04-18-2012, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by AbbeysDad
Hey Nick, welcome to TFK.
Lots of folks here have replaced substrates successfully. There are a couple of things you can do to minimize any beneficial bacteria upset. Since (I think) you don't currently have plants, you might add some floating plants that will help deal with ammonia as things settle out. You could also bag some of your existing gravel in media bags or nylon stocking material and leave in the tank for a week or two following the change. Since you're filter remains unchanged, a fair amount of biology remains there so with other measures, the transition should be smooth.
Note: I'm probably overstating the obvious, but be sure and rinse the new sand really well as lots of folks have issues with cloudy water following the change to sand as very fine, dust like sand particles can be a real pain.
Thanks for your help. You are right about having no plants in the tank at the moment, so I will definitely try to get some for the period after the change. Any particular types you would recommend? How many plants do you think I should get?
Looking forward to washing all the sand (not). I have sand in one of my other tanks, and I think the washing job I did on that was good because I haven't had any cloudiness issues.
Again, thanks for your help