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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to set up a planted tank in the next month or two. I have a 46 gallon bow front tank that has been going for 10 years. I am down to a single silver dollar, which I have had from the beginning, and will admit that I haven't given the tank much attention or cleaning the past few years. The water is clear but there is algae on the glass. I currently have blue aquarium rocks as my substrate, which I plan to get rid of. Should I remove everything from the tank and treat this like a new tank setup with my new substrate, etc., or should I save some water and/or the old filter media to jump start my tank cycle? I just want to make sure I don't carry over any "bad stuff" from this tank to the next one. Thanks!
 
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Save the filter media and store it in a bucket of water. That'll help a ton. That is, if you take it all down.

Is there any way you can take everything out, of the tank, remove the gravel (with water still inside), clean the glass and add a legit substrate? That would be much better than taking the tank apart, cleaning it and starting from scratch IMO. Then put that plants or whatever you have back in and get going again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I probably could leave some water in the tank and scoop all the gravel out and clean it with some water in. I was mostly concerned about transferring anything bad from my previous setup to my new setup. Perhaps I'll try leaving some water and see how it goes.
 

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I would clean it all and start over. Adding plants first and getting them growing will take care of the cycle. Once you are happy with the plant growth then add some fish.

Starting out without any algae would be much easier than worrying about cycling the tank.
 

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If you are removing gravel in a tank that has been set up for a while, you will quickly find out that you REALLY want/need to change out all the water as well. When you start scooping gravel off the bottom and releasing all the crud that has built up amongst the pieces, there is no way you'll want to save the water. And letting the crap settle back down is not a good plan either. What's an extra bit of siphoning at that point?

Plus you can really scrub down the sides of the tank and get all the little algae particles that come off, and give everything a good rinse before setting back up.

Just stick the silver dollar in a tote or empty tank with the (uncleaned) filter and the heater. Siphon some water into there for him before you start mucking with the gravel, so his water stays nice and clean. Then you can take your time emptying and cleaning and resetting.
 
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