Easy way to change out gravel??

christy2828(8a)December 9, 2007

My 55 gallon tank is established and with live plants. I bought it used, and a lot of these things came with the tank. I thought that I would like the colors, or I would have changed them from the beginning. But, it is very drab and boring, and I really want to change the color of the gravel. Is there an easy way to do this? Any advice would be appreciated!! Thanks :) Christy

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Can you temporarily move the plants, fish, etc... to a smaller tank or plastic container with a filter / airstone? Once you do that, you can change out the gravel.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 1:45PM
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I don't have another tank. Can I take just a little bit out at a time? I've been trying to think of a way, like to section it off a little at a time, and replace it. Would that work? Thanks for any suggestions :) Christy

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 8:57PM
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if you have a plastic storage container (anything that holds water), especially a low vessel with a good surface area, you could use that.

The section at a time scares me a bit because that will likely stir up whatever wasteproducts that have been lodged in the gravel and make it harder for the fish to breathe. It's kind alike someone sweeping a layer of dust in a small, enclosed room - lotsa sneezing and wheezing...

I would strongly recommend finding a temporary place for the fish, with at least an airstone. Then get it all done in one shot.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 12:26PM
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Thank you, I'll do that. With doing it all in one shot, will the tank need to be cycled again? Should I rinse and/or boil the gravel before I put it in the tank? Thank you again! Christy

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 5:26PM
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No need to re-cycle the tank as long as you are using the same filter medium. The bacteria action is taking place in the sponge or filter fluff or bio-wheel... that you have been using, as opposed to the water. I proved that while working for a wholesaler. We had a shipment of saltwater invertabrates and one apparently didn't survive the night, causing a chain reaction of death, cloudiness, stink... I drained all the water and mixed a new batch. The tank was fine, because I didn't change out the media. Conversely, I set up a new tank, at a different time, and used "good" water from various tanks, along with a brand new outside filter. I proved that good water wasn't the answer and that a new filter needed too go through the cycle.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2007 at 12:40PM
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