Changing gravel

chunkdaddy

Member
I want to change the gravel in my 5 gallon tank. There's new red gravel mixed in with old red & black gravel. Can I just scoop it out and put in new gravel?

By the way, there's 1 guppy & a dozen red cherry shrimp in the tank.
 

jetajockey

Member
I would remove the fish and shrimp first so they don't get hurt in the process. And I suggest keeping the old gravel in a container or a bag in the tank for a few weeks to help remedy any chance of minicycle.
 
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chunkdaddy

Member
It shouldn't take more than 30-60 min to remove the old gravel and put in new, so would it be okay to put the spotty (the guppy) and the rcs in a bucket with water from the tank?

Also, was thinking of maybe putting sand in this tank. Would that be okay with rcs?

*edit* Just read some horror stories about sand. Never mind, I don't need any more stress or expense in my life.
 

jetajockey

Member
Yes they should be fine if you are just keeping them in there while switching substrate, just be sure to acclimate them to the new tank water.

Horror stories about sand? I love sand, its my favorite substrate next to bare bottom. The key with sand is to spend a few more dollars and get good quality product.
 

tototime

Member
Sand would work with the shrimp. They probably would enjoy it more since they like to sift.
 

SFwriter

Member
I did a 100% water and substrate change (actually we boiled it instead of replacing it) with a 50 gallon tank. The three residents (all large algae eaters) did just fine in a bucket for over an hour, though I did have a heater and thermometer attached.

In your case if the water is fine, your tank is so small I'd probably just keep at least half the water and put it back in after you change the substrate. Should be a very quick job with such a small tank and that should prevent what somebody upstream called a mini-cycle.
 

tototime

Member
Keep some substrate in a small bag as well to help prevent a minI cycle. Water doesn't hold much of the bacteria. Most is in the substrate and filter.
 

Shawnie

Member
tototime said:
Keep some substrate in a small bag as well to help prevent a minI cycle. Water doesn't hold much of the bacteria. Most is in the substrate and filter.
+2
 

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