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Thinking of getting rid of my gravel, will my fish hate me.


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I quite like the look of my gravel but I'm amazed at how quickly waste collects in it, and now that I have all manner of objects in the tank I'm

worried about bacteria collecting in little hard-to-reach places.

My goldies spend a great deal of time - as you might expect - foraging/sucking on pebbles, should I manage the transition so as not to

distress them too much?

Has anyone ever gone from gravel to bare-bottom before? Is it a good idea to leave a little 'beach' in one corner? Or are there any other, more

hygienic substrates?

Just wondering what peoples' experiences are?

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The short answer is no.

The answer with qualifiers is yes. Remember that goldfish like to root around. In an environment devoid of anything for them to sift through, they may indeed be stressed. This is easily remedied, however, and many on the forum have. :)

Looking forward to the new look. :)

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I did. We had some new beginner issues (dead fish) a while back and I became fish OCD and went bare bottom. Now, I'm contemplating a 'beach' because I would like to do plants and because I think my fish is bored out of his mind (such as it is).

Edited by motherredcap
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I recently added gravel to the my tank i think maybe on Monday this week and yesterday they came out. The gravel collects all the waste it seems like and it bothers me so much not to mentioned it seemed that the gravel collecting all that waste was making the water smell pretty bad which made my living room smell the same Yuck! :mad: so im back to bare bottom with some plants tide to rocks and some small river rocks and 4 large river rocks. But i did notice this morning my water was still a bit smelly will check it out after work. Good luck on your new transition cant wait to see how it will look

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I have gone from bare bottom to gravel to bare bottom and back to gravel now :P

Overall I prefer bare bottom. I don't notice a difference in the behavior of my fish with one over the other. When I had a bare bottom tank I always kept a handful of stones and plants in the tank to give the fish something to root around in. I only have gravel now because I want to keep plants that really require gravel.

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I still have a bare bottom tank.. I did add some Whisteria to the tank recently and they are loving it. Mind you it might be gone in a few weeks :teehee

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I went from gravel, to bare, to gravel again. I like it both ways, but until my tank is heavily planted enough, the vac'ing is a real pain. Lol! I don't think the fish care though, honestly.

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I still have a bare bottom tank.. I did add some Whisteria to the tank recently and they are loving it. Mind you it might be gone in a few weeks :teehee

We're back on the subject of that "bare bottom" again # 1........you know where it led in a similar thread!!! LOL!!! :hi5

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Over the past several years I've gone from gravel, to bare bottom, to back again. My goldfish at the time never really seemed bothered by it, ultimately it was my search for aesthetic pleasure that led me to add it once more. In the end it comes down to personal preference, and others have said, you can add other objects such as river stones for your fish to root through. :)

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Why not try Tahitian Moon Sand?

I use Tahitian Moon Sand, with a few river rocks and plants on top. The waste just sits on top of the black sand so it's easy to see and clean up (although some of the sand gets picked up with the waste.)

Tahitian Moon Sand seems to be a nice alternative to bare bottom or gravel, and it looks great.

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Im definitely not doing gravel anymore if i try something else it would probably be Tahitian moon sand

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If you want to keep them entertained, either get some small (2-3cm diameter) river rocks and spread a couple hand fulls over the tank. Not covering the bottom, you will still have about 75% bare, but the fish like picking at the rocks and moving them around. This way a lot less waste collects and the fish are having fun looking for sunken pellets etc between the rocks.

The only disadvantage I have noticed with river rocks is if your tank tends to grow any kind of algae, the rocks will soon be covered in them. If algae does not bother you (neither does it bother the fish, they eat it in fact), then all is good. But if you do not like the look of algae covered river rocks (especially if it is brown algae it can turn not so pretty) then you will have to remove the rocks weekly and clean them, which can be quite a hassle.

In that case I would instead suggest a fine layer of a larger grain sand. A 5mm layer is already enough to keep the fish entertained :)

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I uses fine gravels so that fish waste will rest on it & not sink thru it.

I gave sinking pellets and the fishes do mess up e gravels and waste but my strong internal filters will clear that out

I do wc every 3days and siphon it with a gravel cleaner & that take cares of the bad bacterias..

I find that gravel is much interesting then bare bottom..

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Like alot of the others, I have gone from bare, to marbles, to river rocks, the last few months back to substrate, which this time is eco complete (in between sand and gravel in terms of size). I personally found marbles and river rocks to be harder to keep clean then bare (of course) and eco complete because food and waste would get down in between them.

There isn't one right answer as you probably know. You could lower the substrate to 1/4 or 1/2 inch and thoroughly vacuum it each week then there shouldn't be any problems and it might be easier for you to clean and still nice for them to hunt through it. I find most of the waste sits on top and I swish the water around once a day with my gloved hands to get the debris floating again so the filters pick it up. I usually pick up my decorations and plants and vacuum under them too. The handful of river rocks and even my plants I have do have to be taken out and cleaned every couple of weeks because they get brown algae on them. If it ever turns green I will leave it :)

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I recently added gravel to the my tank i think maybe on Monday this week and yesterday they came out. The gravel collects all the waste it seems like and it bothers me so much not to mentioned it seemed that the gravel collecting all that waste was making the water smell pretty bad which made my living room smell the same Yuck! :mad: so im back to bare bottom with some plants tide to rocks and some small river rocks and 4 large river rocks. But i did notice this morning my water was still a bit smelly will check it out after work. Good luck on your new transition cant wait to see how it will look

Like you, I don't like a tank that smells. You can try adding a packet of purigen which will absorb odors and other organics and polish the water or even a little carbon in one of your filters will get rid of odors, you just have to change it every 2-4 weeks. The purigen would last alot longer and can be re-charged. I use purigen and my tank doesn't really smell at all anymore except maybe a faint grass like smell.

Edited by CindiL
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