Changed from gravel to Sand...will it start a mini-cycle?
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Changed from gravel to Sand...will it start a mini-cycle?

This is a discussion on Changed from gravel to Sand...will it start a mini-cycle? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> First of all, let me apologize for constantly starting threads to ask questions here. I feel like I have been asking too many questions ...

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Changed from gravel to Sand...will it start a mini-cycle?
Old 10-09-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
 
Changed from gravel to Sand...will it start a mini-cycle?

First of all, let me apologize for constantly starting threads to ask questions here. I feel like I have been asking too many questions lately. I really appreciate the help though!

So today after reading about Cory's, I decided to upgrade to sand from rough gravel. I really want to house some Cory's but do not want them to live damaging their barbells on the rough substrate.

I did a lot of research today before doing the sand change. I went out to my local Ace and bought a 50lb bag of playsand. Brought it home and rinsed it over and over and over and over...you get the point. Added it to the bottom of the empty tank, filled it with a little bit of new water, and then put back all of the original water, plants, and decor. Everything looks clean and clear just how I was hoping it would.

My questions is, did I start a mini cycle by doing all of this? The filter stayed wet, plants and decor in original tank water, and then most of the clean tank water from before was added back. I'm hoping nothing that I did started a mini cycle. The fish store is closed but I will test the water tomorrow when I can get some equipment.

Thanks! :)
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:04 PM   #2
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Yup any time you change substrate you will usually start a mini cycle, alot of the beneficial bacteria live in the substrate, but as long as most everything else stayed in the tank water you should be ok, most mini cycles will only last a week or two at most so no big deal just keep up on the water.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
 
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I agree. I recently re-set most of my tanks, including the 115g that had the gravel substrate removed for new playsand. I also had new filter pads and I washed the media in tapwater. The plants and wood were replaced as you did, and I used fresh water. The fish (all 90+) went back with no issues. Plants are such a friend to fish and the aquarist.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #4
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The fish (all 90+) went back with no issues.
I don't even want to know how long it took you to catch that many fish in a planted tank....
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
 
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I don't even want to know how long it took you to catch that many fish in a planted tank....
I pulled out all the plants first (they simply lay flat in a 20g with tank water) and the wood (it went into the 30g temporary quarters for the fish), but it still took maybe an hour to move the fish over.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:31 PM   #6
 
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I pulled out all the plants first (they simply lay flat in a 20g with tank water) and the wood (it went into the 30g temporary quarters for the fish), but it still took maybe an hour to move the fish over.
That's crazy! So how often and how much water should I change out during this mini?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #7
 
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That's crazy! So how often and how much water should I change out during this mini?
Water changes continue as normal assuming the plants and bacteria-laden wood did the job. Monitor ammonia and nitrite and change 50% if either rise above zero.

I don't even test for ammonia/nitrite any longer; I have fairly heavily-planted tanks, and with my pH well below 7 (runs 5-6) I know ammonia will never be an issue anyway (changes to basically harmless ammonium in acidic water), and the plants will grab it before bacteria have the chance, so nitrite will not occur in any amount that is measurable. But if your pH is basic (above 7) I would monitor it, as ammonia is toxic in basic water.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:26 PM   #8
 
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Water changes continue as normal assuming the plants and bacteria-laden wood did the job. Monitor ammonia and nitrite and change 50% if either rise above zero.

I don't even test for ammonia/nitrite any longer; I have fairly heavily-planted tanks, and with my pH well below 7 (runs 5-6) I know ammonia will never be an issue anyway (changes to basically harmless ammonium in acidic water), and the plants will grab it before bacteria have the chance, so nitrite will not occur in any amount that is measurable. But if your pH is basic (above 7) I would monitor it, as ammonia is toxic in basic water.
While we are talking about pH here, how might I go about lowering it. Is it an easy process? My pH run about 7.8
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:37 AM   #9
 
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While we are talking about pH here, how might I go about lowering it. Is it an easy process? My pH run about 7.8
The pH is connected to the hardness, specifically the bicarbonate hardness (KH or Alkalinity) so first we need to know that number. The KH acts as a "buffer" to prevent changes in pH. The buffering capability depends upon the level of KH. You can read more here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

If you don't know your tap water hardness, the water supply folks can tell you. Some have a website with water data posted. If you find it and can't figure it out, post the link and I'll take a look.

Byron.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:51 PM   #10
 
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The pH is connected to the hardness, specifically the bicarbonate hardness (KH or Alkalinity) so first we need to know that number. The KH acts as a "buffer" to prevent changes in pH. The buffering capability depends upon the level of KH. You can read more here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

If you don't know your tap water hardness, the water supply folks can tell you. Some have a website with water data posted. If you find it and can't figure it out, post the link and I'll take a look.

Byron.
This is the City Of Ellensburg website. I live in Ellensburg, WA. Take a look around and if you can't find anything, ill call and ask.

UPDATE: I found a spreadsheet saying that on 5/12/10 the hardness was 81.8. There was no unit next to the number so I don't know what that number means...maybe you do? Also is that too old of a reading? Does the hardness change much over time?

Ellensburg, WA - Water Division

Last edited by JordynMurdock; 10-10-2011 at 04:56 PM..
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