02-08-2013, 11:21 AM
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I have about 1.5 inches of sand (spread evenly it is about 1.5) in my 10g. You can slope it a bit to have it deeper in the back for the larger plants, and shallower in front. I'm not sure how much sand (in weight) this would be, I use play sand in my tanks and the 50-pound bag costs a few dollars.
I've switched 6 of my tanks over from gravel to sand, just did the 70g last week in fact. First, set up a temporary tank for the fish; this is better than tubs because you don't want to be rushed, and you may want to leave the new tank overnight. Fill the temp tank about 2/3 or so with water siphoned from the top of the existing tank, then add some dechlorinated fresh water. Move over hard objects (wood, rock, decor), and keep any that isn't used in a container of tank water. Move the fish over, then drain the existing tank and take out the gravel.
Wash the sand well. I find it easier with small amounts, say a cup at a time. Don't let the sand itself get down the drain. When the sand is in the tank, add most of the hard decor, it is easier to arrange this without water. Then partially fill with dechlorinated water, and plant. At this point a complete drain of the water can remove a lot of the initial cloudiness. Refill with dechlorinated water carefully so as not to disturb the sand. Get the filter, heater, lights running.
When I am ready to return the fish, I siphon some of the temp tank water into a pail, maybe half; net the fish into the pail. Top up with water from the new tank. Leave for 15-20 minutes, then net the fish over.