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How often do you re-start your tanks with active substrate?

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I know we need to change our active soil. But how often? Every 2 years? or every year? How do you know that is the time?

I have a TB tank with amazonia. I started it last June/July. I'm not going to change anything right now but I think I'll in September/October. I don't think I'm going to use amazonia again because my tank doesn't look clean with this substrate. I've gotten bored with the look of the tank and want to change it. So, it's running for almost a year now and I want something different. I think it's perfect timing if the substrate needs to be changed. What do you think? When/how often do you change soil in your tanks?


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there are a lot of factors that come into play that determine the life of your soil.  I know people that have been able to get 3 years out of their amazonia, while others less than a year.

really comes down to how religious you are about water changes with RO only water, and using a quality remineralizer like SL-Blue Wizard that along with a quality buffering soil the PH will be a steady approx 5.8-6.4.  


but like OMG said. once you start to see the PH to drift even after water changes then thats usually a good sign to get another tank cycled.


as for my technique. I restart once a year no matter, just how I've always done it. 

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Man I just decided to change out my fluval stratum today and lemme tell you, it's a pain. Plan on losing a couple babies if you don't have the time or space to let them grow big enough to catch while you move everything else. I did my best and siphoned many out, refilled tank with the water I just siphoned, and did it again till I didn't see anymore but I feel like there were still a few left....

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

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Yes, it's what I was thinking to do. While leaving alone the working tank just to start a new, get it cycled, catch all of the shrimp and babies, move the tanks in places and then hope for the best.

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Everything depends of the water you are using for water changes and the amount of the plants you have.


tap water is killing buffering capacity, plants are absorbing nutrition from the soil.

I have some 4 year tanks still running great. I use RO water and have only moss in it. 


Biggest problem for me is : dramatically decrease of breeding and babies surviving rate when substrate get older than 2 years.

I experience it  in 15 tanks already.

Now I'm testing some additives  to bust soil activity and to return breeding level. 


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On 5/17/2016 at 8:10 AM, colorfan said:

I try and do mine in winter when breeding has slowed down if the tank can wait


Does breeding in the winter still slow down if temp and light schedule remains the same?

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