Best way Changing from Gravel to Sand? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Best way Changing from Gravel to Sand?

I got off the topic on my other Thread about lighting, So I wanted to start a new one on this topic. Anyways I want to change my gravel substrate to sand, how is the best way to do this? Can I do it in one day, as I only get one day a week off if I'am lucky with my new job! My tank is a 25 gallon fully planted tank with mostly live bearers. I know I should take all the fish out( I have a 10 gallon all ready cycled) Just don't know if this would be ok for 20 fish? The 10 allready has 15 guppy fri in it, and then I guess I take all the plants/wood and rock out? Than replace the substrate and put everything back?
Thanks for any help......because I'am a little lost at this point mainly because I have got so far with this tank and I don't want to start the cycle over again!
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 05:18 PM
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Yup you have the right idea take a nylon stocking and put some of your old gravel in it to seed the bacteria for the sand(leave it in a corner of the tank for 2 weeks or so). Try to keep your decorations wet as well as they will have some of the bacteria on them. The fish will be alright for the few hours you will take changing the substrate. Make sure to rinse your sand really well and have it ready to go before you start this will take the longest out of the whole process. When putting the new water in put a dinner plate where you will be pouring the water it will keep the sand from getting blown around so much.
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris7 View Post
I got off the topic on my other Thread about lighting, So I wanted to start a new one on this topic. Anyways I want to change my gravel substrate to sand, how is the best way to do this? Can I do it in one day, as I only get one day a week off if I'am lucky with my new job! My tank is a 25 gallon fully planted tank with mostly live bearers. I know I should take all the fish out( I have a 10 gallon all ready cycled) Just don't know if this would be ok for 20 fish? The 10 allready has 15 guppy fri in it, and then I guess I take all the plants/wood and rock out? Than replace the substrate and put everything back?
Thanks for any help......because I'am a little lost at this point mainly because I have got so far with this tank and I don't want to start the cycle over again!

It depends what sand you are going to get. You can pay more and buy sand that is pretty ready for aquarium (quick rinse and you're set). If you want to use playsand, (looks very nice, but does take much more rinsing). If you started washing sand, and had it ready to go in a bucket, you could easily do the switch in a day. Your fish will be fine for a few hours together in a small tank. I'd get the fish out, take out all the gravel, than put sand in. Seriously, if you are going to wash playsand, give yourself a day just to do that. Works best with a bucket, and hose outside. Wash a few cups at a time, until water looks clear or almost clear. Use a bowl laid in the sand, to refill your tank with water (keeps sand from getting kicked up). You need about 2 inches of sand, and that translates to about a 1 1/2 lbs per gallon. So for a 25 gallon you probably want to plan on 30-40 lbs of sand.

Gwen

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post #4 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'am thinking of going with Quikrete Play Sand at Home Depot, as suggested by Byron. I guess I will need more then one 5 gallon pale? And of course it will have to be aquarium safe!
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 07:03 PM
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I'am thinking of going with Quikrete Play Sand at Home Depot, as suggested by Byron. I guess I will need more then one 5 gallon pale? And of course it will have to be aquarium safe!

It's safe. Yes, another 5 gallon pale is a good idea. They are only $5 at Home Depot.

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 07:49 PM
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walmart has the 5 gal pails for 1.50 ea, one 50lb bag of sand will fill a 5g bucket after rinsing
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 08:06 PM
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I just did a gravel swap to play sand last week. If you are going for play sand I suggest washing small quantity of sand at a time. A couple of hand fulls at a time, rinse it a few times repeat till you can cover the tank base about an inch and a half deep.
I emptied my tank completely. Then put sand in, filled water a few inches, planted the tank and then filled it up. All my fish seem to like the sand better than gravel.
I have a big diatom bloom, a single otto is not being able to keep up. But I guess it will clear up in my next water change.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-13-2012, 09:14 PM
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I've used several sands and none compare to pool filter sand. The play sands I tried I threw out.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 02:21 AM
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I second the pool filter sand, I can grab a handful and throw it straight up in my tank and it falls right back down, no dust at all and the particles are large enough not to get caught up in the water current and end up in your intake

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post #10 of 20 Old 06-14-2012, 04:49 AM
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Everyone else has given you good advice just wanted to add. I have tried both sands mentioned here and I would go with Playsand from Home Depot for the simple fact that Pool filter sand is (or atleast the kind I had) white and when the light hits it is very bright. Now if it comes in a darker shade don't know if it does or not then that would be okay other wise would stay with the playsand.

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