Originally Posted by Bluewind
You guys keep talking about Play Sand. Is that a special type? How many pounds for my tank? Can I keep some gravel or remove it all?
How can I add the sand/remove the gravel without setting back my cycling? Will it cloud my tank when I put it in? What's the best way to go about doing it?
Thank you for answers and sorry for being such a newbie!
Edit: I saw the fish meal as an ingrediant on my Algea Waffers! Todo (the Julii) loves them and prefers them over ANYTHING else I have thrown in the tank! I hope that's not to bad for him long term. :-/ Posted via Mobile Device
Questions are never a problem; we all need to learn, and learning never stops.
Play sand is an inert sand intended for play areas for kids, so it is not sharp-edged [some sands like blasting or paver can be]. It is dirty (= contains fine dirt] and needs a good rinsing, but the end result in my view is worth the extra rinsing. I use Quikrete Play Sand which Home Depot and Lowe's carry, as far as I know. You can see it in the photos of some of my tanks [under "Aquariums" below my name on the left].
Don't mix substrates; the finer will end up on the bottom with the larger on top, due to gravity and normal water flow through the substrate. So remove all the gravel before adding sand. When changing substrates, I always move the fish to a temporary tank, a spare 10g or something. Set aside a day to do this so you are not rushed; start about half an hour after the tank lights come on (if fish are in the tank now). Over the past 2 years I have replaced my substrates with sand in 5 tanks, with a 6th waiting to be done.
For a 10g, one bag will more than do it; it comes in 50-pound (25 kg) bags for a few dollars. You want from 1 to no more than 2 inches depth overall; I think my 10g is 1 to 1.5 inches depth.
Sand can cloud the water the same as any new substrate [this is actually a bacterial issue, harmless]. It should not cloud with dirt if it is rinsed well. I have had some gravels even worse than sand for this.