I was thinking about changing the gravel in my 5 gallons, my question is will I have to re-cycle them? I will be using the same filter with older media but it would be like doing a 100% water change. Has anyone changed all the gravel in a cycled tank before? Thanks!!!
yeah i have and it is not to bad... place fish in a temp home (2 hours).. place as much of the old gravel in a panty hose as you can safely put back in the tank after ( i like to think about 1-1 1/2 cups per gallon) keep it in old tank water in a pal or something.... get rid of old stuff clean put in new gravel.... fill half way , aquascape to your liking.. put panty hose with some old gravel back into tank (its only there for a week) then fill and after tank reaches temp put fish back in.... after a week you have seeded the tank with BB and should have no issues at all.. i have done this about 5 times and it works wonderfully.....
What I did with my 10g was remove the fish, and syphon about 1/2 the water out. Then put a bunch of the old gravel into a pantyhose, and put it into the bucket with old tank water. Then I removed the gravel and decor. To remove the gravel, I syphoned the waste a lot, and then took some cups and started scooping it out. Eventually, after a lot of scooping, it was all out. I syphoned a bit more, cleaned the sides of the tank, and all that was left was the tank with some of the yucky tank water left. I slowly put the new gravel in, adding some clean water everythime. Once it was all in, I put all the decor back in. Then I put the old gravel in the pantyhose in to. Soon it was all in. I let it sit for the night with the tank lights on, and by the next morning I put the dividers in, the fish in, and it was all done.
I konw this is an old thread..but i recently just put my filter and hob in tank water, and then took everything out...the gravel, silk plant, and decorations. i rinsed everything with warm water, threw out the gravel, and put the new gravel in. Then placed the decorations, filled up with water and prime and a bit of salt for my betta's fin rot.
i then put back filter and hob and ran for about 1 hr. i slowly put my betta back in, and that's it. Right after, about 2 hrs later, readings were ammonia 0.5, nitrites 0, and nitrates were about 2.5ppm.
i found out that ammonia will normally show this reading if i used prime, since my tap water contains ammonia. the next day, today, ammonia is now 0 as well as nitrties, and nitrates are showing 2.5ppm.
Sounds like you're okay, but for future reference...
Bacteria grows in the gravel. It's a bit crazy to throw all of it out at once. Instead, you should slowly but surely replace the old gravel with new (unless your going with no gravel, in which case you should remove it gradually). That way the bacteria (and other organisms) has a chance to grow in the new stuff and keep your tank nice and balanced.