04-07-2013, 01:51 PM #11Junior Member Guppy
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
OK, I've read the cycling stickies and a few more - no wonder they don't tell you this in the pet shops - there's a bit more to this than feeding and changing!
I just emptied out most of the water, leaving the gravel alone as instructed. When I was refilling the tank a large amount of stuff came up from the gravel - waste, bits of veg that I put in yesterday and just general stuff. It made the water really cloudy. I left it there and let it settle before putting the fish back in as that's what it says in the cycling sticky - never wash the gravel. My question is, if there's that much stuff, can I just empty out that water with the stuff in it or does that constitue cleaning the gravel?
04-07-2013, 02:19 PM #12
You shouldn't remove the fish when you change water. Syphon 50% of the water out. Leave the fish in. Vac the gravel once you are cycled but not before. Treat the water (dechlorinate) in a bucket and make sure it's the same temperature as the rest of the tank. Put the water back into the tank (gently!)
Removing the fish each time will stress them (a lot).
You may need to do this several times a day to keep ammonia levels under 0.25.
Do you have liquid test kits yet?
04-07-2013, 04:21 PM #13Senior Member Red tailed catfish
- Join Date
- Dec 2010
Honestly though, I don't think there's an issue with vacuuming gravel before a tank is cycled - especially if the fish might have been overfed and there's rotting food at the bottom or lots of poop down there. Will help keep the ammonia low too.
Good to let the stuff settle and then put the siphon back in there at next water change to get more of it - I just stick the siphon to the bottom of the tank (one place at a time - I don't stir up the gravel at all) and watch stuff get sucked up into it - I don't remove the siphon until the water going up is clear or close to it.
It's the filter media that is growing the bacteria (at least the majority of it) - that's why you don't want to touch it while cycling.