10-28-2008, 02:49 PM
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You could get two pieces of acrylic that are slightly longer than your tank is wide (measured front to back) and tall enough that they're taller than your gravel. Stick them down in the gravel, separating the floor of your tank into thirds. Use a net or your hands to scoop out all of the gravel in one of the sections and replace it with the sand. Wait a week, then do it again on the next third, then the final third a week later.
Even if you're religious about your gravel vacs, it's unbelievable how much gunk gets down in your gravel. Changing it all at once will result in really gross water that won't clear up completely even with a couple of big water changes. Plus, a ton of beneficial bacteria is living down in your gravel, so removing it all at once could cause a mini-cycle.
Edit: forgot to mention: make sure you rinse the sand really, really well before it goes in your tank! It can really cloud up your water otherwise. Also, you might want to turn your filters off while you put the sand in the tank. I like to put the sand into a drinking glass and lower that to the bottom of the tank and pour it into place. That prevents a huge sandstorm from happening.
Last edited by iamntbatman; 10-28-2008 at 02:51 PM..