View Full Version : how do i change the gravel

less than adam
06-06-2003, 01:02 PM
Ok, I have a cycled tank (about 4 months old) that I would like to change the gravel that's in it. Basically I just want a better color. How can I successfully change the gravel with out having to re cycle the tank. Is that possible?

06-06-2003, 01:04 PM
Not really. Part of cycling the tank is establishing beneficial colonies of bacteria in the substrate and filters... if you pull out the gravel you will have to re-cycle the tank. But it shouldn't take as long, given that your filters will already have colonies of bacteria that can "seed" the new gravel.

just my 0.02 cents


less than adam
06-06-2003, 01:33 PM
What if during my next water change I soak the new gravel in the old water. Would that help? I could even put a used filter in the bucket.

06-06-2003, 01:53 PM
What if during my next water change I soak the new gravel in the old water. Would that help? I could even put a used filter in the bucket.

Not really unfortunately. The colonies are in the gravel and pretty much stay attached. There is really nothing benficial in the water. As fox sayts though. You should have no trouble. Try ringing out your filter in tank when you change the gravel. I honestly wouldn't worry to much about it unless you have fish that are highly sensitive. What do you have.

less than adam
06-06-2003, 02:55 PM
I have 5 convict (still semi small) and 1 rainbow shark. hmmm... sounds like there is not going to be any easy way to take care of this. I'm just sick of my greenish blue rocks and plasic plants. I really want something new but I dont want to stress my fish out too much.

06-06-2003, 02:57 PM
I am not sure about the shark, but I can guarantee you your cons will have no problems what so ever with the change. I would go for it.

06-06-2003, 03:59 PM
I just changed the gravel in my 20g with no problems to the cycle at all.

06-06-2003, 05:39 PM
I recently changed all the gravel in my 40 gallon, but I did it over a two week period. First 1/4 then the next, and so on...thus giving the new stuff some time to get acclimated while still having established substrate in the tank...it was somewhat of a pain doing it in segments...but if you are really concerned about your fish...this MAY be a safer opition....It worked well for me.

06-15-2003, 05:45 PM
You can change the gravel and not endanger your nitro cycle, as long as you filters are "seasoned". You can also seed your new gravel with a couple of cups of your old gravel. Don't stress over it.

The hard part is the acyual change and the muck you are going to stir up. Turn your filters off during this process, but no longerb than three hours, so have your washed gravel ready.

Those are my thoughts, anyway.



06-15-2003, 09:51 PM
less than adam I know you posted this thread a few weeks ago, so have you changed the gravel yet?

If not, here is what I did a few months back. It was quick and easy.

Get a piece of thin plexiglass and cut it to fit about halfway up your tank. Clean the existing gravel and push it all over to one side of the tank. Once the other side is bare, put the plexiglass in as a divider. Now the new gravel can be put in place. Leave this rather ugly arrangement for three weeks, then take out the old gravel. When you're done, all you have to do is clean the new side and take out the plexiglass then spread the gravel. It gives the new time to seed and leaves the good bacteria there in the old at the same time. It works great!

less than adam
06-16-2003, 05:55 PM
I changed the gravel last week. I just did one have one day then the other have 3 days later. It ended up going fine. In fact, now I have about 40 babies swiming in the bottom of the tank! This is the first batch I've actually seen. Hopefully a couple survive. Thanks for the advice everyone!