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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone, i just recently got red cherry shrimp and iwas wanting to change my substrate from a light colored gravel to a darker more nutrient substrate so that way my plants can grow better and the color in my red cherry shrimp can be more shown.

any tips on changing substrate and how should i change it? will it start the whole cycling process again? i have a fluval spec 2 gal aquarium with a built in filter. I've already had the aquarium for about 5 months or so.

thanks everyone
 

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I usually save the tank water, change substrate and put water back in right away.

In some instances you might start the cycle over, for instance like cleaning out the whole tank, filter and using new water. You'll still have a bacteria colony but your going to have to wait till the bacteria colony gets bigger. Thus starting a mini cycle.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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You can put a good amount of old substrate into a pantyhose or knee high and tie it up, then place it in a corner of the tank for a week or so after you change it. Don't clean or otherwise mess with your filter media other than try to keep it moist while you change it up. Pull everything (plants and such) and put them into a tub with tank water, then don't rinse them or otherwise clean the plants or decorations and put them back into the tank when you are finished changing to the new substrate.

Old tank water doesn't do much, it doesn't hold beneficial bacteria, the bacteria is in the filter media, on plants and decorations and substrate mostly. Clean water would be fine to use just make sure you de-clorinate it before you put it into the tank as non-treated water will kill the bacteria rather quickly.
 

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The majority of your bio load is in your gravel. If your doing live plant I would take the activated carbon (charcoal) out, it strips nutrients that the plants need. I would take some of the old gravel and put it in a filter bag or piece of nylon hose, like peachii said and put it where the charcoal goes in the filter. Don't rinse the gravel unless its in the old aquarium water, to keep from killing the bacteria. Post some pics when u get it set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks everyone! im wanting to try fluval stratum just cuz its finer substrate and its a darker color and I heard it helps bring out the color of RCS.
 
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