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Thread: Tryin to re-do an old tank

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    Tryin to re-do an old tank

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    Hey, i've got a really old tank that's bout 6-7 years old and bout 5 feet,110 gal. My dad started it and now the substrate is giving me problems as he passed it to me.We tried usin loam bought from the market or the flower shop but some of the fishes died due to the PH level. Now i want to change the substrate in my tank but my how do i get the old one out together with the fishes? If i take the fishes out where do i put them? Does the UV sterilizer effective in controlling algea as my tank is contaminated with the 'brush algea'.This was last year.
    Now its a mess

    Pls reply
    Last edited by ahkarboy; 7th Nov 2006 at 16:38.

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    Hi there, glad to see you wanting to come back

    What I'd do is get a pailful of the tank water, and put the fishes in there. Transfer the filter over to filter the pail, essentially making the pail a makeshift tank.

    Do all the messy stuff in your tank, fill it up with water, plant thickly ( this is very important, the large plant mass will help cycling problems ) and then wait for one day. The next day, remove another pailful of water and dump the previous pail contents ( water and all ) into the tank.

    The UV sterilizer is not effective in removing/preventing Brush algae. It only helps greenwater. I advise you not to use it, since it also depletes the water of vital trace elements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahkarboy
    Hey, i've got a really old tank that's bout 6-7 years old and bout 5 feet,110 gal. My dad started it and now the substrate is giving me problems as he passed it to me.We tried usin loam bought from the market or the flower shop but some of the fishes died due to the PH level. Now i want to change the substrate in my tank but my how do i get the old one out together with the fishes? If i take the fishes out where do i put them? Does the UV sterilizer effective in controlling algea as my tank is contaminated with the 'brush algea'.

    Pls reply

    It really depends how serious you are going into the hobby.

    1) You need to tell us what is your current bioload. We can't simply guess, right?
    2) You sure the tank still healthy after 6-7 years? Especially if unused for that long, I won't want to try it.
    3) Do you have test kits? Like NO3, PO4, PH, KH etc?
    4) No, UVC can't help with bruch algaes.
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    If you do not have time to do everything in one day, you might want to consider get a smaller tank. You can use it as a nursing tank in the future when you fish fall sick or maybe as a quaratine tank also. I change before with my friend therefore I know it going to take time. If you do not have that much of time or energy, better do it all at one time. Both my friend and I was dead tired after the whole progress. Somemore, it is just a 2.5ft tank only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahkarboy
    Hey, i've got a really old tank that's bout 6-7 years old and bout 5 feet,110 gal. My dad started it and now the substrate is giving me problems as he passed it to me.We tried usin loam bought from the market or the flower shop but some of the fishes died due to the PH level. Now i want to change the substrate in my tank but my how do i get the old one out together with the fishes? If i take the fishes out where do i put them? Does the UV sterilizer effective in controlling algea as my tank is contaminated with the 'brush algea'.

    Pls reply
    The soil your dad bought for you probably contain urea/ammonia or both. That is what probably killed your critters. Use commerical substrates bought from LFS if you are just starting out. It will make life easier.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee

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    How old is the substrate? As old as the tank? If the problems only started recently and the substrate is old, then it's probably not the substrates fault.

    Give us a better description of your tank now. Liek what equipment are you using and their specifications (external filter, CO2, lights)? What about fertilisers, etc? How many and what fishes and plants do you have in there?

    When did the problems start? Did you do anything that might have triggered the deaths? Like uprooting? When was the last time the filter was cleaned?

    It is possible not to change the substrate if it's not in bad condition. On the other hand, if it is really old, it could have gone anaerobic and possible producing toxic gases.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
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    now the prob isnt the dead fishes, its the soil thats drained of nutrients! It was okay a few years ago then suddenly brush algea started growning then the plants didn't grow very well. And how do i get rid of the brush algea?

