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Old 04-14-2011, 05:36 AM   #1
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re-aquascaping

I didn't really know what I was doing when I set up my first saltwater tank, and as a result it looks very freshwaterish.

I understand the the substrate and rocks have a lot of beneficial bacteria on them.

I want to replace the gravel substrate with sand and rearrange the rocks. Then I'm going to get a blue background and take out the artificial plants.

So I think I will slowly move the rocks over to one side of the aquarium. Then slowly scoop out the gravel with a fish net... maybe 1/4th at a time and replace that with sand. Then wait a week or two and repeat until I have the whole tank's substrate replaced.

Then I can rearrange the rocks.

Think this will work with fish in the tank? By not replacing too much gravel at once and by not taking out the rocks I can keep most of the bacteria in there. And doing it slowly will allow me to test the water and try to keep it stable.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:27 PM   #2
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Any comments? I'm about to scoop out my first batch of gravel.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:44 PM   #3
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I would do it all at once, but that's because I'm kind of lazy. Your method of doing it a 1/4th at a time will work too though. You should have enough bacteria on the rocks to do it all at once though, if you change your mind. You will need to do a water change afterwards because you'll stir up alot of gunk. Good luck and take pics when you get it all arranged.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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You better have some pictures ready when you finish! A before and after would be cool.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Thanks. I'll probably do half at a time then. Just so I have a place to move the rocks and to not rush it.

Pool filter sand works good, right? (I've read that) Rather than buying the expensive sand at the LFS.
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:10 AM   #6
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halfway done with half!
the water is a little cloudy so I'm letting it settle before doing the other half

the blue background mad such a huge difference
and the sand is looking great too

will definitely post before and after pictures
though it'll be a while before i get to the other half LOL
exhausting!
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:31 AM   #7
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I would test the water after awhile to be safe since you did stir stuff up. waiting for pictures
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:43 AM   #8
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Yeah, I'm fully expected to wake up with dead fish tomorrow.

The water got so cloudy, even after I thorougly rinsed the sand. I then did a 20% PWC, which I didn't want to do because I'm tired.. but I felt obligated to, so I did.

Wonder if fish inhale these little sand particles in the water and if it harms them?

PS: Henry, this is my first month SW experience too
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:28 AM   #9
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I don't think people have had fish die from the sand clouding the water. Just leave your filter running and it should clear up pretty fast.
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:40 PM   #10
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Sweet, fish are healthy and water is clear.
Going to do the other half tonight!

I have an excellent idea for what to do with the rocks. I hope I have enough.
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