Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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pretzelsz 01-14-2010 12:51 PM

Adding and removing decor ect with fish
so I just got back into my fish and i dontlike my rainbow gravel and i have a 5 pound bag of river rocks or whatever and i know its not enough but i want to change a bulk of what i can. so my question is how would i do that with 10 fish in my tank? also since i have only been changing water and feeding the fish the gravel is cover with fish poop so can i get steps?

JohnnyD44 01-14-2010 01:02 PM

assuming your tank is still up and running, here's how I'd handle it....I just did the swtich in my 55G.

1.)First step is to train your tank leaving just enough for the fish to be able to swim around....
2.) Move fish into a 5 gallon bucket
3.) drain tank as best as you can
4.) scoop out all of the old gravel, holding on to some of it (more in a moment)
6.) rinse your new gravel over and over....i washed 75 pounds of gravel about 10 times....this will save alot of gunk going into your filter
7.) add the mentioned you only have 5 pounds of gravel, thats gonna be spead pretty thin on a 10G tank...most aquarists reccommend a pound per gallon atleast.
8.) Re-fill your tank, trying best to match the temperature of your tank
9.) Add fish

I would pick up a mesh bag, some people use pantyhose....and place your old gravel in it. You can then put that bag of gravel in your tank, in a high current area, this will allow some of your old seeding bacteria to remain a part of the tank....personally, I just put mine inside the filter chamber and let it run in there for a while.

if you water changing and there is still fish poo on the gravel, I'd reccommend picking up a gravel vac....which is undoubtably make changing the gravel out alot easier...

Hope that helps, others will be along!

pretzelsz 01-14-2010 01:08 PM

Thanks but i also dont have a 5 gallon bucket. i might wait until next week t buy more gravel after my guitar lesson so i have enough maybe a big bag wich costs like 15 bucks which is nthing compared to what i just bought COST ME OVER 100 BUCKS FOR frankly alot of stuff i bought a new i also want to wait since i just got new fish and i dont want to freak them out

iamntbatman 01-14-2010 01:39 PM

You can also get some rigid plastic and cut it the front-to-back width of the tank, at least as tall as your current gravel is deep. Stick it down into the gravel to section off about 1/3rd of the floorspace of your tank, and remove the gravel in that third. You can use a fish net to remove it. Add the new gravel to that space. You'll need a second piece of plastic to section off the next third, which you can replace a week later. Do the last third one week later.

The reason for doing it like this is because there are lots of beneficial bacteria living in your gravel, so removing it all in one go like that is setting yourself up for a mini-cycle.

jeaninel 01-14-2010 09:04 PM

You can get 5 gallon buckets at Walmart for about $5.

The only problem with doing a partial gravel change out is that it sounds like the OP never cleaned the gravel and there will be a lot of muck stirred up and that may possibly cause a spike not to mention very murky water. I think as long as you save some of the old gravel in a pantyhose/mesh bag as mentioned and keep your filter media wet while your doing the change over you can do it all at once. Don't clean your filter or change out the media for the week or so before you change out the gravel.

pretzelsz 01-15-2010 04:11 PM

i acually changed what i wanted to and i just kept a thin layer on the bottom of it(need more of the new gravel) and i am adding sand to the other side...sooo i have taken out most of the floor on that side and should i leave a thin layer there too or what(i will be taking the fish out and into a what i think is clean recycling container[i washed it by rubbing the container with my finger then rinsing a few times] is that ok?). leaving about 1-3 inches of water in the tank so there is some water(i have read the sand substrate artical) i have no filter nor do i have alot of money to get one but any ideas on anything i have i will greatly appreciate!;)

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