I'm a Convert. Sand is the Way to Go. - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 16 Old 05-10-2012, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rhymon78 View Post
how does this work with the bacteria, does it throw your tank back into a cycle?? and with a tank full of fish isn't this a bit scary?
I guess it could turn back into a traditional cycle, but it didn't with mine. I didn't clean or change the filters, so perhaps that helped me. The bacteria in my filters and cartridges remained the same. The sand (from what I'm told) acts as a buffer as well. My final stage of sand cleaning/rinsing was to add treated water and let it sit while I stirred the sand from time to time. I also put back some water from the holding bucket into my tank.

I still have crystal clear water and near perfect levels. I may have just been lucky though.

I uploaded a video of my tank. Link is below.

My 29 Gallon Aquarium - YouTube

Last edited by Sam Crow; 05-10-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-10-2012, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Sam Crow View Post
I guess it could turn back into a traditional cycle, but it didn't with mine. I didn't clean or change the filters, so perhaps that helped me. The bacteria in my filters and cartridges remained the same. The sand (from what I'm told) acts as a buffer as well. My final stage of sand cleaning/rinsing was to add treated water and let it sit while I stirred the sand from time to time. I also put back some water from the holding bucket into my tank.

I still have crystal clear water and near perfect levels. I may have just been lucky though.
hmmm, not sure if I could handle the stress of it all haha. I will just have to wait, until I can talk the mrs into letting me get a nice 95g corner tank I have seen! do it right from the start. I would rather have a long tank, but we just DO NOT have the room, but might be able to get away with a tank that fits in a corner.

Peace always..

If you worry you die, and if you don't worry you still die..... so why worry?
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-10-2012, 05:05 PM
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To answer your question Steve, obviously replacing the substrate is removing a host of bacteria...but the nitrifying bacteria is to my mind rather irrelevant in a planted tank so this is not an issue. The other bacteria which is essential to a stable biological system will also be depleted, along with the organics in the substrate, but that type of bacteria is very fast to reproduce, about 20-30 minutes compared to 20 hours for the nitrifying. Which is why the "other" bacteria has an advantage.

When I've done this, as I have with 5 of my tanks in the past year, I keep the wood and plants from the tank wet, usually in the temporary tank with the fish, and once the new substrate is in, I half fill the tank, dechlorinate the water, and move over the wood to aquascape, then the plants. There is bacteria on all these surfaces, which may or may not come into play with all the live plants. And I also use new or tap water washed filter media when I do this, which removes all of that bacteria too. My last reset was the 115g with 90+ fish that all went in the first day, and not one issue. The plants will usually be more affected because the lack of organics removes a lot of nutrients, esp CO2, until it rebuilds.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-11-2012, 06:28 PM
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Psh. I avoided sand because I had early childhood experience of keeping it clean with hermit crabs. :P That was a lot of work. Maybe my future tanks will be sand or mixtures (I seem to like gravel and how the two look together). I guess it'll just depend on what fish I want. ^^; (Right now it is dark blue+this other blue+black gravel mized up with two grey sand areas that help serve as a visual divider for territories and decoration as well. :P)
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-11-2012, 08:41 PM
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I'm about to do it too. I have a 29 and 75 gal and after much waffling on which to make a FOWLR I decided to keep the 29 as a planted FW. Ihate to get rid of the single clown loach but it needs a different home, I'll catch the rest, carefully try to pry the sword's roots out of the undergrav and toss the UG. Aquascape with sand, then closely evaluate my existing livestock (3 neon tetras, 2 otos, 5 [I think] platys, and the loach).
I really like Byron's 33 gal. I might try to build something like that.

Last edited by JimBinSC; 05-11-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-12-2012, 02:37 AM
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Really? I have gravel and sand and I prefer the dark gravel because it hides the poop!
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