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Old 06-28-2017, 11:50 PM   #1
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Changing substrate

I am wanting to change my substrate in my 20 gallon tank from gravel to black sand. My tank has been set up and cycled since the first of May. I also have otos, which I am concerned about stressing out during this process, which I have had for almost a month now. Any suggestions on how to do this without stressing out my fish too much or starting a mini cycle? I also plan on setting up a new 37 gallon tank in about 2 to 3 weeks, so should I wait until I have that tank cycled and move the fish to that tank while I switch the substrate.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Roxane1232 View Post
I am wanting to change my substrate in my 20 gallon tank from gravel to black sand. My tank has been set up and cycled since the first of May. I also have otos, which I am concerned about stressing out during this process, which I have had for almost a month now. Any suggestions on how to do this without stressing out my fish too much or starting a mini cycle? I also plan on setting up a new 37 gallon tank in about 2 to 3 weeks, so should I wait until I have that tank cycled and move the fish to that tank while I switch the substrate.
I would just remove your fish and keep them in a bucket during the process and also make sure that your filter media stays wet during the process. You will lose a pretty good amount of your beneficial bacteria by taking out your gravel so a little but of a mini cycle may be unavoidable. I would just stay on top of your testing and water changes in the week or two after the change. Another option is to fill up a big filter media bag with some of the old gravel and keep it in the tank for a little after the change to help seed the new substrate with the old bacteria. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:52 AM   #3
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Agree with @dallascowboys16, put some of the old gravel in a couple of stockings and place on the new substrate to seed.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:31 AM   #4
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If you go to the link in my signature, I did exactly what you are trying to do (among other things).
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:43 AM   #5
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If you go to the link in my signature, I did exactly what you are trying to do (among other things).


Would you post the links directly into this thread when you get a chance? On the mobile app signatures that you set up on the full browser do not appear. There may be a workaround for this though. Thanks!
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:27 AM   #6
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Would you post the links directly into this thread when you get a chance? On the mobile app signatures that you set up on the full browser do not appear. There may be a workaround for this though. Thanks!
Of course:

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Old 07-03-2017, 04:20 PM   #7
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I just did exactly what you're asking and I did exactly what was described above. Fish went into a bucket while I changed the substrate over and replanted. Fish were back in the tank by the end of the day. My otos didn't seem stressed at all, nor did any of my other fish. I gave them tons of veggies after and they all settled right back in to their improved home.
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