Complete Water Change Without Losing Bacteria?

  1. abheeshs Member Member

    Is it even possible? I wanted to do a complete water change and redo my substrate.

    Is it possible to do that without losing my precious bacteria? I have been using Seachem Stability and my levels are stable.
     
  2. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    As long as your filter media stays wet you'll be fine:)
    There isn't really any beneficial bacteria in the water column.
     

  3. Fanatic Well Known Member Member

    Hi abh,

    I'd suggest you could move your substrate without taking your water all the way out.
    You can save some of the previous water, and add it back into the tank once you refill.

    @Flowingfins | Bacteria exists mainly on the media, but also on the substrate in small forms.

    Fanatic
     
  4. abheeshs Member Member

    How long can the bacteria stay alive out of water? I want to take apart my whole substrate and rearrange them.
     

  5. Fanatic Well Known Member Member

    Until it goes dry, most likely.
    I don't intend or recommend to keep it out for more than 2 hours.
    Just put it in a bucket of water, with an airstone.
     
  6. Flowingfins Fishlore VIP Member

    I am fully aware of that, I didn't see it necessary to mention since op is changing theirs.

    Even a Ziploc bag would work to keep it wet.
     
  7. Chemgrl08 Initiate Member

    As others have said- I would keep the filter media in a bucket of original tank water (or a ziploc, or keep it running if it fits the bucket well enough.) I'd also save as much of the original water as possible for good measure. Perhaps use rinsed milk jugs or 2L pop bottles. I recently moved across the country and I was able to set up a new tank with a surprising 18/19 fish surviving the trip and the new tank. (Ironically, the aquarium plants didn't make it. LOL Accidentally froze in a hotel refidgerator.)
     

  8. abheeshs Member Member

    Basically I want to save the bacteria in the substrate. I am not replacing substrate, but rearranging it. If I wash the gravel under running water, would it kill the bacteria? How do I remove dirt from the gravel without removing bacteria?
     
  9. Fanatic Well Known Member Member

    Yes, tap water would kill the bacteria.