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Will replacing large established plants affect the bio load

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Wondering if removing / replacing large, plants from the tank will affect the bio-load? 
My tank well established.  It is lightly stocked so not too concerned, but curious. 

I have a couple Amazon Swords that have seen better days, and I plan to replace them. 
There were many months I couldn’t get my hands on root tabs, so they are looking pretty ratty.  Rather buy a few new ones vs trying to bring these ones back

I know from moving them in the past that the roots are covering the entire bottom of the tank.  I’m sure those massive roots are playing a big part in managing the bio-load of the tank.  

If I remove them and replace them with new plants do you think I will likely see spikes in ammonia / nitrites?

Tank Details

  1. Community Tank Size: 29g

  2. Tank age:  2.5yrs

  3. Filter: Tidal 55 and a sponge filter

  4. Substrate:  Caribsea crystal river sand

  5. Parameters: Always great.  The tank is loaded with plants.  It’s so well balanced the only reason I even need to do water changes is Evaporation, and to get rid of some of the detritus.

  6. Lightly stocked:  cardinal tetras, black neons, a single Angel, a few assassin snails, and a crazy hillstream loach.  Everybody’s happy and healthy.    

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Typically replanting will disrupt the tank quite a bit, not too hard to manage if you hold back feeding. Typically takes plants about 7 days to adjust and start consuming again.

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Thanks Cory.  I thought it might.   There are Madagascar lace & several Anubias  plants in there that should help out.  

May pick up a few plants, and store them in my quarantine tank.  If I replace them one at a time & reduce feeding it should go fine.   I'll keep a close eye on my numbers.  I've got Prime on standby in case I need it.


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Personally, if they're that established, I'd rather let them die back naturally (or you could cut them off at the substrate line if you really hate looking at them) rather than disrupting the substrate by pulling them out, which will kick up a crazy amount of detritus and be stressful for everyone. That said, I bet a root tab or two would get them looking good as new in no time. Bad leaves would drop, new leaves would happen, they'd suck up even more nutrients, happy times. But if they're in a bad location and you'd rather put them in another tank, you can do it, just be prepared to do a big water change after the move. Hungry, crazy pond plants like hornwort would definitely keep you balanced til other plants can pick up the slack.

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The swords should rebound fairly quickly since they're already established. As new leaves grow I'd just cut off the old ratty ones. In about a month or so you'll have "like new" plants in the tank with no real risk of disturbing anything,

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Hmm  may try some root tabs and see if they bounce back.  I just hate how they look right now.  All the other plants look great and then these ugly things really stand out.  If I do decide to remove them, (there are 2 large ones) I'll just remove one plant at a time.  that way there's one old one at work while the new ones are getting established. 

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