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re-scaping an active tank

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So this tank has been set up for a good bit, and the filter has been active for a few years. That being said I made the mistake of going really light on the substrate and I'm getting really annoyed trying to add root tabs and new plants as they just pop-out. 

I recently found an awesome piece of driftwood at the LFS and I'm thinking of rescaping the tank. My question is, do I need to be careful of anything when swapping substrate? I have a ton of used aquasoil (and a few new bags) and I was planning on using that. Any tips or suggestions are welcomed!

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You will almost certainly get an ammonia spike that last for 3 or 4 days after disturbing the substrate. So be prepared to test often and be ready to do daily water changes.

I was shocked when my rescape caused a 3 ppm ammonia spike. I did 50% water changes, twice a day, for 3 days and using an ammonia test was able to see when the beneficial bacteria was able catch up to the ammonia. In my case, that was on day 3. 


Edited by Tommy Vercetti
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If you weren’t wanting to rescape the whole tank, a way I found to add substrate effectively without disrupting everything is to fill a water bottle up with substrate, then dip it in the tank with the opening facing up and have your thumb covering about half of the opening, let water fill up the water bottle. Now, put the water bottle down towards where you want to add substrate and move your thumb to release it. I did this around my stem plants that kept floating and I made a sort of mound around them. Works really well and I never experienced water quality issues 

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