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Old 10-10-2008, 08:48 AM   #1 
Miss Mila
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Question I need Advice how to do this...

I have a planted 10g that isn't doing so well. I cant keep the plants green and algae is fierce. I like the idea of floating plants seeing as how I house a Betta (Independent Variable, I.V. for short) alone in the tank. I was thinking of maybe anchoring some java moss down with river rocks that are currently in the tank. I also have a 5g tank housing one Betta (Horn Rimmed Glasses H.R.G. for short) that has some floating plants in it. Both tanks have substrate, red fluorite with some river rocks (bigger round smooth rocks). I was thinking of completely removing the red fluorite.

My question is;

What is the proper way to remove the substrate? Do I take the fish out and just empty the tank completely? Will that mess with cycling stuff? If I could just get most of it out I will be happy. I was planning to heavily plant the tanks but I suck at keeping plants alive. I'm sticking with java moss and in the near future getting some horns wort.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some pics to give you an idea of what Im working with

I.V.s tank



H.G.R.s tank

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Old 10-11-2008, 07:59 PM   #2 
Kim
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Well, your plants don't look too bad. Do you use any supplements? I have found flourish and flourish excel to be very helpful in tanks with no CO2. I am getting root tabs as well but I haven't tried them yet so I can't tell you how they work other than that many people seem to like them.

What is your lighting, and what kinds of plants are they (I am by no means an expert so I really can't tell by the photos)? Different plants require different lighting, so if you have plants with high lighting requirements in a low light tank they aren't going to grow too well.

Also, if you are not using any supplements, using some may help your algae problem. The idea is if the plants are growing better they will be using more nutrients, leaving less for algae. Upgrading insufficient lighting will help in the same manner. The fact that you have so few plants will however mean that you will need to be very careful with dosing because overdoing it could cause an even worse outbreak.

The best thing that I can tell you is that it may take you a little while to find out what works for you, but once you figure it out the results will be well worth the wait. I had even contemplated ripping out all my plants and just doing silk ones because they just weren't growing. But, I decided to stick with it and my tank is now on the way to being really healthy and beautiful. I love to look at it and always feel rather proud of it. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2008, 08:18 PM   #3 
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Oh, I forgot to answer your other question. If you really want to replace the gravel, then I would probably take the fish out. Just because the water may get gunky, and your sloshing around in there would probably stress him out. There are 2 ways that you could do it.

1) Take your fish out and put him in a container with water from the tank. Take all plants/decor. out and use your fingers to fish out as much as you can, then just pour in the replacement gravel.

2) The less messy approach would be to put the fish into a container of tank water, then siphon out about 75% of the tank water into a bucket, making sure to siphon from near the top of the water as to not catch any debris. Take your plants out and put them in this bucket. Then you can siphon the bottom water, stirring up the debris and sucking it out to partially clean the gravel. Once you have all the water out you can scoop the wet gravel out with a cup, getting it all out of the bottom of the tank. Then, just put the new gravel in (after rinsing it of course) pour the bucket of tank water back into the tank, and replant whatever plants you want to keep. Top off the tank with new water as you would do during a water change, and pour your fish back in. This method would also allow you to really scrub the tank of all algae.

Because your filter will still be on, I wouldn't be too worried about loosing the bacteria, but if you wish you can take some of the old gravel (making sure it stays wet) put it in a nylon bag and put it on the bottom of the tank for a while.

Also, I would catch your betta with a cup, not a net, to avoid breaking any fins which could become infected.

I did a similar thing when I moved my 10 gal. out of my brother's room and into mine (to save the fish!) and everything went well, so this all comes from experience. Good luck.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:16 PM   #4 
Miss Mila
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Here is mt run down
Tank #1
10g
one Betta
fluorite substrate
I had two Coralife Colormax 6,700K full spectrum lamps, 10 watts each in it but now I have a fluorescent hood on there.
java moss, ludwigia and lutea planted

Tank#2
5.5g
one Betta
incandescent blue plant bulb by aqua culture
fluorite substrate



Since having put the fluorescent hood on the 10g I now see that the plants have new growth...it just looked yellow in the other lighting. I'm going to keep up with the plants and see how they do. I also discovered my algae issue was due to the light being on entirely too long so I have cut back to 8 hours a day.
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