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This is a discussion on Babies! within the Livebearers forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> The reason I asked was because I see babies inside her the same size of the born ones. When can I clean my fish ...

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Old 12-16-2006, 02:37 PM   #11
 
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The reason I asked was because I see babies inside her the same size of the born ones.


When can I clean my fish tank out?
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Old 12-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #12
 
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Clean it out, not sure what to say. If you mean clean out the babies, do it now if you want. If you mean gravel vacs then the female being prego doesn't mean you can't clean the tank and do a water change.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:17 PM   #13
 
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I mean like taking the fish out and changing the tiny rocks to pebbles. I want to do that and rinse the filter.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:03 AM   #14
 
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There is no reason to remove a fish from a tank during cleaning. All that does is cause further stress to the animal, weaken it's immune system, and can be deadly. No change in any established aquarium should be so drastic that it shocks the fish. Water changes should be done at least weekly, 20 - 25%, and gravel vacs once/month. When doing gravel vacs, do NOT clean filter media at the same time. Wait at least a few days after the gravel vac. You don't want to deplete your bacteria culture too much, and especially in a tank with fry, you don't want water quality or temp to jump drastically. Small but frequent changes is always the safest way to clean any tank. When cleaning filter media, do NOT rinse it under the tap. Any amount of chlorine coming from the tap water will kill the bacteria culture. Always use a bit of dirty tank water taken right from the tank to clean the media. You can do this and call it a small water change which is healthy. If you tank isn't overcrowded and/or overfed, there should be no need to do more than basic maintenance as I just desribed.

If intending to move the fish to a different tank, then we're talking a whole different story in setting up the new tank and getting it ready for them. If you need that kind of help, just ask, I can walk you through that, too.
Is there a reason for wanting to change the gravel at the bottom? If not, then I'd say don't do it. At least, not now. With fry in the tank, this isn't the time to be upsetting the biological cycle. In replacing the gravel at the bottom you will greatly hurt your bacteria culture, which can cause a tank to go through something called a "mini cycle". Waste levels will spike for a little while because there suddenly isn't enough bacteria to keep up with it, and as the culture seeds from filter media and decorations, plants, etc., the waste will go through the same breakdown process as when the tank was brand new and first cycled. The term "mini" come from the idea that there is SOME culture left in your system, so it doesn't usually take as long to replenish itself as when starting brand new. Even these "mini cycles" are highly toxic to all of the fish, but especially the fry.
Does this help?
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:33 AM   #15
 
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The way most change a substrate assuming it is not a completely different one is to remove about 30% each time until it is all changed over. Each change is done with your weekly water change. I have even seen some that will set up the gravel in a bucket with an airstone with some of the old gravel so that the bacteria can colonize on the new gravel so there is less chance of a mini cycle. Treat the new gravel the same as you would a new tank cycle by adding fish food, a small piece of prawn or ammonia in small amounts to keep the bacteria fed. Still only want to change out a max of 50% each time but this is safer than removing the established gravel and putting in uncolonized gravel.

If you want to, simply add some of the smaller gravel if this is an issue of worrying about the fry getting into the large gravel and not getting out. I have never had an issue except with cory fry and then I kept them in a breeder net long enough for them to be free swimming.
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:42 PM   #16
 
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Hmmm, It kinda helps except I dont really want to clean out the tank just change the rocks because of issues I have with them. So bascially all I got from that was that I just shouldnt clean the tank or it will kill all my fish.
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:05 PM   #17
 
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Ok, this will get varied replies from others and I have enver done it but I will let you know anyway.

I know others that have changed their substrate completely from gravel to sand, Profile and even eco complete. They did all at one time and did not have any problems. The theory behind it is that as long as you don't have an undergravel filter the amount of beneficial bacteria is minimul and will not cause a mini cycle. As for the babies in the substrate, they will either run away or you can catch them and put them back by taking the old grvel and slowly adding it to a bucket of tank water to see if any are in there.

You can change it all at once and you may not have any problems. You may get a mini cycle but water changes will help with any mini cycle and it wold only last a week at most.

I hope that helps a little more.
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Old 12-18-2006, 05:41 PM   #18
 
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okay, so bascilly I should just not change the rocks for a while? I'm confused.
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Old 12-18-2006, 06:25 PM   #19
 
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If you want to, you can change the gravel now. You just need to be ready to change some water on a daily basis for up to a week if you start seeing traces of ammonia or nitrites. As long as you have a test kit, you can change it and just test the tank the day after to make sure you don't have any ammonia and continue to test for about a week to make sure you don't get a mini cycle.

It is highly unlikely you will kill any of the fry in the tank by changing the gravel. An ammonia spike is more likely to do it but again, if you watch the ammonia and test it shouldn't be a problem.

I know it can be confusing but we will get you through it and keep your tank and fish happy and healthy.
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Old 12-20-2006, 03:01 AM   #20
 
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If you decide to change the gravel, I agree, it should be done all at once. What you don't want to do is change the gravel at the same time you're changing filter media. I would suggest a 5 - 10% water change each day for a week after doing it, simply taking water from the top, leaving the gravel alone. The water changes will help to keep you safe from any mini cycle that is likely to happen, and that will ensure your fry pull through. The trick is to not change too much at once, so keep it small and simple, and go easy on the feedings. I would slow feeding down to every other day, and give them about 1/2 of what you normally do, for 1 - 2 wks. This will minimize the waste, and keepammonia and nitrite spikes lower during a mini cycle.
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