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Old 10-21-2006, 12:06 PM   #1
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substrate swap?

When i set up my FOWLR about 3 months ago i was on a low budget and figured i could just use pool filter sand. It has not given me any problems and other people say it works fine for them but i have noticed that it does not look as nice as very fine aragonite. I really like the look of that and im thinking about swapping it out. I guess at this point the only thing that im not sure about is the effect it will have on my tank. I changed from gravel to eco-complete in my FW but im not sure if anything else is different when it comes to being a SW. Any suggestions or cautions that other people can give me from making mistakes of there own would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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Do it slowly over time. I would change out about 1/3 at a time to give the bacteria and pods already established in the sand time to migrate over to the new sand a little at a time.

I generally think you might have an NO3 spike when you do it, b/c you are going to stir up allot of the stuff that sits on the sand into the water column, but do it with PWC's and you should be fine.

To add sand while the tank is filled, I have heard of people using a 2"PVC pipe to pur the sand in and get it where they want it, or just filling up a small bowl and sinking it slowly in the water. Be prepared for a sandstorm, but it shouldn't hurt your fish too much since in the wild, they have to deal with it when the currents get wild as well.

DO you have fish in there yet? If not, you can just bite the bullet and change all out now and then watch your water parameters to see if you go through another cycle.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:48 PM   #3
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i do already have fish in the tank. thanks for the input. i think im going to go get the new sand today. Its been about months since ive gotten to "work on" one of my tanks so im pretty excited. One more question though. when you say "over time" what do you mean? do one third every 2 days or every week until its done? i just dont know what the time frame should be. thanks again.
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Old 10-21-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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If you are talking about going to a very fine sand you might want to go over to the Reef aquaria forum and read all the problems they are having with fine sand.
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Old 10-21-2006, 03:43 PM   #5
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I wasnt sure on how fine i wanted my sand but after reading that im not going really fine. Thanks for telling me about those posts. Im glad im not going to end up with the same problems (or so i hope)
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Old 10-21-2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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I did 1/3 at a time, week by week, I also had premixed water ready, just in case. In your case, you shouldn't have to worry about getting it all out. I would take it down low, and then add the new sand on the top.
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Old 10-21-2006, 08:54 PM   #7
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I did it over time as well, worked out fine for me!
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