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Old 10-12-2012, 02:38 AM   #11 
Hallyx
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Flat marbles and large gravel are a great place for debris to sink into and collect. And it's difficult to vacuum. You're not making life any easier for yourself with your choice of substrate.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #12 
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Flat marbles and large gravel are a great place for debris to sink into and collect. And it's difficult to vacuum. You're not making life any easier for yourself with your choice of substrate.
So I've learned, but since I didn't know that nine months ago I'm stuck with my decision. Is starting over the only option here?
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:05 AM   #13 
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Sounds easier than fighting the debris. Up to you. You won't lose your cycle as long as you keep your filter media wet.

I'm assuming you're cycled. If not, you have nothing to lose, in my opinion.
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Old 10-13-2012, 02:16 PM   #14 
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Sounds easier than fighting the debris. Up to you. You won't lose your cycle as long as you keep your filter media wet.

I'm assuming you're cycled. If not, you have nothing to lose, in my opinion.
My tank recently went through another cycle, but re-stabilized about a week ago. Is it still safe or should I wait a little longer?
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:30 PM   #15 
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If both your ammonia and nitrite stay at 0.0ppm between changes, and your nitrate increases slightly, your cycle is as stable as it gets.

If you replace your substrate you might experience a "mini-cycle." Nothing you can't keep in check with water changes. Just check every other day and change as needed.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #16 
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If both your ammonia and nitrite stay at 0.0ppm between changes, and your nitrate increases slightly, your cycle is as stable as it gets.

If you replace your substrate you might experience a "mini-cycle." Nothing you can't keep in check with water changes. Just check every other day and change as needed.
Alright and one last question, to clean the gravel that's currently in the tank, would I need to siphon out all the water, clean it in the old tank water and then refill the tank with new conditioned water & cleaned/debris-less gravel? Because I've read that 100 percent water changes were a no-no.

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:13 AM   #17 
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^ What Hallyx said applies applies to substrate changes & 100% cleanouts.

You'll likely get a mini cycle as the filter settles in and new bacteria take time to grow on the substrate, but just keep up water changes (you'll need to increase them for a few weeks, probably) and this'll keep it steady.

Depending on what substrate you use, it might affect your pH too, so it's a good idea to put some in a bucket for a week, then test your pH, see how it differs from what's in your tank.

Bettas don't like change much, and a radically different pH can stress them. You can ask the store for inert substrates, one that are neutral pH, but I'd test it anyway. I bought 20kg of 'inert' gravel that makes my water harder, and raises pH, so I balance it out with wood & IAL, it works a treat.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:53 AM   #18 
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A one-hundred percent water change is for un-cycled tanks. It means removing and cleaning your gravel and decor and washing the tank. It's purpose is to prevent an inadvertent cycle and the ammonia spike that can occur.

Not doing 100% changes is for cycled tanks in order to preserve the bacteria in the substrate, etc. Seeing as you're going to change substrate, you might as well wash your tank...but not the decor or plants. Keep those wet like your filter pad.

Aus is right about checking your new substrate for pH and hardness changes. A important detail I had forgotten. (I run bare-bottom tanks.)
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:03 AM   #19 
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Thanks for the info Aus & Hallyx, but I think my last post was kind of confusing. I wasn't *really* asking if I HAD to do a 100 percent water change, or about replacing my current substrate. All I wanted to know was what the best way to go about cleaning the gravel would be. Sorry!

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Old 10-15-2012, 12:40 AM   #20 
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Thanks for the info Aus & Hallyx, but I think my last post was kind of confusing. I wasn't *really* asking if I HAD to do a 100 percent water change, or about replacing my current substrate. All I wanted to know was what the best way to go about cleaning the gravel would be. Sorry!
I'm sorry, I'm confused. Do you intend keeping your current substrate with its associated debris problems? Are you going to replace it and are asking how to clean and prepare new gravel?

I'd like to help but I don't know your intentions.

As for the answers to your unasked questions. That information might be of value to someone else reading this thread.
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