Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Gravel to sand (

Maxillius 11-29-2011 02:45 PM

Gravel to sand
Hi I would like to change my gravel to sand its already washed really good for several hours . What I would like to know is if i need to take my fish out of the tank for this?

thank you in advance

Boredomb 11-29-2011 03:38 PM

I would take the fish out yes. It will be much less stressful for them by doing so. Also much easier for you as you don't have to worry about hurting the fish in the process of change the substrate with them in the tank still.

kangy 11-29-2011 03:40 PM

When I changed over from gravel to sand I took the fish out.

I siphoned out half of the water into a (new) smallish icechest then moved the decorations, heater, filter, and a few cups of the old substrate to the icechest. Then I moved the fish into their new temporary home, scooped out the old gravel and put in the sand. After smoothing out the sand I added the decorations, filled it back up with fresh treated water, replaced the heater and filter, let the water temp stabilize and moved the fishies back.

I've read you can do it with the fish in but I would imagine that would be just as much if not more of a shock to them. The whole process took maybe an hour to complete and they didn't seem to mind hanging out in the icechest for an hour.

Most importantly what I did after though was I took the two plastic basket things from my biowheel and filled them with the old substrate and let it sit on top of the sand for 3 weeks to aid with the bacteria transfer.

kangy 11-29-2011 03:43 PM

p.s. once you think the sand is clean, rinse it one more time :) What kind of sand did you get? I went with what I thought was pool filter sand but in hindsight it was probably just a bag of playsand labeled for pool filters so the pool store could double the price. It was DIRTY and took a few solid hours of rinsing with three 5 gallon buckets in the driveway and a garden hose.

Maxillius 11-29-2011 07:06 PM

thx you all for the advice that is what I did and i got a bag of play sand for like 7$ and for cleaning it i have a nice trick
put half sand in the 5 gallon bucket and fill with water untill it spills over , then you just take the hose and stir really well you can also take a wooden spoon to stir but the hose was doing a great job, then when its really turning fast I would scoop the top water with a smaller bucket, the agitated water make the finer stuff go floating for sure! more speed the bigger the sand at top.the thing is that there is sand that wont go reach the top of the bucket and spill out they are just too heavy so by using a mesuring cup or smaller bucket you an pick those up! right now im finished and looking at my discolored black ruby barb exploring there new territory hehe and water is crystal clear

iamgray 11-30-2011 01:28 AM

I have changed a few tanks from sand to gravel without removing the fish, and I never lost a single fish. I got a pet food scooper from the dollar store and used it to remove the gravel, and then used the scoop to place the sand in the bottom of the tank rather than dumping it in. I made a post about the first tank that I switched, and I will see if I can find it and post a link for you.

iamgray 11-30-2011 01:29 AM

Oh nevermind, I just reread your post and saw that you already changed it. :-D

Maxillius 11-30-2011 08:16 AM

im thinking next time I wont remove them as of this morning since last night they only got there black stripes back*black ruby barb* and before that they where really black and red, and now they are afraid of me lol ... before when ever i would open my door or move aside the aquarium they would all bunch up on the front glass and wait for food hehe! :)

Maxillius 11-30-2011 08:52 AM

here are a few pictures!
I'm not sure what to do for background any suggestions ?
oh and I would like a short plant to grow on top of my cave any suggestions there too? :-)

kangy 11-30-2011 09:47 AM

For the top of the cave I would recommend java fern or anubias. You can secure it with black thread until the roots "hook in"

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