tank parameters / migration

Discussion in 'Cichlids' started by bje, May 5, 2009.

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  1. bje

    bje Long-fin Bannerfish

    Apr 12, 2009
    i recently decided to go 'cichlid'. they're beautiful, entertaining, and fun to watch. anyways i have a 55 gal tank with two bio-wheel based otb filtration systems, bubbler bar, one heater (maintaining 78degrees). i found out that the substrate i have in my tank does not act as a good buffer. plus the fish cant get to the food as well as the former occupants due to the larger sized stoney river rock used as the substrate. my question to myself has been "how do i go about changing that substrate out?".

    i have a 75 gal tank next to it that hasnt had water in it yet. i figure i can siphon 70% of the water from the 55gal into the 75gal, throw the heater in there to maintain heat, put 1 or 2 power heads and that would give me the time to scoop out the old substrate and replace it with aragonite based black gravel.

    or do i somehow do it with the fish in the tank? im scared id cause a uncontrollable amonia spike. my ph right now is 7.6 which is another problem i am trying to get it up around 8.0-8.4 per the specifications of these fish for optimal parameters. i figure with the addition of aragonite based gravel rather than the cheap stony gravel chunks will not only buffer the PH better but it will allow my fish to see their damn food lol. the brine shrimp i feed them blend in with the substrate and they have a hard time seeing it so i have been going with blood worms lately.

    i guess i could also just put them in 5gal buckets with air stones while i clear out the main 55gal.


    current water readings:

    NH3: .2/ppm
    NO2: 0/ppm
    NO3: 0/ppm
    KH: 180/ppm
    Chlorine: 0
    GH: 150/ppm
    PH: 7.6

    current tank inhabitants:

    2 x Yellow fin Mbamba
    1 x Yellow Lab
    1 x Electric Blue
    1 x Johanni
    1 x Albino Brichardi
    2 x Demasoni
    1 x Polypterus
    3 x Plecostomus (2xRubber Lip 1xHi-fin)
    1 x Hi-fin bullshark (leftover from when this tank was straight FW)
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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    shenzhen Guangdong PRC
    Hi BJE

    blood worms are a better food souce than brine shrimp IMO so that was a good move

    I would say that with your filtration system you can remove your existing substrate with no issues -

    I think its a good idea to accomodate the fish in the vacant 75 while you do this, as it will also prevent your water getting to cloudy - you save 75% or more old water before you disturb the gravel , which is good

    move your filters over and then you can take your time with this change - no issues with filter bacteria die off

    good luck and if Im wrong, someone will put me right

  4. bje

    bje Long-fin Bannerfish

    Apr 12, 2009
    everything went well. thanks for the info steve! im now waiting for the 55g to cycle with the new substrate and aquascape (much better suited for the cichlids..) pics to come soon!
    1 person likes this.