What a morning, I am soo disapointed and angry at myself, I have just spent a very long time cleaning my substrate (purple slate), well I defo know it DOES NOT make a good substrate (even tho it looks lovely). I have learned my lesson the hard way and have decided to look at putting something a little better in instead.
I really should of come on here FIRST and asked if it would of been appropriate to use before I went a head with what has turned out to be a quite expensive mistake.
Now the question is how is the best way to change it all over? 1) do I remove fish into a bucket and then take all slate out? Or can I leave them in there? 2) What is the best size gravel to use? dont want goldies getting it stuck in their mouths. 3)Will doing this affect the filter bacteria? 4)Is there a dark substrate on the market that I can get? I like the idea of it being dark so the goldies look good with dark backgound and substrate.
The proud owner of a 350 litre tank as a home for my 6 fancy goldies.... Dumbledore, Dylan, Noggin, Ben, Bubo and little Nanny (name change when her personality comes out).
Black Roman Gravel can be bought at P@H, is pH neutral and looks great - very dark indeed. It needs a very good wash first though. It might be easier to move the fish to a large plastic storage box with as much tank water as possible. You can't move the juwel filter so use some prime/amquel in the holding crate until the job is done.
Scooping out gravel at the best of times is a bit messy, far easier to use 2 large fish keeping nets to scoop up but I'm wary about you sratching the glass using this method I'd be tempted to use a large net and hand fill as much of the slate as you can. Remove the last bits by hand.
Add the new gravel, add some fresh dechlorinated tap to half way, add most of the water from the holding crate, add fish and top up. Give yourself a few hours minimum.
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Aw - bummer. If you want black stuff you can get black quartz gravel, it's halfway between sand and gravel, looks nice My lfs sells it but it is in the outside section with the pond stuff. I've got brown quartz gravel mixed with pea gravel in mine, mainly because I already had loads of pea gravel so I just mixed it in with the quartz when I re-did the tanks.
I have black quartz gravel and it looks stunning - you won't be sorry. It is slightly smaller than the dorset pea gravel which I used to have. I took my fish out and scooped the gravel out with a puppy poop scoop, but I know Rachel suctioned hers out and I may well try that next time. You can do it with the fish in, but I just found there was less to worry about if they were out.
You can also save some of your slate bits and use aquarium sealant to stick them on to other stuff as decor. I know goldies aren't interested in caves but they do quite like swimming through tunnels, if you get a fish-safe but dull bit of terracotta for example and it suits your aesthetic to do so, you could jazz it up, provided the bits are small enough not to have sharp edges to catch on?
Bead wrote: How am I going to keep my filter bacteria alive while I am doing the gravel change (its a juwel filter) cannot take whole thing out???????
Put the media in a plastic basket (bathroom section in Wilkies is great for that sort of thing!) and put it in a bucket with an airstone going underneath the basket - should do the trick, you just need to keep freshly oxygenated water flowing over the media