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Started taking out my gravel!


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  • Regular Member

So I'm starting to realize by reading this forum that my gravel in my 80 gallon is way too small for my Goldie's and I don't want anyone to choke so today during my weekly I started shoveling it out. I plan on doing a little at a time until it's all gone.

Not sure if I will replace with something bigger or sand or maybe bare bottom!

Any recommendations?

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  • Regular Member

I love having bare bottom tanks. I've tried all kinds of substrates and don't really like anything else. Plus, there are a million ways to decorate a bare bottom tank. :)

Good luck with the gravel removal!

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I fully agree with Chelsea. I have changed all my fish tanks to bare bottom, including the tropicals. As long as there are no fish that specifically NEED substrate, I rather stay away from it. Almost all my plants - both my tropical tanks are planted - do not require substrate (anubias, java ferns, floating plants). The two plants that do require substrate are in small pots with gravel or sand.

The goldfish tanks too have anubias attached to rocks as decor.

If you still rather want something for the bottom, try scattered river rocks for a natural look, or scattered colored glass gems for a fancier look.

Should you prefer a fully covered bottom, a very light layer of sand will give the fish something to sift through.

Alternatively a combination of light colored sand with some darker river rocks placed here and there will also look quite neat :)

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  • Regular Member

Just make sure not to cover the whole bottom with it, or you won't be able to vacuum properly.

How come it makes it more difficult Chelsea?

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Since the glass 'pebbles' are the size they are, it makes it hard to get the python in there. Also, food can easily get trapped between them, making it hard for the fish to get their food once it sinks. If you are going to do any river rocks or glass pieces, just scatter a few but not a lot.

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I don't miss my gravel either….it was so filled with poop all of the time. :no: And, like you, I wasn't sure if I'd like the bare bottom look. My biggest concern was seeing poop on the bottom. But, now I realize that when you have proper filtration and maybe even get extensions for the intake of your HOB then poop doesn't just sit there. I put some medium sized river rocks in mine, and my two fish love poking around them. You can always add sand if you decide you don't like it. :)

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I don't miss my gravel either….it was so filled with poop all of the time. :no: And, like you, I wasn't sure if I'd like the bare bottom look. My biggest concern was seeing poop on the bottom. But, now I realize that when you have proper filtration and maybe even get extensions for the intake of your HOB then poop doesn't just sit there. I put some medium sized river rocks in mine, and my two fish love poking around them. You can always add sand if you decide you don't like it. :)

That's what I'm not liking about my gravel as well, seems like I could do daily WCs and still not get all the poop out :(.

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I personally dislike bare bottom tanks. I have tried it in tanks before and I decided it just looks..... well...... bare :)

I use medium size polished river rocks in one tank, about 1/2" deep. These rocks are a bit too large for the fish to get them in their mouths and they do like scourging around in them. It is a bit more difficult to vacuum this tank but I just take my time, moving the rocks aside with the python.

In a couple of other tanks I have I use a natural medium sized gravel, about 1/2" deep. I vacuum them lightly once a week and there is no problem with too much waste down there. My tanks are over-filtered nicely and have adequate circulation which helps lots.

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