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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a mix of gravel and original Flourite in my 55 gallon that I have been wanting to switch out for a long time. 15 years ago I started it with gravel and then about 10 years ago I took out half and mixed in half Flourite. Gravel and Flourite doesn't look good imo. I'm now planning to take it all out and put in Black Flourite. I would love to put in Aquasoil but I don't have anyplace to put my fish while the ammonia is leaching out. I'm nervous enough as it is about the stress this is going to put on my fish, chasing them down with a net when I'm used to them taking food from my hand. I have some apistos that I'm especially concerned about. I'll then have them all with the plants in a large plastic container with water from the tank while I empty out the old substrate and put in the new. And then transfer everything back. It seems easy enough but I'm wondering if anyone has any tips in making it as easy on my fish as possible and just ways to make the job go smoother. Will I go through a mini-cycle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would make sure the plastic container is big enough for the fish to not feel too crowded. You could maybe put a few pieces of rock or driftwood from the tank into the container while you change out the substrate so they feel a bit more "at home". But most importantly, cover the container and keep it dark. That will make the fish more docile and they might just sleep through the changeover. You should probably keep a heater in the container as well, and maybe an air stone or something to keep it oxygenated.

When I changed my dad's 55g from gravel to sand, I was going to do it your way, but instead I opted to just grave vac really thoroughly and then scooped it out, replacing with sand. I did half the tank at a time, and the fish never left the tank. They were pretty stressed out but within a day they were back to their old selves and looking active as ever.
Yeah, I've considered doing it that way but I worry about the ammonia skyrocketing without me knowing it and doing some damage. I guess if you gravel vac it real well, that shouldn't be much of a problem. Who knows? Maybe I won't be able to catch them and I'll be forced to do it that way.;)
 
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