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Removing Gravel


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  • Regular Member

I have had gravel in one of my tanks since I set it up several months ago. When I initially started the tank, I added way too much gravel, and I have slowly been taking it out because it has caused me nothing but problems. I would like to get rid of all the gravel and just have a bare bottom tank. However, I don't know how to take out all of it without crashing the cycle. Can anybody give me some suggestions on how to get rid of the gravel without messing up my tank?

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  • Regular Member

You could remove it all at once. There should be enough bb in the filter to keep your cycle going. But if you feel more comfortable, you can take out the gravel 1 cup at a time during water changes.

Edited by ashlee18
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  • Regular Member

Yeah, I would remove it slowly. Depending on the size of the tank and how much gravel there is, I think you could even remove up to three cups at every water change. Just keep an eye on the water parameters. I think it would be best not to remove it all at once because I've heard of people getting a cycle bump when they did that.

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  • Supporter

i removed my gravel 1/4 at a time.. so in 4 goes i was done.. got rid of 3/4 of it and put a 1/4 back as i couldn't stand the bare bottom. i endeavour to go bare bottom at some stage. for the final bits of it, i was worried about scratching the glass on the bottom, i went out and purchased a small plastic dustpan from one of those elcheapo stores and i removed all the gravel without damaging the glass.. worked a treat..

my cycle didn't crash by doing this.

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  • Regular Member

I did the same thing, and removing it caused a slight cycle bump even though I removed only 1/4 each week. Just keep an eye on the water params and if needed throw in an extra water change or counteract with some Nutrafin Cycle to add more BB.

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  • Regular Member

I removed a total of 20 lbs of gravel from my 55 gal tank as it was way too deep. My technique was to remove from 1-2 lbs per week to avoid any cycle bumps. I was in no hurry to do it but I think doing it gradually is the way to go to avoid any changes to your cycle. ;)

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  • Admin

Yeah when removing gravel its always best to do it slowly, if you do it to fast the cycle will crash if your filters arent totally built up with bb's. Also doing it slowly will help with built up gasses in the gravel, so take some of the gravel out before the water change. This way the water change will pull out the gunk and gasses in the gravel :)

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