Switching Subtrate: Gravel to Sand - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 10:12 AM
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Working on sand substrate post that I hope should answer most any questions about them.

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post #12 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 12:20 PM
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Check Tyyr's post about this as it's very informative.

To switch from gravel to sand, you'll want to do it in chunks for the reasons people have already listed. The easiest way to do this is find a sheet of plastic that you can stick down into your gravel to divide off a section of the floor of your tank. Remove the gravel from the sectioned-off area and replace with the well-rinsed sand. If you get two of these dividers, you can divide the floor of your tank into thirds and switch out a third of your substrate at a time over the course of three weeks.

Also, what exactly is wrong with your tap water that has led you to using RO water? Keep in mind that RO water is completely devoid of essential nutrients that your fish are going to be missing. Over time, this could be very bad for their health. If your water is hard or has a high pH (or both) you're better off using some mix of RO and tap water. If you have other problems with your water, such as very high phosphates, nitrates, ammonia, or the like and it simply can't be used at all, consider using spring water instead of RO.

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post #13 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 05:49 PM
i was just thinking, man no one said anything thing about his RO method. straight RO is dead water. it really won't support much life. a mixture of tap and RO is a very popular method to lower gh and unwanted additives that is in tap. i don't have experiece with sand and i don't know much about. so i don't know if you can or can not have live plants. if you can, then you'll need to either add the elements back in the water or mix in tap water as mentioned.
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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I just moved to into an apartment and the water here is very hard. It put a huge spike in my Nitrates. I was told at my old LFS that RO water would do the trick. I guess I'll have to start using spring water, unless you think a mix of RO and tap will be ok. When I say spike in nitrates.....i mean through the roof! I didn't pick up on it because i was away for 3 weeks and my brother only changed the water and didn't know how to test it.

I have a feeling I may need to use spring water because of the huge spike in Nitrates.

Thanks for all your help everyone, I did not know that about RO water!
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 06:53 PM
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Does the water test high for nitrates straight out of tap? I also have hard water but I dont have a problem with nitrates.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-22-2009, 07:24 PM
If the RO water is working for you I wouldn't change it, especially not in the same time frame that you are switching your substrate. Instead, I would just get a good RO water additive that will replace essential minerals and buffers to your water.

I used play sand in my 29 gallon and what I did was rinse it thoroughly before adding it. I just put some in a pot, added water, stirred it all up, and dumped out all the stuff that stayed in the water. I then repeated this process until the water ran clear. Do this for ALL the sand. Yup, it's a pain, but now when I stir up the substrate anything that gets waterborne settles immediately. I'm planning to grow some plants and so far I haven't heard any reason why that wouldn't work.

20 gallon long: 3 adult Neolamprologus similis + about 11 fry of various ages; low light planted tank
20 gallon long:2 freshwater dwarf puffers (Puff Puff and Poofer); medium-light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Wormy; low light planted tank
10 gallon: 1 male betta named Dante; low light planted tank
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-23-2009, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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How deep should I make the subtrate? an inch and a half? two?

also, with my stock:

2 sailfin mollys
3 blackskirt tetras
1 small sivler dollar fish
1 small blue guarmi

what would be another good match for these guys? i was thinking some neon tetras......

you guys are great!! thanks for all your help!
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