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Old 06-08-2010, 08:31 AM   #1 
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Cleaning Beta tank

Hello. I think my little boy is getting better with his bloat. I have given him a tiny bit of peeled peas and I hope he will continue to get better every day. I haven't been feeding him anything except for the very SMALL amount of peas and he acts like he is REALLY hungry. I have been fasting him for two days now.
Anyhoo, my question is, I would like to replace the gravel in my tank (it is that Bio Substrate stuff-forgot the exact name) and I hate it. I know everyone I have talked to loves it- not me. It is so hard to clean the very bottom of the tank - the "soil" gets kicked up and I worry about my fishies little lungs. ALso, I would love to REALLY clean my tank (5 gallons-heated, filtered) and every time I try to get near the substrate with an acrylic cleaning pad, the Biowhatever gets in the pad and it scratches the acrylic.
Would it be okay to put the fishie in another bowl for a half hour or so and get rid of the BioStuff and replace it with gravel, but leave everything else the same? Of course I would be checking the params everyday. What are your thoughts? (Sorry so long)
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:22 AM   #2 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
IMO/E- yes, he will be fine, I would try and find something to put him in that is big enough to keep the filter running if you can- to keep the good bacteria alive, if not, just put your filter media in old tank water.
Don't clean the decoration really good, but give them a rinse and keep them in old tank water until you get the tank set-back up, this will help prevent a major cycling issues, you may still have a mini cycle that a few daily water changes will take care of.
You can switch the gravel and put him back in the tank the same day, just rinse the new gravel really good.
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Old 06-08-2010, 05:39 PM   #3 
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IMHO, dont clean anything from inside the tank. Transfer the fish to his cup while you do your work, make sure the lid is on it with 1" of air for it to breath.

Using your gravel vac suck up some dirt/crud from the substrate that you have and then keep sucking out all of the water. Put all the water into gallon jugs if you dont have a 5 gallon container.

Remove the gravel (scoop as much as you can out before dumping the rest out. Maybe rinse it out a bit. Clean the tank with your cleaner. Wash off the new gravel and pour it in. Then starting with teh container with the gunk in it, pour that water/gunk back in.

The gunk contains majority of the bacteria that is shared with your filter to make everything happy.... pour everything back in but a gallon. Use this time to do a 1 gallon water change.

You'll be fine, just keep an eye on it.
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Old 06-08-2010, 06:35 PM   #4 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
The good bacteria are sticky and adhere to everything in the tank, in the top layer of substrate and most are in the filter media, very little are in the water column itself, the gunk at the bottom of the tank is often anaerobic from lack of oxygen and can be toxic to the fish in large amounts when moved into the water column.

IMO/E I would toss all the old water and use fresh clean dechlorinated water and make daily to every-other day 50% water changes for a week or so or better yet if you have water pram testing products...test the water each day and make needed water changes with readings of ammonia/nitrite of 0.25ppm or greater until you have nitrate reading of 5-10ppm.

This information is based on a mature cycled tank.
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