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Starting Over With Ten Gallon Tank
This is a big deal for me. My tanks tend to run for years without major changes. The 10 gallon is doing fine; however, I really want to change from gravel to play sand for substrate and have chosen my smallest tank as the experimental vessel. The inhabitants will be three full grown 1 1//2 inch corys and two African dwarf frogs. Sounds like a strange combination, but their interaction is priceless. There will be live planted and floating plants and I intend to just reinstall the filter as is . My question is...can I go ahead and put the creatures back in the tank right away ? I want this to be a treat for them.
I'd put them back in as soon as the water has cleared. Shouldn't take too long if you rinse the sand really well.
It will be a treat! Both of these species love sand!
They should be fine to plop them back in once you're done. I did this about a month ago with my 29 gal. It was a pain, but the fish have really responded well. Those floating plants will really help keep the ammonia to a minimum if there is a spike.
Gotta say, the rest of my tanks will be sand!
Something I learned about Playsand is that while it is cheap and looks nice it's inert. If you are going to go live planted, try to get some sort of supplemental stuff to mix in with the play-sand to give your plants a boost. I personally mixed in a bag of Eco Complete Substrate into the sand in my big tank and the plants reacted very favorably to it.
I would stay with just the sand. My plants are growing fine in play sand, as good and perhaps a bit better than the same species in my tank with Flourite on its own (Flourite and EC are basically the same nutrient-wise). I have 7 tanks running with many of the same species in several under the same light so it is a good test.
I changed over my 10g last week, from cheap colored gravel to play sand. All in all, the fish were out of the tank for about an hour and a half.
I first started by rinsing enough sand. Rinse it real well in a bucket, 6-7 times, until all cloudiness raised by a water hose goes back down in a few seconds. I personnaly rinsed it 10-15 times, I feared the tank would be too cloudy to put back the fish right away.
Then I removed all plants and decorations and lowered the water level to about 1/3. I also removed the HOB filter, taking care not to lose any water in it.Then it was really easy to catch the fish without stressing them. I used a bucket with water from the same tank to store the fish during the procedure.
I was then able to get all the gravel out using a (new) cat litter scooper. The yuck at the bottom was really bad, so I rinsed the tank outside using a hose. This tank had been running for 1 1/2 year, yours might not be so bad.
Afterwards I was able to put the sand and fill the tank to 2/3 with conditionned tap water. I took care to use the same temperature water as before. Put a bowl or plate on the bottom of the tank so the sand don't get disturbed. I could then put the plants back and finish filling the tank with water. Amazingly, the water was really clear at this point so I went ahead and started the filter. Waited 15 minutes to put the fish back. All in all, it took about 2h, including the sand washing.
The muck at the bottom is great plant fertiliser- just plop the sand on top. (I'd use soil, but detritus works just as well.)
how much sand do you need for a 10 gal? might try it on my QT tank.
Playsand comes in bags of 50 pounds or 25 kg usually, for a few dollars. So one of these will do several smallish tanks.
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