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    so what do i do with the old substrate? let's say after i done what u told me k? then what do i do with the old one? if u say get rid of it then do i get rid of it 1st or put the new one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahkarboy
    now the prob isnt the dead fishes, its the soil thats drained of nutrients! It was okay a few years ago then suddenly brush algea started growning then the plants didn't grow very well. And how do i get rid of the brush algea?
    You already decided to redo the whole tank right? Just wash/wipe the tank thoroughly with bleach solutions. Leave it to dry up for a few days, wash it with clean water (with some anti-chlorine to be safe). Use a soft sponge to clean and scrap up the tougher stains/algaes using a expired credit card (or any other hard card).

    Maybe you should consider changing you substrates too.
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    Ahkarboy,

    It seems that you do not understand the basic concepts of the planted tank yet. I suggest you do some searching of the forum for some of the answers you require.

    In the meantime, if you want the other members to help you properly, you need to do some work. Go to this thread, copy the text, paste it here as a new post and fill in as much info as possible. This will help the members to understand your tank and give you helpful answers. It's like doctors... before they give you medicine, they must examine your body and symptoms first.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
    Why use punctuation? See what a difference it makes:
    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goondoo
    You already decided to redo the whole tank right? Just wash/wipe the tank thoroughly with bleach solutions. Leave it to dry up for a few days, wash it with clean water (with some anti-chlorine to be safe). Use a soft sponge to clean and scrap up the tougher stains/algaes using a expired credit card (or any other hard card).

    Maybe you should consider changing you substrates too.

    hi,

    I will prefer to "sterilise" my tank with boiling water - it works like bleach solution; Residue from bleach solution may cause more harm if the detoxify process is not thorough done;

    tango
    Adopt all unwanted neon & cardinal tetra

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    Tank Dimensions (LxWxH): 5x2x2 feet
    Lighting Intensity(No of Watts) : 240
    Type of Lighting (FL/PL/MH) : FL
    No. of Hours your light is on: 10
    CO2 Injection Rate (bps) : 2 drops/s
    Type of CO2 (DIY/Liquid/Tank) : Tank
    Method of Injection (e.g. Diffusor/Reactor): Diffusor
    Substrate Used : loam, river sand, pebbles
    How Thick is your base fert : used up during the past 6years
    How thick is your gravel : 3inches
    Liquid Fertilizers Used : none
    Frequency of fertilization : none
    Tank Temperature : 29
    Type of Filter (overhead/internal/canister) : canister
    Filter media used : wool
    How long has your tank been set up : 6-7 years
    Water change frequency : 2 weeks
    Water surface movement : minimal
    Circulation :-

    Chemical Properties
    ---------------------------------------
    Carbonate Hardness (kh):untested
    Total Hardness (gH):untested
    PH : untested
    NH4 (ppm):untested
    NO2 (ppm):untested
    NO3 (ppm):untested
    PO4 (ppm):untested
    Fe (ppm):untested
    dad lazy to test -_-`

    Fish n plants
    Fish: Rummy noses,Rainbow fish,SAE

    Plants: some cyrpto,venti (just stareted growin again...moss like prevented from gettin light),rotala, hygrophilus diformis
    Last edited by ahkarboy; 13th Apr 2005 at 21:30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahkarboy
    now the prob isnt the dead fishes, its the soil thats drained of nutrients! It was okay a few years ago then suddenly brush algea started growning then the plants didn't grow very well. And how do i get rid of the brush algea?
    Chances are several things are wrong with the tank, that are causing you these problems. Fixing one symptom, might cause other problems. The reason some of us ask you so many questions, is so that we can figure out what exactly is wrong. Please answer the questions of the kind people who bothered to try to help you.

    As for your substrate, if you really want to get rid of it:
    1. you can remove the gravel, wash it and keep it for the re-setup.
    2. remove and throw away the soil. It's heavy, so I suggest you put them in several small bags so that its easier to move around and throw. It's going to be a mess too.

    When you re-do the tank, use the old gravel at the bottom. Put the base fert on top of that and then new gravel on top of the base fert.

    Can you answer my questions in my earlier post. I'm trying to figure out whether you can keep the substrate.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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    What and how many plants do you have in your tank?
    What and how many fishes do you have in your tank?

