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Thread: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

  1. #1
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    Default Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    Hello everyone I am new to keeping discus. I have a 65 gallon tank. 2 aquaclear filters. I have 5 discus ones a little guy. Sadly that was my beginner mistake but he is doing great. He eats well and sleeps with the pack. My issue is I wanted a planted tank and I have substrate for growing plants. I really wanted to switch to sand and simplify the tank, but now that I have fish I do not know that best way to do this. I was thinking about doing a big water change taking out the old substrate and adding in the sand. Should I keep the fish in the tank during this process if I am careful, or should i tank them out? Or should I just leave it and wait? Any advice on tank decor changes would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance! This is a great forum and truly enjoy all the articles and professional knowledge/passion. Thank you again.

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    Homesteader pastry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    My own opinion (may not be best) take the fish out and continue to run your filters in whatever container you have the fish in. Get all old substrate out. Put in sand (disclosure: I don't think there will be any kind of chemical agents or whatnot that would come off of the sand but if so then could be hazardous adding fish soon after adding sand... I'm a neanderthal though... in my case I would add fish right after sand and if they died then I would use it as an excuse to get brand new discus against my wife's wishes).

    Now with old substrate gone and sand put in, add "safe" powder (twice recommended amount) and start to fill that bad boy up. Personally, I would use about 5 or 10 gallons of old water. Probably 5 gallons since fish are stressed with what's going on and probably ammonia coming out of them is a little higher than normal. Next, go ahead and transfer your filters back to the aquarium. Whatever Driftwood or plants make sure to put them in before aquarium gets filled all the way. Then throw the fish back in. If they make it, cool! If they don't, buy new ones from great sponsors on here!
    -Elliot

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    They will do fine in a bucket for a couple of hours with your old water, heater and an aerator. When you remove the old substrate you can release gases that can kill the fish, so definitely remove the fish. Use prime or "safe" for the new water, preferably aged so as not to get a PH bounce.

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    Okay sounds good. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    I was instructed years ago on this very forum to siphon the substrate out during WC. That's what I did I believe 17 years ago. It took about a week but that was not a big deal. The fish never had to go through the stress of being netted and moved to another container.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    Liz love that idea. Nice slow process. I will do that. Slowly take it out.

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    It's much easier of a process to then taking then entire tank apart pretty much.

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    Gold Member LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    Gentler on the fish, as well.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    "Substrate for a planted tank" sounds too deep and messy to me to siphon it out portion by portion during a couple of WCs , although if you are very carefull that's an option too. I would rather put the fish and filters running in a 5-10 gallon bucket or a QT tank and do the messy stuff without any fish inside . 100% WC after gravel removal and before you put your fish back is a must .

  10. #10
    Gold Member LizStreithorst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    It took me a full week but what does it matter if it takes him longer. It's not like this is an emergency situation.
    Mama Bear

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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    I agree with Liz, very safe and easy this way, I have done it several times. The fish won't even notice. Just go slow and easy.


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    Registered Member bluelagoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hello everyone. Tank situation.

    I removed the substrate in my 125 recently using the same method as Liz. Worked great. I use a 1 inch hose. Sucks it out fast.

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