Substrate change

huntery18

Candiru
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Nov 12, 2018
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hey guys so currently i have a 40 gallon breeder with 4 jack dempseys, a pictus catfish and a pleco (all juvenile) but my bottom currently is tan colored gravel and im switching to black sand, how do you recommend i do this, move out fish then take out my bottom or? keep fish in? i am worried that doing it with the fish in will stress them out to much , i don't have a backup tank or hospital tank so i would have to put them in a 5 gallon bucket if that is what you suggest, thanks.
 

Spence

Polypterus
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Jan 21, 2015
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First option that causes least disruption in my mind is to take a bit of sand each water change. The gravel vac's hose does a good job of picking up the sand and doesn't cause much disruption of all the mess hidden inside the sand bed. And you can leave your fish in the tank. Once you get all the sand out over the course of a few water changes you can then add in the new sand...again slowly.

The other option I've used is to get a tub big enough for your fish and move them while you take a couple hours to clean out all the sand at once. Put in the new sand and refill. The benefits to this is its all done at once instead of over a few weeks.
 
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huntery18

Candiru
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Nov 12, 2018
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First option that causes least disruption in my mind is to take a bit of sand each water change. The gravel vac's hose does a good job of picking up the sand and doesn't cause much disruption of all the mess hidden inside the sand bed. And you can leave your fish in the tank. Once you get all the sand out over the course of a few water changes you can then add in the new sand...again slowly.

The other option I've used is to get a tub big enough for your fish and move them while you take a couple hours to clean out all the sand at once. Put in the new sand and refill. The benefits to this is its all done at once instead of over a few weeks.
problem being with using the vac to pick up the sand would be that my gravel is too big to be sucked up im downsizing to a small sand, and you said get a big enough tub, what do you mean by that?
 

fishhead0103666

Goliath Tigerfish
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May 14, 2018
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As I said in your other thread, if you have patience then I would take a handfull of gravel out every water change.
 
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huntery18

Candiru
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Nov 12, 2018
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As I said in your other thread, if you have patience then I would take a handfull of gravel out every water change.
the only problem with that is i don't necessarily want to have my tank looking splotchy with chunks of substrate missing for weeks on hand
 

Spence

Polypterus
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Yeah, no easy way with that gravel. I assumed you had light colored sand or small pebble gravel and not pea stone or river rock. I agree with the couple scoops at a time with a net.

The big enough tub comment was just about having something to keep your fish in while you do a full swap of substrate. Not sure I'd feel good about keeping my fish in a five gallon bucket for much time at all.
 

huntery18

Candiru
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Nov 12, 2018
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Yeah, no easy way with that gravel. I assumed you had light colored sand or small pebble gravel and not pea stone or river rock. I agree with the couple scoops at a time with a net.

The big enough tub comment was just about having something to keep your fish in while you do a full swap of substrate. Not sure I'd feel good about keeping my fish in a five gallon bucket for much time at all.
it is a small tank so i could have the rocks out in around 15 minutes i just worry of the fact id stress them out catching transporting ect
 

Spence

Polypterus
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You will be stressing them out not matter what you do during a substrate change. I think the least stressful is the few handfuls at a time. Any other way is going to be a big change all at once, so it's your call on what you think you want to do.
 

huntery18

Candiru
MFK Member
Nov 12, 2018
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You will be stressing them out not matter what you do during a substrate change. I think the least stressful is the few handfuls at a time. Any other way is going to be a big change all at once, so it's your call on what you think you want to do.
alright i appreciate the reply i will keep you updated.
 
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