Kingkid123 asked in PetsFish · 8 years ago

How do i switch the gravel in my aquarium without disturbing the beneficial bacteria?

i want to switch out my gravel because i found some that i really like and it looks nice. but how do i switch out the gravel without causing a mini cycle? Any advice is appreciated!

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Well it's going to disturb the cycle a bit as some of the bacteria are on the gravel. But depending on your filtration, most of them will actually be in the filter media. Make sure you don't change the filter media for a few weeks before you swap the gravel over. That way the filters will have a good population of bacteria and will be able to make up for the missing gravel.

    A bit like when you swap the filter cartridge, you rely on the bacteria in the gravel to cover for the loss.

    You can also reduce the feeding for a few days. Less food = less ammonia to be processed. 1/2 rations for a week wont harm the fish, and will lessen any "mini-cycle".


  • 8 years ago

    Surface area of the filter compared to surface area the gravel has many times the population of the nitrogen fixing bacteria then does the filter, but that being said does not mean that this will not work.

    Do not change out your filter at this time. It will serve as the reservoir for bacteria to repopulate the gravel. Since the actual processing is done by the gravel not exposed to light - light kills the bacteria, you could also leave the old gravel below the edge of the rim on the bottom of the tank and just cover it with the new above that line. That works fine unless you have fish that like to dig- and then you would have an ugly (or maybe pretty) mess of mixed gravel.

    You'll undergo a short term mini cycle, but have you ever accidently over feed your fish? Just do the same as for then and your fish will be fine.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    1. you will clog up your filter the day you do this, make sure to only clean the materials in dirty tank water. now is not the time to super clean your filter.

    2. yes, you can switch out the gravel safely,

    3. don't stir up the tank unnecessarily, it will get cloudy, don't worry about it

    4. either take out half the water to a fish safe bucket or container(s) and pour it back in later,

    OR, remove the gravel carefully, wait a few minutes or more,

    5. then do a gentle vacuuming to remove some of the filth that will be on the bare bottom of the tank. YOU DO NOT WANT TO REMOVE TOO MUCH WATER, only a small water change should be done this day.

    6. carefully pour the new well rinsed gravel into one end of the tank and replace any water you removed.

    7. I'd wait a day before redecorating, because the tank will be cloudy and it's better and easier to wait

    8. you can do more vacuuming later in the week as long as you don't try to overclean or change too much water. It's not the dirt that's as harmful as overcleaning.

    9. avoid cleaning the filter except as listed above.

  • 8 years ago

    it's probably inevitable that you'll experience a mini cycle, but your filter that houses a majority of the beneficial bacteria should be able to seed the new gravel fine. If it will make you more comfortable, you can run another filter to build up more beneficial bacteria a few months before you change out your substrate.

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  • lazo
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    maximum of your micro organism is unquestionably on your clear out, so dropping the gravel isn't too vast a deal. there's no ought to get rid of the fish till they're somewhat skittish, or once you're in a large hurry. oftentimes, netting fish out of their tank is greater annoying than maintenance or perhaps decor adjustments like this. only siphon out 0.5 the water, vacuuming the previous gravel very thoroughly at the same time as you do it so as which you're no longer stirring up a lot of nasty gunk once you initiate removing it. Then use a large cup or sand shovel to get the previous gravel out -- some thing clean with out any residue of cleansing soap or chemicals on it. crawl so which you do no longer slosh the fish around. once you have have been given the previous gravel out, you may positioned the recent gravel interior a similar way: slowly, scoop by skill of scoop. make certain it replaced into very thoroughly rinsed in the previous you initiate this finished technique and it is going to no longer hassle the fish somewhat, nonetheless it is going to probable nevertheless be a dash cloudy. sturdy success! and enjoy your tank's new seem. :)

  • Daniel
    Lv 4
    8 years ago

    Depends on the type of filter you have. Most of your bacteria lives in the filter. You don't HAVE to change the gravel all at once.Do half at a time.

  • Rinzy
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    The majority of the bacteria is in the filter - not the gravel. You should be fine

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