Changing Gravel with fish...
I've tried to ignore it but I can't. I've tried to tell myself it doesn't matter, it does.
My 70g and my 5g both have dark grey and brown gravel. My 30g, which was the first tank I set up, has white gravel. And I hate it. It bugs me so much. The tank would look so natural and brilliant without the stupid white gravel.
The tank is heavily planted and contains a whole bunch of neons and some kuhlis. (There are some cories in there at the moment but they will be gone by the time this exercise takes place, if it does take place).
My question: how do I go about this while causing the least stress to the fish? Do I remove them all to a bucket with a heater or do I carefully remove all the plants and driftwood whilse theyre still in there and scoop out the gravel by handful until its empty, then gently add the new gravel? Can't decide if it would be more stressful for them to have their habitat rearranged around them or have to spend a few hours in a bucket.
Tips and suggestions for this process would be greatly appreciated! I know the neons will be easy, I find them really tough wee things and easy as to catch. Its the kuhlis i know will be a struggle.
Also, I never vacuum the gravel around the back because that's where the plants are. I know if I disturb it its going to cause a huge mess of all the crap that's been building up there since I set the tank up. Will this harm the fish if they're in there?
Also, will this cause my tank to mini cycle, as I know a lot of the bb will be in the gravel. My tank is extremely stable though, probably because of the plants. I do a water change every week but my nitrates are always extremely low, 5ppm Max.
Last edited by ameliaaahx; 05-28-2012 at 03:21 AM.
120g 5ft CA/SA Cichlids ♦ 65g 4ft Planted Community ♦ 5g Betta
Fish will be fine in a bucket with tank water for a few hours. Add a heater and an air pump.
Do the job as quickly as you can and make sure the water is treated and is equal or close to the temp in the bucket before adding the fish back.
That's right. Fish will be ok, just be sure they have air. Condition your new water/ set-up/tank, and you are good to go...
Changing gravel with the fish still in the tank is super stressful on the fish. I just did this last week and the bucket method is the way to go. Make sure you have air and the heater, mine where in the bucket all day and did just fine.
Be prepared for some plant melt, substrate change is harder on the plants then anything else.
I had to do this just yesterday. I siphoned the water into a tub and then removed the fish into the tub. Quickly stripped the tank and re-set it up.
The fish started to stress towards the end but were happy once back in the tank.
4 ft 60g FW: 2 angels, 4 blind cave, 1 whiteskirt, 4 gold widows, 6 serpaes, 1 neonhead apisto, 4 clown loaches, 4 albino cory, 2 bronze corys & 3 BN plecos.
23g FW: 1 neonhead apisto, 1 yoyo, 2 albino BN plecos & 4 pepper cory
5.5g: Crowntail Betta, 6 black Khuli's & RCS
5 g: Crowntail Betta, 1 albino cory (Quasi), 4 baby khuli's & RCS
7 g: Dragontail Betta & 2 albino cory
3ft Axi tank: 1 black, 1 gold - 1 redcap oranda & 2 albino cory
I'm just going to add a "me too". I recently changed the substrate on one of my tanks. Took all the decorations and plants out, drained the water to within a few inches of the bottom, and scooped out all the fish. Into a bucket with heater and airstone.
One thing: put a towel or something over the bucket. Stressed fish may try to jump out of the bucket.