Redecorating; a few concerns - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Redecorating; a few concerns

Hi, sometime next month I want to completely redecorate my tank. i may keep a few of the current plastic plants, but everything including the gravel will probably change. My concern is that any good bacteria that has built up in the substrate and the decor will be gone and replaced with new items that don't have any on them. could this be harmful to my tank, or will the current water plus the bio wheel in the filter be enough to sustain the cycle?
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 04:11 PM
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What is your stocking level like in the tank? You may consider, if possible, changing things out gradually as to not shock the tank all at once.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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stocking level is full. its the tank listed in my profile pic. 40g tank 12 fish. if i were to change things out gradually (perhaps one large item a week), should i change out the substrate first or last?
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 07:10 PM
Just seed the new setup. You could buy a bag, or use an old pair of stockings or panty hose - bag and tie off some gravel and suspend in the new setup for a couple of weeks to ensure a bacteria transfer.

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 07:17 PM
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That is a great idea, I did that in mine and worked. Another thing is, do not change you filter. It contains the bacteria that you need.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-09-2011, 08:26 PM
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Substrate change is best done at one time. Remove everything, wash and add the new substrate, fill with fresh water, use a dechlorinator. Move as much hardscape from the existing tank as you can, even if temporary: fake plants, rock, wood, decor. Keep these under water (a bucket of water from the existing tank) untill you put them in the new tank (after dechlorinating the water). Same with the filter, keep it running if possible and move it over without rinsing the media. The fish will have to go somewhere, like a spare tank, if the filter can be placed in that it will work fine.

If you had live plants this would not be an issue, but none are in your existing tank data. This is a case where I would use a bacterial supplement. Seachem's Stability or Tetra's SafeStart.

Byron.

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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 #7 of 9 Old 08-16-2011, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I understand I would need to change all of the substrate at once, I'm just not sure if it should be the first thing that I change or should I change out the decorations a little at a time first and save the substrate for last? I have also added some pennywort to the tank since I originally posted. What are your concerns that you mentioned?
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-16-2011, 09:18 AM
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I would move the substrate first, following Byrons directions, and make sure you keep the old decorations in a bucket with the old water so you don't kill the bacteria. Put as much as the old stuff back for the time being, so you can "seed" the substrate, then eventually you can move the decorations.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-16-2011, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saint fu View Post
Thanks, I understand I would need to change all of the substrate at once, I'm just not sure if it should be the first thing that I change or should I change out the decorations a little at a time first and save the substrate for last? I have also added some pennywort to the tank since I originally posted. What are your concerns that you mentioned?
I thought I covered this; change the substrate completely first, saving the decor in tank water, then replace it and change it as you like.

Live plants basically eliminate any "cycling" issues because they assimilate so much ammonia/ammonium. The more the better. Nitrifying bacteria are secondary (=irrelevant) if there are sufficient live plants.

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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