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Old 01-21-2012, 03:08 PM   #1
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Changing Gravel

Hello, I am new to this site. I have a twenty six gallon bow front with 6 gold tetras and 8 bloodfin tetras. I took over this tank from someone else and I really like it. However, the blue gravel just really annoys me and I would really prefer to change it to a more natural color such as brown or black. Anyways, if I'm going to it, how can I do it all in one day and not go through a mini cycle?
I planned to take all the fish and decor out and put them in a bucket to keep the good bacteria on those things. Then i would change the gravel and put the decor and the fish back in. I would like to keep the fish out of the tank as least as possible. Is there any thing else I should know to avoid another cycle?

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:05 PM   #2
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Welcome!!! Sounds like you have a good game plan! You will need to monitor your water daily after the switch to make sure there are no spikes in amm/nitrite for atleast a week after the change. If you see any, water changes will be necessary. You also can place some of the dirty blue gravel in a piece of panythose or a mesh bag in the tank for a few weeks to help seed the new gravel. Hope this helps!
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:19 PM   #3
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I think with any major revamps on a tank you always run the chance of effecting the cycle.

As Jlk said monitoring your water will help prevent any serious issues and the mesh bag will help keep at least some bb there.

Just remember was really well before adding it!
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:13 PM   #4
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would it be possible to remove the blue gravel from the sides of the tank and add the new gravel there and just remove enough of the blue gravel so that you could add a layer of the new gravel over the blue on the tank bottom and still have a gravel depth of 2-3 inches? that way you would still have the color change but not lose all the bb. if i wanted to change out my color i think that's the way i would go.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:37 PM   #5
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@jlk

The old gravel in the mesh bag sounds like a great idea to maintain more of the bacteria. Thanks

I also heard that changing gravel does not have a horrible affect on the bacteria unless you have one of the under gravel filters. Does anybody know if this is true? (I have a filter above the water btw)
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #6
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I don't think changing gravel would be detrimental. At worst you might have a small spike for a few days but some extra water changes would take care of it and it should be fine. I completely changed tanks (upgrade), decor and sand (but kept the filter media) and didn't see a spike at all. It might depend too on how clean the gravel is underneath; if you vacuum it regularly it'll be fine, if not a lot of uneated food and waste can get caught under there which will get stirred up when you move it, which may cause a spike for a few days but I don't think it would be detrimental as long as you test the water and do extra water changes as needed if it happens.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #7
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Hopefully, it will go smoothly & you will not see any spikes but this is not a guarentee! Just make sure you monitor your water daily for the week following the change.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #8
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I feel confident about doing this now, i will just be ready to do a couple extra water changes if i see some spikes in amm/nitrate! Thanks guys! You helped so much!
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