Save your water, put a new unscented and not an antibacterial bag in a bucket and dump all the conditioned water in it without disturbing the gravel no making a food dust storm. You won't need a hundred percent of the water but at least 2/3 of the conditioned water.
Dump the gravel in a pail or container, pull the the filter and do the same, break down the whole tank. Rewash the tanks inside glass, remove any film build up, only water no soap, no salt no viniger or beach.
Next scrub the gravel between your hands, get all the gunk and food rinsed out. If you have an undergraveo filter, rinse and scrub it clean, any other filters leave alone as they have the established bacteria build already to go.
Set up the tank, start running it. Add the saved water you should not see the floaterw going. The undergravel filters do not establish bacteria builds but most other do so your advantaged by having aged water and a filter that's been seasoned. For what water you couldn't save new water can be drawn, treated and saved until the tank is ready. The water you saved in the pail (if the pail or bucket is new and never had Bleach, soap or chemicals then you shouldnt need to line it.). You can start putting the saved water back into the tank. Better than 3/4 was saved and now has the established bacteria you need.
When your adding the water back use a big glass or jar and do it a scoop at a time. Any gunk or food that transferred over in the water doing a scoop at a time no not disturbing the whole pack it should have settled enough not to be scooped back in the regenerated tank no floaters, If you start getting cloudy water stop and wait about an hour. If still coming up dirty stained looking then dump it and add new, fill the tank back up to the top, if ony missing a gallon fill it all, if two or more put in half what's missing, wait couple hours and have the last of thr water that was drawn hours before and add water. The tank should be ready to go with fish in 24 hours.
I found when I start a tank I use a feeder goldfish or two and let them add the good bacteria. The new tank does not seem to bother them and eirse case if you decide you don't want to keep them you can bring them back to the store. If it's within a week you can usually get a refund.
· 1 month ago