How to Aquascape My 1-Year-Old 55-Gallon Tank?

SilverArowanaBoi

Dovii
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Hey y'all! So, I already have a pretty solid decoration plan for my new stocking ideas, but I don't know how to execute it. I want to do a dragon stone aquascape with little grass-like plants, but I hit a snag here. I don't have soil; I know you need soil for plants to thrive.

My main question is, how do I put soil in my thriving tank? Do I need to drain out everything, put the fish in buckets for a week, and then put in the soil? Will I need to cycle the tank again? If the answer to these questions is yes, how would I keep my fish happy and healthy in tubs or buckets for a week? I'm familiar with putting fish in buckets temporarily, but it was only for less than a day (more like a few hours), never longer.

My current setup is sand, two large lava stone rocks, and two pieces of medium-sized driftwood. My stock is 1 Striped Raphael Catfish, 1 Pictus Catfish, 1 Oscar baby, and 1 Black Ghost Knife baby.

Thank y'all in advance for any help!
 

AR1

Piranha
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take the fishes out then drain the tank and store the water since it is already cycled. add the soil in aquarium, add new water and drain it to remove unwanted particles, then add the old water and fishes back.
Edit: you should wait for the soil to settle down for a bit to prevent minimum soil lost. i think you should wait at least 1 to 3 hours
 
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SilverArowanaBoi

Dovii
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take the fishes out then drain the tank and store the water since it is already cycled. add the soil in aquarium, add new water and drain it to remove unwanted particles, then add the old water and fishes back.
Edit: you should wait for the soil to settle down for a bit to prevent minimum soil lost. i think you should wait at least 1 to 3 hours
So the entire process can be done in less than a day? That would be great!

Also, what soil should I use, and how much should I use? Should I cover the entire bottom?
 
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AR1

Piranha
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i think a UNS Controsoil or Aquario NEO Soil would be best. But still, i will let other members chime in.
how much should I use? Should I cover the entire bottom?
it depends on the number and types of plants. in general i would recommend covering the entire bottom since if you leave empty spaces the fihes will eventually displace the soil into the empty spaces disturbing the roots. i had a depth of 4 inches in my aqaurium had no probs. but still other members can give better advive
 

tlindsey

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Will I need to cycle the tank again?
If you don't rinse off the filter media or ornaments rocks, wood etc. no probably will have small a loss of live bacteria bacteria.
how would I keep my fish happy and healthy in tubs or buckets for a week?
I recommend just placing the bio media from your filter in the tote or bucket with the small fish but feed lightly. Also run a pump with a airstone .
Make sure the temperature stays stable and not get below 75 degrees.
 

Deadeye

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What kind of sand do you have and what kind of plants do you plan on growing? I have a number of plants growing fine out of just sand substrate.
 
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SilverArowanaBoi

Dovii
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What kind of sand do you have and what kind of plants do you plan on growing? I have a number of plants growing fine out of just sand substrate.
Um well... it's aquarium sand? It is white sand, I'm not sure what kind. As for plants, I don't know specific names, but I want little grass-like plants (I think one is called dwarf hair grass), moss of some sort, and probably floating plants like red root floaters or duckweed.
 

Cal Amari

Candiru
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I don't have much experience with plants and no experience with soil, but your water isn't whats cycled, it's your filter and decor and sand. Don't put dirty tank water back in your tank, once it comes out, dump it in the yard and put in fresh dechlorinated water when your ready to refill. If you are going to reuse sand on top of soil keep it from drying out, and as Tlindsey said keep your filter media and decor wet and you'll be fine.
 

AR1

Piranha
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If you don't rinse off the filter media or ornaments rocks, wood etc. no probably will have small a loss of live bacteria bacteria.

I recommend just placing the bio media from your filter in the tote or bucket with the small fish but feed lightly. Also run a pump with a airstone .
Make sure the temperature stays stable and not get below 75 degrees.
sorry forgot to tell that😅
 
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