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Old 07-29-2015, 05:42 PM   #1
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Switching substrate mid-tank?

Sooo.. i have a 29 gallon tank with a small bushynose pleco, 2 fancytail goldfish (ryukin) and some hornswart.. hornswort? Whatever it is, you know what i mean.

Currently i have a fun bold colored them going, bright red and purple gravel substrate and vibrant fake plants with a custom backdrop i created. Looks like a 50's campy scifi Martian landscape. I love it, but one of my fish seems more prone to stress. The slightest thing and she clamps up and goes low to the bottom (unless it's me going near the tank, that cheers her up because I'm the bringer of food. But other people getting too close, anyone else trying to feed them..). Also my pleco seems a bit high strung. I read that bright color gravel can add to their stress.

I really really like the Natural substrate made out of what appears to be super compact dirt. But I also saw how it can literally crumble into fine dust when handled roughly. I want to switch to this, BUT goldfish make a lot of waste and i have to gravel vac more than i do with say, my little tetra tank. Also, im afraid switching the substrate with an established tank will cause a lot more stress on the fish than slowly switching out their decos for real plants would. (I wait 3 weeks before changing any decoration so not to freak them out by changing it all at once. I don't do it often, I'm just transitioning them to calmer decos.)

Any experience doing this? Tips?

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