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Changing substrate with an established shrimp tank

2404 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  sewingalot
I found some black natural sand on sell at Petsmart this weekend and it was too good of a deal to pass up. It says safe for invertebrates on the bag, but I am wondering if I tear down the tank and remove all the substrate, will I need to do anything special to avoid a mini cycle? Plants and filter are coming over with switch.
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I just did this last weekend to my 3 5g tanks. I was successful with the Taiwan fire reds, and the yellows, but I lost a few greens. I added MTS to them. I didnt do, but recommend.....Id transfer them to a bare tank or rubbermaid/steralite with their tank water and filter and run an airstone in the new tank for a few days (2). Unless you have an extra filter, then split the old floss between the 2 and you should be good to go.
I have done this before and never had a problem. Place the shrimp in a holding tank or container with an airstone and heater if needed. I wouldn't drain all the old water out.
If you use most of your water and your current filter you shouln't have any problems.
What will make the biggest difference is to collect as much mulm as possible (vacuum the old tank really well, pour off all but about 1" of water to keep the mulm wet) and lay it down under the new substrate.

I also reserve about 50% of the old water. (That's to minimize water parameter swings more than anything else.)
Thanks for the helpful information. I know which direction to go now. I've got plenty of buckets, so I'll save a lot of the mulm and water. I'll get some of the water out first with a heater and the filter and then drain down more to catch the shrimp. I counted like 70 tonight. This is going to take a while....
Dosing some Nutrafin Cycle is always a good idea when doing major overhauls in shrimp tanks.
I swapped PFS for Eco a month ago and things pretty much went well. I did loose two greenies after I put them back in even after a very long re-acclimation process. I'm sure the newness of this particular substrate had a play in it as my water parms changed drastically.

Granted I just had a handfull of shrimp to work with as it is a new colony so your situation will be much different due to quantity. Just kept them in one of those dip and pour containers hanging in the tank for a few days. When I do it again (I'm sure I will), I will use just a bit bigger container and an air stone next time. Just for extra sense of security.

The remaining ones are all doing well now after the adjustment.
What concerns me is this is just a sponge filter tank. I'll just not feed much the first couple of days to be on the safe side.
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