Changing gravel / substrat - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Changing gravel / substrat

Looking for some advice.
I am thinking for changing the light colored gravel in my 55 gallon tank to a darker sand, due to the fact that i would like to add Rainbow fish to the mix.
Tank is fully cycled with 9 zebra danios, 5 Julii corys and 1 Small Albino BN Pleco.
Some Java Moss, Small Swords, and java ferns.
Currently i have 2 Aqua Tech 30-60 filters running.
So here is my question, am i going to go through a mini cycle when i do this?
Anyone have any hints on how to have the least amount of impact to my fish.
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 12:39 PM
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When you change the substrate out take your fish out of the tank and put them in a bucket with some tank water. The do the same with plants and any decor that you may have. Once the tank is empty of these things drain the water out. Remove the substrate. Reserve a small amount of it (make sure to keep it wet.) Then add the new substrate, add the decor and plant, and then the fish. Once you have the tank the way you want it. Take the small amount of the old substrate you reserved and put it in a mesh bag or pant hose and float it new the filter. This will help in the bacteria in getting established again. Also keeping you decor wet while changing the substrate will do the same thing. Some ppl don't float the old substrate for this reason but it will help too.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 01:46 PM
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You have live plants, so this helps too. And I follow the basic process Boredomb outlined, except I never save old substrate or filter media, but that can't hurt. Keep any wood/rock wet in tank water, and the plants too; I find it easiest to put this in with the fish in their temporary quarters.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 02:21 PM
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Byron Here's my thinking and correct me if I am wrong Please.

Live plants help in "cycling" a tank as a lot of us know. Though usually fast growing plants do best in this aspect. Same with floating plants correct? The OP stated no mention of these plants so with that in mind.

The biggest amount of bacteria is found in/on the substrate correct? Along with being on the decor.
So since the OP does have plants though not knowing for sure how many? My thinking was to have them float some substrate along with keeping any decor wet and placing back in the tank to help the tank not to go through a cycle.

In heavily plant tanks with such plants as stems, fast growers and floaters. I can see where the floating of the old substrate isn't needed but in tanks with a few plants I can see where it would be beneficial.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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follow up

Any one have a favorite dark or black sand / substrate that work well with plants.
I am planing on adding more plants as i go, so if there is anything people have used and like or used and not liked i love to know.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 02:54 PM
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I actually have a thread up about my process of changing from gravel to sand and the changes in the tank. It's called Adventures of the 35G.

If I was you I'd add some plants, something fast growing like anacharis or water sprite to suck up any extra ammonia/nitrite that could pop up.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-03-2013, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boredomb View Post
Byron Here's my thinking and correct me if I am wrong Please.

Live plants help in "cycling" a tank as a lot of us know. Though usually fast growing plants do best in this aspect. Same with floating plants correct? The OP stated no mention of these plants so with that in mind.

The biggest amount of bacteria is found in/on the substrate correct? Along with being on the decor.
So since the OP does have plants though not knowing for sure how many? My thinking was to have them float some substrate along with keeping any decor wet and placing back in the tank to help the tank not to go through a cycle.

In heavily plant tanks with such plants as stems, fast growers and floaters. I can see where the floating of the old substrate isn't needed but in tanks with a few plants I can see where it would be beneficial.
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This is correct. The "unknown variables" are the number of fish, number of plants, amount of "decor."

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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