adding gravel to tank question..
After almost 6 months I realize I don't have nearly enough gravel in the aquarium, 50lbs in a 55 gallon. So my question is can I just add it without removing the fish? I don't want to scare them to death,or do I need to remove them. Also how much more gravel do I need?
I think you must remove the fish.Yes just ad it after you wash it.I don't now how much gravel you will need.
I've added substrate to a tank before with the fish in. As long as the substrate is not one that will cloud the water (plain, well washed gravel shouldn't), this is how I've done it:
Scoop the substrate into a bowl. Lower the bowl into the water slowly. Once the bowl has filled with water, lower it to substrate level and slowly pour out the contents while watching for any fish in the way. Repeat ad nauseum.
Its def a slow process, but shouldn't bother the fish too much. Its certainly less stressful than capture, temporary relocation, capture, move back to original tank.
As long as your tank is rectangular or square, there is a handy substrate calculator here- Substrate Calculator
For sand, etc., some tinkering of the figures in needed because you get a lot of wasted wash off. But for gravel this should be fairly accurate. There's a more thorough one out there that I like, but I can't seem to find it presently.
I have added gravel as mina has many many times, without removing the fish. As long as the gravel is well rinsed it shouldnt be a problem.
Often I just put the gravel bag(s) in my slop sink in the workshop, tear open the top and poke small holes in the bottom. fill the bag, let it drain, 5 maybe 6 times. Stick my hand in the tank to get the fish out of the way, and slowly pour the gravel in. once I have a mountain, I reach in and move it by hand or with old fish nets. Wash, rinse, repeat until the gravel is all where you want it! just be mindful you dont bury a cory cat ;-)
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