Gravel Change and New Decor

  • Thread starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year
I've been wanting to change the green gravel i have in my tank and change it with a more natural look. What's the best way to change the gravel? And im thinking of adding more rocks to give my fish hiding spaces. What kind of rocks can I put in there that won't highly affect the water hardness of the water (water is already hard).
 

Luniyn

Well Known Member
Messages
695
Reaction score
4
Points
178
I like the natural look as well, and I went with . It won't have any effect on your water quality (just wash it in tap water to remove dust and other minor debris). I am using the Nutmeg which is a pretty small gravel (which is what I like) but their Shallow Creak Pebble is a bit larger. I found bags of it at my local PetCo, so you could probably go to any of those type stores to check them out.

Switching it out is the harder part. I thought about doing it myself to a smoother pebble before I bought my Cory Cats, but figured these were smoother then most pebbles in the river beds the cats come from. So I talked myself out of it, because the only thing I could think of is remove everything from the tank including the water and dumping the stone out which would be a big loss of bacteria and mean starting the cycle over.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year
So is there any way of gradually reducing the bacteria so i won't disturb the cycled tank? Im thinking of going with the Shallow Creek Pebble look. What kind of rocks can I put that won't increase hardeness?
 

Luniyn

Well Known Member
Messages
695
Reaction score
4
Points
178
These natural stones won't increase hardness or do anything to the water for that mater, so if you are going with one of these you don't have to worry about it.

As for the keeping of the bacteria, unless you have large stones or marbles in there now that are easy to distinguish from the smaller stones you are replacing them with, it's going to be hard to do a partial change. The gravel you mentioned in your original post sounded like small stones. The only thing I could think of to do is separate half of your tank using a piece of plastic. You would have to push the plastic down into your gravel till it touches the bottom of your tank. Then remove all of the stones on one side of the plastic while leaving the others in place. Now put in the new stone on that half of the tank and leave the plastic in there along with the half a tank of old stones for several weeks. Now the half that is new stones would get the good bacteria growing on it over that time. Then you could replace the other half of the stones and finally remove the piece of plastic. Now, as to how you would keep that piece of plastic in place with half of the stones out of the tank, I haven't quite figured out ;D... but that's all I could think of to do.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year
sounds like a good idea !
 

atmmachine816

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,495
Reaction score
3
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
A rather simple solution to change all gravel at once is:

Buy, rinse and get new gravel ready.

Drain water from tank into five gallon bucket, put in heater and airstone in bucket and transfer fish. (have more than one bucket if you have too many fish)

take out all decorations and drain tank completely.

Take a small shovel and shovel out all old gravel and store or throw away

Rinse out tank with old tank water to clean excess debris out.

Fill tank halful of water

add gravel

add rest of water

add decor, start up filter again, let run for an hour or so

Once water is same temp as in bucket transfer fish back in

This is on the asumption you have two heaters, since it's a good idea to have a spare in case one dies anyways.

Now tank a pany-ho or whatever their called, the stocking things that woman/girls wear that are thin, fill with gravel and let it hang in your tank for a couple weeks.

Also take filter media and stick it in the bucket with the fish until you can run your filter again, more bacteria is in your filter media than your gravel and as long as the filter media is not out of the water very long it will stay on there in the bucket and once you put it back in your tank all should be good, same goes for the gravel. There might be cloudy initially but a new batch of carbon should clear it up IF it's not gone in a day or two. I would go with small pea size gravel.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year

atmmachine816

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,495
Reaction score
3
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
It will keep it in the tank until some starts growing again in the gravel. But like I said, more beneficial bacteria is in your filter media than gravel. I setup a 5gallon tank with only old filter media and my tank was instantly cycled, the gravel doesn't hold that much.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year
hmm so wont have that big of a impact then huh? well i already seperated about 1/3 of the tank with a ruler between the green and shallow creek gravel. I still have a bottle of Cycle with some still in it. I think if i just keep adding a teaspoon of cycle it should do fine. right? and im planning on filling the rest of the tank with the new gravel by next week.
 

Luniyn

Well Known Member
Messages
695
Reaction score
4
Points
178
Definitely a good point ATM, which I never even considered being that this isn't a very large tank we are talking about here. Changing the rocks but leaving the current filter media in place with all of it's good bacteria in it (i.e. make sure it doesn't dry out while you are doing the rock change) sounds like it would definitely keep the tank cycled correctly. I don't think you would even have to bother using your left over bottle of Cycle, though using it wouldn't hurt anything. You could probably just change the remainder of the stone out tb and call it a day.
 

atmmachine816

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,495
Reaction score
3
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
Yup it works.

tb19 do you have a test kit, if your tank is cycled, then there is no reason to keep adding cycle, I don't know how well cycle works and I think your supposed to refrigerate it too.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year
cool 8) then im finally done with that then. and yes i do have a test kit. I wasnt so sure if i was still supposed to keep adding Cycle. You know ...i thought i was supposed to finish the bottle lol
 

atmmachine816

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,495
Reaction score
3
Points
208
Experience
5 to 10 years
LOL no, as long as your tank is cycled no need to add cycle.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter

tb19

Valued Member
Messages
237
Reaction score
0
Points
186
Experience
1 year
oh ok cool then i wont have to worry about that
 

COBettaCouple

Fishlore Legend
Messages
25,165
Reaction score
26
Points
508
Experience
Just started
yea, we used to use cycle but stopped & found that our tank chemistry did better without it for all of our tanks.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom