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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made the mistake of buying black gravel and it's slowly losing color. It's a bit worrying so I want to switch to uncolored gravel. The tank is really established with lots of plant roots that cover the whole bottom and I'm worried about disrupting the cycle if I change the gravel. I'm really attached to my goldfish so I want to make sure they aren't hurt by any cycle bumps while changing the gravel.

So my question is, how can I change the gravel while not hurting the fish, disrupting the cycle, or damaging the plants?
 

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The plants will have a lot of nitrifying bacteria on their surfaces, and the filter will also have lots of bacteria in the media. You can just remove the plants, keeping them in water until you are ready to replant them, put the fish in a container of tank water, then empty the tank of both water and substrate. Add the new substrate, add a little water, replant the plants, carefully fill the tank with water and add Prime or equivalent, and put the fish back. I have done this several times with no problems. Just don't try to clean the filter at the time you do this.
 

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A lot of hassle/impossible to do that.

Hoppy's instructions are perfect.

However, you said it was a bit worrying the black gravel was losing color. It's only an aesthetic issue, as the black coating is totally inert. So no need to go through this, unless you just find it ugly.
 
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