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Old 10-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #1
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Redo an established tank

I have a 10 gallon setup with 2 small blue crayfish, 6 zebra danios and a rainbow shark. The tank has been running for a few months and everything is great.
It's only setup with the cheap (cheap looking) plants, blue gravel, and decorations and I want to replace it all with more natural stuff. I have some slate rock, some nice artificial plants from Michael's, and I'm getting a piece of driftwood and some small "pea" stone for substrate.
Can I swap this stuff out slowly, over the course of couple weeks without taking the fish out? Say remove all plants and move decorations to left side of tank. Remove half substrate and replace. Move all decorations to right side of tank. Remove rest of old substrate and replace. Add new plants. Remove decorations and replace with driftwood and slate. If spread out after each step would this be ok?
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Old 10-04-2013, 09:29 AM   #2
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A rainbow shark on it's own needs already 30 - 50 gallon. You might wanna consider buying a new tank, would make the set-up easier too.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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The shark is only about an inch and half long at most, and I do plan on a 45 gallon tank in the near future. For now this tank is much better than the 10 gallon he shared with 30 other rainbow sharks at the pet store.
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Old 10-04-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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Sounds like a good plan then About the new setup; to me it sounds a lot easier to put the fish in a temporary tank (or bucket) and get it over with.
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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Sounds like a good plan then About the new setup; to me it sounds a lot easier to put the fish in a temporary tank (or bucket) and get it over with.
Is it safe to put them in a bucket or two for the half hour or so it'll take to change everything out, then put the old water back in?
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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I'm not yet an aquarium expert myself so I'll leave that question to the experts I can't imagine it going wrong when the temperature, oxygen and other water qualities are good though, but don't take my word on it.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:28 PM   #7
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If I were you I would just siphon the tank water into a bucket and put the fish in there. Maybe wrap a towel around it and cover it for insulation to prevent any temperature change. They'll be fine for half an hour. If you put an airstone in there that would be even better though.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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Ditto on the air stone. Theyll be fine. You will probably experience a micro bacteria bloom thatll cloud up the water for a bit but thats usually expected when changing things out.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #9
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You probably already know this, but I'll put it here for any newbies who may be reading: Remember that the good bacteria responsible for your cycle live on surfaces. If you are changing out the gravel and decorations, make really sure that you keep the same filter and filter media that you had in the established tank. You may still experience a mini-cycle doing that, so I would keep a close eye on the water parameters after you do the switch, just to be safe.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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You probably already know this, but I'll put it here for any newbies who may be reading: Remember that the good bacteria responsible for your cycle live on surfaces. If you are changing out the gravel and decorations, make really sure that you keep the same filter and filter media that you had in the established tank. You may still experience a mini-cycle doing that, so I would keep a close eye on the water parameters after you do the switch, just to be safe.
I know that's why I figured doing it slow would be best for the fish, because by the time I remove the last of the old stuff, bacteria should be present on most of the new stuff
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