Taking Out Gravel In Tank?

  1. Shane Dostie

    Shane Dostie Valued Member Member

    Hi I have an established goldfish tank and I wonder if it is ok to take out the gravel and put in black pebbles. I want to do this for aesthetic view and to make it easier to clean. Will this kill my beneficial bacteria? I am almost positive the answer is that it's totally fine but I just want to hear some thoughts on this. Side note: my tank is slightly overstocked for goldfish which is why I am starting up an indoor pond soon to house my fish. 08759d209896f5251195e4bfd19762ce.jpg
  2. goplecos

    goplecos Well Known Member Member

    I would be fine, but do it over slowly over the next few weeks. Put the pebbles in a Bio-bag to keep the separate from the others, so you can change over easier.
  3. FlutterFish

    FlutterFish Well Known Member Member

    Over 90% of your beneficial bacteria is in your filter, so as long as you don't take that out, you'll be fine.

    Side note, how large are the black pebbles? Larger gravel collects more waste in between than fine gravel, so if they're large and you plan on having them covering the whole floor, it will get harder to clean.

  4. OP
    Shane Dostie

    Shane Dostie Valued Member Member

    Why would you suggest I do it over time? Does it have to do with beneficial bacteria?
  5. Katie13

    Katie13 Fishlore VIP Member

    Most of the beneficial bacteria lies in the filter. With that in mind, removing the gravel will remove some of the beneficial bacteria, but you can never tell just how much. It would easily work in a well established tank.
  6. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    There a possibility that you might go through a mini cycle. When you change substrate out you are taking some of the BB out.

    The best way of doing this, IMO, is to put the fish in another tank and change your substrate. Once done let the tank run with the new substrate for a day or so just to make sure everything is alright. The last thing you want to do is risk the fish due to a mini cycle.
  7. OP
    Shane Dostie

    Shane Dostie Valued Member Member

    The black pebbles are quite large they are more like rocks I plan on just placing down like 6-7. Thanks for advise!

    That's a good idea, i think they might be a little crowded in my 10 gallon for a day though. But that sounds good. I'll monitor the ammonia and nitrite levels after i take the gravel out.

    I do water changes often so I should be able to keep up with the waste.
  8. Fisher27

    Fisher27 Valued Member Member

    It kills a little bit, but the filter is the main bacteria. If you mix the gravel you will be safer
  9. OP
    Shane Dostie

    Shane Dostie Valued Member Member

    Thanks for advise!

    Ok, I've had this tank for a year so i may just do it slowly over a week.
  10. Fashooga

    Fashooga Fishlore VIP Member

    If your worried about the size go to a store and get a big plastic bucket. Cheap and easy to store.
  11. goplecos

    goplecos Well Known Member Member

    Yes, and it would and it will keep the water clean. Goldfish are messy no matter how much you vacuum the tank there's always poo in there somewhere if you change it slowly, you won't stir up as much dirt.
  12. K

    Kody Grieve Valued Member Member

    it should be fine as long as your filter media is well kept during transition, the gravel wont make much of a difference at all.