Help Changing Substrate

owaiz

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Hi, my well set tank is having pebbles Atm as substrate, since it’s very difficult to maintain Iam planning to change it to a Sand substrate. Another reason I have to change is I have this tank on floor, I have a cabinet ready for months just for this aquarium. So I can get both the job done. Please help me with tips on changing the substrate. Thank you.
 

ForceTen

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I have just performed a substrate change and want to warn about what I learned. Learned the hard way.
Make sure your bio filter is alive and well. Do not clean it!
Remove fish to another aquarium ready for fish. Add water from the holding tank to the tank you are changing substrate in.
Rinse new substrate very well and treat new substrate in Prime treated water.
Take your time. Take test readings in the new setup and do not put any fish back until the new setup is ready. Ready biologically.

I lost a tank full of healthy fish to a substrate change without proper knowledge as to how to do it correctly. I know I upset the biological circle of life (nitrogen cycle) and frightened my fish at the same time. I think the shock of the new biologic free substrate, upsetting the balance and frightening/shocking all the fish led to their early deaths. I also think the new color of the gravel may have played a small part?

I am paying the price right now as we speak. Good luck and do not try to rush along this project unless you know what to do to quick cycle the aquarium.
 

lilirose

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It is not a good idea to move a tank with water and hardscape in it. You can damage the tank by doing this, and end up with cracked glass or leaks in the seals. You should temporarily move the fish and empty the tank before you move it, which will also allow you to easily change the substrate. You can put the fish in a clean bucket (one that has never had soap in it) while you're working.
 

ClaireRedfield

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Just a quick add on to the above suggestions.

Don’t do any filter maintenance or cleaning before you attempt this and never move a tank with any water in it. It puts incredible pressure on the corners of the tank and 6 months later, you’ll wonder where that leak came from.

You will lose some bacteria from changing the substrate, but if you put some of your gravel in a mesh bag and set it in the new tank(either hang it near the filter or set it on the sand, it will help until things get established. Good luck
 

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