View Post
    Can I start to add inert sand/gravel to it and will it be fine? I am afraid the expired soil will start to trap oxygen or what not. Also My shrimp have adapted to 7.0 ph, so I prob dont need buffering soil anymore just worried about my crypts and anubias that are rooted.
    Adding sand to "cap it" is essentially the same thing as when people use sand to cap off potting soil. I would do it all at once a couple of days after a water change to keep from causing repeated stress to your shrimp over the course of weeks. Rinse the sand really well, remove about 75% of the water and start sprinkling the sand over the substrate and around the plants, any shrimp or shimplets should move right out of the way if you don't just dump the sand in, and sprinkling it in a little at a time should keep from kicking up the debris in the old substrate. The water you remove set aside in a bucket with your filter in it filtering the water to keep the bacteria alive. When your done adding the sand put the water you removed back in the tank and let it cycle. Keep an eye on all your water parameters carefully for the first week or so, you may need to do daily water changes to keep your shrimp happy.

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

  7. Likes Electric liked this post
  8. #7
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Winnetka
    Posts
    375
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kyle B.
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    get a 30 gal container, move fish and 30 gal of water into container. Drain the tank, start scooping it out. Add new substrate. Refill and add the fish. Biggest problem would be if you are using anything that leeches anything as others have said. I've done the above method with sand no problem though.

  9. #8
    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr angeltre's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Orange County
    Posts
    642
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Angel
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Gjosuem View Post
    Have you considered adding in new substrate? Maybe a little bit before each water change?
    Plus 1. I usually add a 1/2" layer every once in a while until it is time for a tank makeover.

    Also, as the weather gets warmer, tend to see some shrimp casualties. This time of year I take the tops off all my tanks to keep temps down.

  10. #9
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kole85 View Post
    Adding sand to "cap it" is essentially the same thing as when people use sand to cap off potting soil. I would do it all at once a couple of days after a water change to keep from causing repeated stress to your shrimp over the course of weeks. Rinse the sand really well, remove about 75% of the water and start sprinkling the sand over the substrate and around the plants, any shrimp or shimplets should move right out of the way if you don't just dump the sand in, and sprinkling it in a little at a time should keep from kicking up the debris in the old substrate. The water you remove set aside in a bucket with your filter in it filtering the water to keep the bacteria alive. When your done adding the sand put the water you removed back in the tank and let it cycle. Keep an eye on all your water parameters carefully for the first week or so, you may need to do daily water changes to keep your shrimp happy.

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    thanks!

  11. #10
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Do you ever siphon your gravel? Theres alot of driftwood pieces/dead snail shells but im afraid of sucking up my baby crs T..T

  12. #11
    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2017
    Location
    91762
    Posts
    2,224
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kole Hopkins
    Mentioned
    39 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ahboram View Post
    Do you ever siphon your gravel? Theres alot of driftwood pieces/dead snail shells but im afraid of sucking up my baby crs T..T
    When you have to clean your substrate use an airline hose for your siphon, much easier to control what your doing around the shrimp. As far as the snail shells, as long as there isn't any rotting snail flesh causing ammonia then don't worry about them. The snail shells will gradually decay and the shrimp will feed off the calcium in them.

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    More Tanks!

  13. #12
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Kole85 View Post
    When you have to clean your substrate use an airline hose for your siphon, much easier to control what your doing around the shrimp. As far as the snail shells, as long as there isn't any rotting snail flesh causing ammonia then don't worry about them. The snail shells will gradually decay and the shrimp will feed off the calcium in them.

    Sent from my LGMS550 using Tapatalk
    Thanks for all the help! I will try to siphon off all this waste and then slowly add sand. Your advice was really helpful!

  14. #13
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Winnetka
    Posts
    375
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    Kyle B.
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ahboram View Post
    Thanks for all the help! I will try to siphon off all this waste and then slowly add sand. Your advice was really helpful!
    Be super careful adding new sand. I would do it through a PVC tube. Sand is the destroyer of powerheads/filters etc. I've killed a few HOB with sand.

  15. #14
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr ahboram's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2016
    Location
    cerritos
    Posts
    390
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    abe
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by kberg2498 View Post
    Be super careful adding new sand. I would do it through a PVC tube. Sand is the destroyer of powerheads/filters etc. I've killed a few HOB with sand.
    Oooo, thanks for the advice will do!

  16. #15
    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Electric's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2015
    Location
    Norwalk
    Posts
    186
    Post Thanks / Like
    Real Name
    John
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Are we assuming that ahboram wants to use an active substrate? There are many other options for inert substrates. I have had some of those substrates that disintegrate into dirt or mud, in the past I've used small tubing to siphon the 'mud' into a bucket trying to avoid any shrimp or inhabitants, once the dust has settled you can look for any shrimp that made it into the bucket and move them back. You can do this little by little to get rid of the bad/ugly substrate and at some point add in you new product at your leisure.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •