Changing out my gravel in my tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-08-2009, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Changing out my gravel in my tank?

I have a 20 gallon tank and its been 2-3 weeks since i first started it and i have gravel at the bottom of it and how i have decided that i want to put flourite in the bottom for a more natural look and to grow my plants better? can i do this without messing up my tank? how should i go about this? Is it safe for my fish?
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-08-2009, 04:12 PM
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Personally, I would move the fish out and drain the tank before changing the substrate. I've no experience with flourite so don't know how "messy" it might be if put in through a tank of water.

More importantly, you have a tank that has not yet established itself biologically (at only 2-3 weeks since setup). Replacing the substrate is going to destroy the good bacteria that have so far colonized it. Whichever way you go, you are going to add stress to the fish that are in there, and they are probably still coping with a new setup, so that's additional stress. Not that none of this is possible, only be very careful of the fish. I would certainly dose the tank with "Cycle" if you do change the substrate, as that will quicken the establishment of the bacteria and help the fish somewhat.

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 youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre 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 #3 of 5 Old 04-08-2009, 08:57 PM
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I don't think it would hurt anything but I would take all precautions seriously
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-09-2009, 04:43 AM
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Flourite is gonna make a mess of the water any way you go about it. If you are determined however,, I would rinse the flourite well So as to remove most of the fine particles and or dust. You can rinse it till the cows come home,, and it's still gonna cloud the water,and by rinsing it you are also removing nutrients for plants to some degree. I would then place the flourite in large ziplock bag and gently lower it into the aquarium and even more gently pour it out over the substrate not just in a pile.If you do this slowly,, the mess ain't as bad.
Have you considered just using root tabs and liquid fertilizers?

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-09-2009, 06:43 AM Thread Starter
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I put the flourite in yesterday and yes it did take awhile for me to clean it all but once i did i put it in a zip lock bag and lowered it in. It clouded the water some but not to bad. But today when i got up the water was pretty much clear like it was before hand. I will give it one more day and it should be crystal clear. I have the tank an extra dose of bacteria supplement bc i removed some of the old gravel out, so hopefully that helps with that. It looks so much better with the flourite in it.
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