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.