View Full Version : can i make a gravel change with fish in tank

10-21-2007, 10:12 AM
i now have blue gravel in my tank got the tank for free gravel came with it. was not planning to be come a fish tank addict so i want to make some changes to the gravel. i heard u can use play sand for the bottom but do not have another tank to put my fish in so can i make the change with fish in tank

10-21-2007, 11:00 AM
You can buy a cheap rubber maid tub and put the fish in that while you do the change. I think it would be to hard to change out the gravel to sand while the fish are in the tank. You would have to wait till the sand settles to put the fish back in.

10-21-2007, 12:00 PM
it is possible to make the change with the fish in the tank but the easiest way is like shell said to buy a cheap tub and put the fish in it. i have even been desperate before and used my moms tupperware :oops:

if you really want to change it with the fish in the tank, i suggest dropping the water level about halfway and scooping the gravel out... its gonna be a mess. maybe you should vaccuum it before you do to get alot of gross stuff out first. ive heard alot of people saying they use the kids plastic shovels like you get for the beach to scoop it out.

once you get all the gravel out, you can start putting in your sand. make sure you clean it very well before putting it in the tank. that way it wont cloud up your water soo bad. i would put the sand in the same way you took the gravel out, with the plastic shovel. that way you aren't dumping it in and stirring it up. id lay it along the bottom a scoop at a time, then when you are finished you can redecorate and re-add your water. dont expect your tank to be crystal clear, it will probably be kind of cloudy for a day or so until the sand all settles down. hope that helps :D

10-21-2007, 04:12 PM
Just siphon out the gravel into buckets however you must be very careful cleaning your playsand, I would go with Pool Filter Sand since on average its a lot easier to clean.

10-21-2007, 06:31 PM
rusty gave great advice to siphon the gravel out. i'll give my take on cleaning pool filter sand or play sand i like the PFS better though.
get you some 5 gallon buckets fill them about 1/3 with sand then fill with water up to about 4 inches from the top churn the sand (i just use my hand) and dump the water out don't dump the sand though reapet untill water is clear it takes a while but when i put up my 125 it didn't cloud at all.

10-26-2007, 01:03 AM
Check out a product by 3M called 'color quartz'. It looks just like sand buts its actually quartz. Its usually $20 for a 50lb bag so its twice as expensive as pool filter or play sand but its worth it for looks. You can choose your color, mix and match colors and they have 12 or so colors to choose from. I've tried bags of tan, black, white and grey. I mixed the tan and white and it looks like the nicest ocean beach sand you've ever seen. It might be tough to find though. It also needs a good washing. Try a pillow case with fine woven cloth.

Murky Waters
10-26-2007, 09:19 AM
I did this recently. I did not like the rock I had in the tank (regular quartz type stuff that you use in gardens and stuff) and I wanted to change it.

I tried to catch all the fish, but they were too fast (plus, the water was too cloudy from the rock), I ended up only catching like 3 of them before I gave up.

I just took a soup ladle and a hard spatula and started scooping it out, I'd push all the rock to a corner and then just scoop it.

Once I got all the rock out, I started putting in the gravel. I put it in a small plastic container and dumped it in a container at a time, long process, but I didn't want to bury any of my fish alive.

It stressed them out some, but they recovered very quickly, by the next day, they were back to normal.

10-26-2007, 04:19 PM
Seems to me I've been doing this kind of switch too frequently of late...:rolleyes:

After taking the water down at least halfway and removing all decor I use a clean dust pan to scoop out the old substrate. Goes pretty quickly and the fish don't seem too upset by it...

10-26-2007, 10:01 PM
Just siphon out the gravel into buckets

with a python? i must not have the water pressure yall all have cuz my python would NEVER suck up gravel lol...

10-27-2007, 07:12 AM
You can't use a python to suck out old gravel, you need the 1/2" hose and bucket method....

10-27-2007, 09:53 AM
ah ok never tried to like that