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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, i give up. I have read all the flourite strings but it is too late. I read the instructions and did not rinse. Now I have 15 small Cichlids and a substrate which is "burping" microbubbles all over. So now I need to remove it without killing the fish. It is a 29g and all of the fish are 1" long. I realize this is a tough job but it is the best idea I can think of. Any advice before I wipe out my fish by doing something stupid? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Microbubbles are a danger, not an inconveinience

The tank has been up and running for 3 months now. It has had fish for 1 month. The Microbubbles are harmful to fish because they think it is food and can cause embellisms. It can be an indication of bad bacteria in the substrate. Even though I do strict water changes my fear is that fish waste might be adding to the dusty substrate. I can not have bubbles "growing" from the bottom. Anyone have any tips on transferring the fish to a quarantine tank, replacing or cleaning the substrate, but still not kill all of the good bacteria?
 

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I'd personally leave it be and continue to vacuum the gravel as per your usual water change routine. It can take a few months for your gravel to completely settle down and fully cycle. You'll be starting from scratch if you take it out and replace it.
 

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get a few MTS or use a stick to to stir your substrate during every water change. I've had flourite for a long time now and while I do get bubbles once in a while, I haven't had any problems with my tropical community fish, including GBRs and angels.
 

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If you have to remove it..... which is probably not the best thing to do.... get a large net and scoop it out a net at a time. It would be better to setup a QT/Temporary tank to hold you fish then you can do it easier.

But I don't see why you would have to remove the flourite. Just vacuum, do water changes and add floss to your filter. You could also stir up the sustrate to realease all the bubbles. Over the course of a week or two you'll be able to correct the problem.

I am sure the cloudiness from the flourite won't harm the fish.
 

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The tank has been up and running for 3 months now. It has had fish for 1 month. The Microbubbles are harmful to fish because they think it is food and can cause embellisms. It can be an indication of bad bacteria in the substrate. Even though I do strict water changes my fear is that fish waste might be adding to the dusty substrate. I can not have bubbles "growing" from the bottom. Anyone have any tips on transferring the fish to a quarantine tank, replacing or cleaning the substrate, but still not kill all of the good bacteria?
That shouldn't be happening... How deep is your substrate bed, and is it anything besides straight Flourite? If you've got more than about 3" of substrate then you could have anaerobic spots producing hydrogen sulfide gas. If you mixed anything organic in there and it's deep, you could also be producing methane.

If those are the case, I'd remove the fish and start over. Neither of those problems will go away as long as you've got too much substrate, and trying to remove substrate with fish still in the tank would almost definitely kill them. Keep the filter going running on the same holding tank with all the fish and you'll minimize any need to re-cycle the tank. Shoot for 2-3" of substrate, and you may consider adding some Malaysian Trumpet Snails in to help keep it the substrate turned over.

If you've got CO2 or O2 bubbles coming up from the substrate, it's odd to have them all the time, but shouldn't be harmful to the fish.
 

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Does the tank smell like rotten eggs or have a bad smell in general? If so, there may be anoxic conditions in the substrate and hence the gas bubbles from anaerobic bacteria. I would do the gravel vac and stir it up as others have suggested.
 
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