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Re-scaping a tank

907 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Taari
I have a 2.5 gal tank, set up for 6 months now, that I am just not thrilled with anymore. I'd like to make some major changes to it, but it is currently housing a betta, and I'd like to avoid too much trauma. The changes will involve removing pretty much everything from the tank, adding fluval plant stratum (used, from a different tank), manzanita wood, and replanting some plants that are already in there, as well as adding some new plants.
What is the easiest way to do this? I was thinking about putting the betta in a bucket with water from the tank, and trying to work quickly. Should I add that same water back into the tank? Should I try to keep him temporarily somewhere else? If I leave the filter untouched, will my tank stay pretty much cycled, or will be starting a completely new tank? What, if any, of the new elements are likely to cause changes in the water parameters?
Thanks in advance!
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Honestly, unless you pour a shot of bleach or something in the tank.. you wont kill off your whole colony...

If youre worried, fishless cycle the new substrate first, unless its coming out of a running tank.
Your filter media should be fine and I wouldn't worry about the betta. I move fish, shrimp, and my tank back and forth from school and only keep about half of the old tank water and it is fine.
Put the betta in a holding bucket with water from his tank and a heater; that way you don't have to rush. KEep the filter media wet; throw it in with the fish or put it in a separate container, just keep it wet. As long as it stays wet and you don't take days to rescape the tank it should be fine. Do the rescape, add the filter and preferablya heater. When you're ready to add the betta, make sure the temp in the tank is the same as in the bucket (an extra heater comes in handy). You should be able to just put him in the new tank as long as water conditons are similar; some people drip acclimate fish when re-adding them to a setup but I never have and haven't had problems. I'll add some Stress Coat into the bucket with the fish but not sure if this helps him or not, so if you don't have any it's fine. Make sure you have a lid for the bucket so he won't jump out.

Your filter media should be fine. I've upgraded tanks and changed everything in the tank including substrate and haven't had any problems with mini cycles but it's always a good idea to test daily for a while just in case as every tank is different.
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I just tore down my split 10g tank to add more partitions for up to 4 bettas. I put the filter media, the chunk of driftwood, and all the plants and heater and half the water in a 5g bucket with an air stone. There were only snails in the tank, but a fish could totally go in the bucket too. I have to leave the tank empty for 24 hours while the new silicone cures, so everything's been in the bucket for about 18 hours now.
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