Substrate

KPNUTS

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Hiya I'm katy and I'm new here. I have been keeping tropical fish for about a year and a half. I was just wondering if I could put new sand on top of my gravel whilst fish are in the tank? Or is that a terrible idea? Thanks
 

mbsqw1d

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When and if you do swap out your gravel for sand (I'd also recommend this), be aware that alot of the beneficial bacteria lives in the substrate as well as the filter. Personally, i would keep some of the old gravel netted up in the tank for a day or two to help seed the new substrate. It won't look pretty but will only be for a day or two.
 

essjay

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When you remove the gravel, remove the fish first. We've had members have fish die by changing substrate with the fish still in the tank. You don't need another tank, a plastic storage box will work just as well (with a lid as fish jump).
 

Byron

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Agree with most others here, do a complete change, with fish in a temporary "tank." Drain the tank of all water and remove all decor/plants. And take all of the gravel out, clean the tank bottom glass and side glass (algae often grows along here) with a sponge or similar scraper. Then add the washed sand.

The substrate is the most important bacteria bed, true, but the decomposition bacteria will re-establish as organics appear. Keep the filter running (in the "temporary" tank) as that is your nitrifying bacteria unless you have live plants.
 
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KPNUTS

KPNUTS

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Hello and welcome, I just went though changing from gravel to sand, I posted a thread on it that may help you. Plan on at least a day to do it if you have a large tank. I changed over a 55 gallon tank. I am happy so far that I did. Good luck.
After consideration I've decided to keep my gravel for a while as I've got quite a few new fish in the tank some are professional jumpers so probably gonna be way to stressful to swap my substrate I'll let them settle in for a good six months and think about it again. Thanks so much for the solid advice though!
 

Retired Viking

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That sounds like a reasonable decision to me, I also worry about my fish getting stressed. What I did was put them in a dark covered bucket and covered it with a towel. I also had an air stone for them. When I went to start putting them back into the tank they were all sleeping.;)
 
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KPNUTS

KPNUTS

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That sounds like a reasonable decision to me, I also worry about my fish getting stressed. What I did was put them in a dark covered bucket and covered it with a towel. I also had an air stone for them. When I went to start putting them back into the tank they were all sleeping.;)
Thank you!!
 

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