    Got pictures even better.

    Anyway, check in later... you should be getting better replies after you filled up that form.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
    Why use punctuation? See what a difference it makes:
    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

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    I was wondering how did you get the "new" loam in there as you mention. Those loam bought from market/flower shop might well contain urea/ammonia as I mention which will kill your critters (which you don't seem to care.. ). Plants are tough and not easy to kill as compared to critters. I would resolve the issue that is causing the critters to die first rather than plants.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinz
    What and how many plants do you have in your tank?
    What and how many fishes do you have in your tank?

    Got pictures even better.

    Anyway, check in later... you should be getting better replies after you filled up that form.
    The thing that pissed most people off is when you wanted to help but not enough info.... how to help...
    As I said, you must atleast provide the KH, pH, NO3 and PO4 readings if you want a safe assistance....
    Cheers and Regards,
    Billy Cheong

    I'm not always dumb,
    Just most of the time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goondoo
    The thing that pissed most people off is when you wanted to help but not enough info.... how to help...
    As I said, you must atleast provide the KH, pH, NO3 and PO4 readings if you want a safe assistance....
    A few pictures will also help a lot. From there we can guess how much plants/ fishload. And the type of algae you got.

    I also use soil in my setups. But mostly it is potting soil like cocopeat. And not those fertiliser-laden type.
    koah fong
    Juggler's tanks

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    Now I'm confused... do you want to re-do the tank? Or keep the tank as it is and get rid of the algae?

    For your current tank:
    - Most likely not enough CO2 for your plants. Go get a KH and pH test kit... and use them to figure out your CO2 levels. See Chuck Gadd about this. And while you're there, read the other articles too.

    - CO2 diffusor: not up to the job for a large tank like a 5 footer. I suggest an external CO2 reactor. Either DIY... there are a few plans on the net including this one in AQ or buy one.

    - No fertilisers... plants got not enough food for the amount of light you are giving them... no wonder you get algae. You need to start fertilising (including CO2) so that your plants can grow optimally and outcompete and drive away the algae. But before that, tell us what and how many plants you have in there... if you don't have or don't intend to have much plants, the methodology is different.

    - Filter media... very poor, good candidate for cause of fish death. Go get some ceramic rings, Eheim EhfiSubstrate (or cheaper equivalent), coarse filter pad, fine filter pad. What's the brand and model of your filter (so we can tell you how to organise the media)? It is normally from bottom up: ceramic rings, coarse fitler pad, EhfiSubstrate (or equivalent), fine filter pad.

    -Algae... remove as much as possble manually and use algae eaters. You need to make conditions good for plant growth to keep the algae away. Depending on the type of tank you want, you will need to adjust the amount of light, CO2 and fertilisers.

    You have some choices to make.
    1. Do you still wish to keep it as a planted tank? Or you could convert to a fish only tank.
    2. If yes, what kind of planted tank?
    - High light, high CO2, lots of fert, fast growing plants, very beautiful tank (provided you aquascape it and maintain it).
    - Low maintanance tank... less light, less CO2, less fert, less maintainance/effort, slower plants. Nice, pleasant, mostly green tank with less plant choices.
    3. Do you want to re-do the whole tank or keep the tank and try to fix the existing problems. This will affect the advice we give you. (To change the substrate, you must re-do the whole tank.)
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterGwee
    I was wondering how did you get the "new" loam in there as you mention. Those loam bought from market/flower shop might well contain urea/ammonia as I mention which will kill your critters (which you don't seem to care.. ). Plants are tough and not easy to kill as compared to critters. I would resolve the issue that is causing the critters to die first rather than plants.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
    Seems there is a confusion here based on impressions. Ahkarboy, is the loam you mentioned new or been in there 6-7 years?
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

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    Hi Ahkarboy,

    I hope none of the replies made to you have sounded offensive in anyway, if they may be. We tend to be blunt here, but we are really trying to help

    Just one question:
    What dimensions are your tank? You mentioned 5 X 2 X 20... is that in feet or in cm or in inches?

    Try to answer vinz questions.

    Cheers,

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