04-25-2014, 10:20 AM
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If it has fish in it, and you're keeping it, then no you don't want to take out the gravel and wash it. You will need a gravel vacuum though.
I personally wouldn't suggest popping them in a container unless you know how to keep it right, and even then, because they will already be stressed and you don't want them worse. Especially since what you need done will also make things...well, my fish like water changes, they always pick on me when I do them and get all curious. lol Many get stressed out though. That and they're likely in dirty conditions, and the going directly from dirty to clean water can actually kill them.
Be sure you tell them to keep the filter media in a bag of TANK water for you so it doesn't kill off the beneficial bacteria and send your tank into a cycle.
As for the outside of the tank, I like to use either normal water and a washcloth, or if really bad I use a vinegar and salt mix with hot water, helps get off some of the tough stuff, just don't get it in the tank and be careful with the wood, just use water or wood cleaner for it(if fumey cover the tank until the place is aired out) and be sure you dry it well.
As for cleaning inside...don't do it too fast! I mean, if they drain it a lot for the move, which they will probably have to, you wont get much say there...(see if you can take a turkey baster and put it in the gravel and suck out gunk in at least half the tank, leave the other half for another time, you don't want to shock the fish anymore than they will be from the move and already likely large water change, going from dirty to clean when it hasn't been cared for can hurt them. The turkey baster will allow you to get right to the grit, but you will have to knock gravel out here and there lol).
Make sure you get yourself the water conditioners you need, and a testing kit, you will NEED a testing kit(preferably a liquid test kit as strips are rarely accurate) to make sure you don't have ammonia and nitrites spikes. Which will likely be there...if the tank somehow comes with most of the water, do a 30% change right off, use prime to help detoxify any toxins and condition your water, do it again tomorrow, and if your test kit shows ammonia or nitrItes after that, you can go with bigger water changes(40% or so). You may need to go with bigger changes and risk it if you have more than 30ppm of ammonia in the tank....
Lost my train of thought when someone broke a dish....hope I didn't forget anything important. lol Good luck with your new tank, just take it slow, make sure you keep up on research, and research the fish you're getting with the tank to be sure you have all their needs.
Last edited by Sylverclaws; 04-25-2014 at 10:23 AM..