changing to different coloured gravel

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by neonblue1980, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. neonblue1980Valued MemberMember

    my tank is new, so this isn't something that will happen any time soon...but...if i were to decorate my tank in a couple months/years time just to try a new look, and i wanted a different colour of gravel....can you do a total swap like that? or is there bacteria in the gravel that your fish would need to survive? and you'd throw away all the old gravel and wind up killing your fish?
  2. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I've done it a few times and never had a problem. One thing you can do to make sure you have enough bio is to run more than one filter, or a single filter that is way to big for your tank and stock.

    Just do it fast. Use a container with tank water to put your fish in, like a bucket. Drain the tank. Scoop out the old substrate, and add the new. Saving some of the old tank water won't hurt. But there is no need to save more than half. Fill the tank up, start the filters, and your done.
  3. Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    You can do it. Most of the beneficial bacteria is in the bio stage of your filtration. Most people change the substrate at one time or another, I think. You might want a new color or a new substrate altogether (like gravel to sand or vice versa).
  4. RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    ill add that be careful when you distrube and mix up substrate as you can experience a spike in ammonia and nitrite due to all the undisturbed organics being swirled around in the tank. This will be only temporary.
  5. NitemelodiesValued MemberMember

    I changed my substrate from gravel to sand just fine^^ I think you'll be okay^^ just be careul when you do it^^ though gravel to different gravel shouldnt be too difficult
  6. dakotaValued MemberMember

    I use to use colored gravel years ago. The only draw back I did not like was it was when vacuuming was stirring up the substrate and trying to get all of the waste out of it causing quite abit of it floating all over the tank. I switched to small natural colored gravel and it is no more than 1/2 inch deep any deeper and I found it was to hard to get all the waste out. I can clean all my tanks much faster and get the substrate real clean. After cleaning I can seperate the substrate just about anywhere in the tanks and find almost no waste of any kind on the bottom of the tanks.
    Colored substrate looks good but I made the switch and glad I did. Thanks
  7. neonblue1980Valued MemberMember

    i saw 'gravel' at a pet store that is just medium sized glass stones. not itty bitty teeny tiny like aquarium gravel is. i think it would be much easier to clean.

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