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Old 07-03-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
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Change substrate now or later?

Hey guys,

So I really want to make the switch from gravel to sand, I've read some threads on here about making the switch but still have unanswered questions.
Will making the change effect the Levels of my water (pH, Ammonia etc)? Will changing to sand effect my filter, would I need a different type of filter? Will it stress out my fish too much? Should I do it sooner rather than later? I have Guppy Fry so should I wait until they are bigger or will they cope? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:35 PM   #2
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Hello!
Haha I know it can be stressful but everything should work out in the end. In my experience the sand (seachem black sand) did not alter my pH, ammonia levels and things like that. I would think that as long as the sand is inert then nothing will happen. What I did was I got a spare aquarium that could house all my fish, plants, driftwood and old water. I hooked up the heater and filter into the smaller tank and boom! Now just clean/siphon out the main tank. Once you're done rinsing the sand or siphoning the cloudiness from the tank, you can add back all your stuff. The cloudiness should disappear within a couple days with adequate filtration. Yeah, it might be hard catching all the fry but it definitely can be done. What size tank do you have? And what sand substrate are you going to use?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TotallyCoral View Post
Hello!
Haha I know it can be stressful but everything should work out in the end. In my experience the sand (seachem black sand) did not alter my pH, ammonia levels and things like that. I would think that as long as the sand is inert then nothing will happen. What I did was I got a spare aquarium that could house all my fish, plants, driftwood and old water. I hooked up the heater and filter into the smaller tank and boom! Now just clean/siphon out the main tank. Once you're done rinsing the sand or siphoning the cloudiness from the tank, you can add back all your stuff. The cloudiness should disappear within a couple days with adequate filtration. Yeah, it might be hard catching all the fry but it definitely can be done. What size tank do you have? And what sand substrate are you going to use?
I would have to do it in one day then cause I don't have a spare aquarium and would have to keep them in a bucket. I have a 100L and ill probably use play sand.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:40 PM   #4
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Yeah one day is perfect. And a bucket is fine too. Play sand is cool just make sure you rinse it a bit before the actual switching process as it will take some time. Other than that, you should be good to go!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:44 PM   #5
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Yeah one day is perfect. And a bucket is fine too. Play sand is cool just make sure you rinse it a bit before the actual switching process as it will take some time. Other than that, you should be good to go!
Okay good thanks. Yeah I was planning to thoroughly rinse it. I've just been reading that changing substrate could cases a massive ammonia spike?
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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I did not like play sand I have it in my shrimp tank it's too small of grain size, I used pool filter sand in my 55 and I love the color of it

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Old 07-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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I did not like play sand I have it in my shrimp tank it's too small of grain size, I used pool filter sand in my 55 and I love the color of it

First pic is 55 second is 20 gallon with playsand
Okay, if I can find pool filter sand, ill go for that option!
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:57 PM   #8
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i had a 10 yr old cycled tank and I wanted to switch from a gravel substrate to sand.

I did tons of research on each type of sand and I decided to go with pool filtration sand. it's heavier than standard sand, so it falls to the bottom fast when a fish kicks it up. It's silica based so it's inert. meaning it does nothing to your water chemistry. it is very compact so debris and food particles do not penetrate, which is great for the cats that clean up the bottom of uneaten flakes.

I would never go back to gravel again, all my tanks are now using this sand.
not to mention is SUPER CHEAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get 50lb bag for $17
granted I needed 4 bags, but it was worth it in the end.

here are my tanks with the sand.
I have been using this sand in my tanks for 20+ years










not to mention is gives a great natural look.
Take my advice with a grain of sand, lol (no pun)
I've done it all and seen it all, and tried it all.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billberet View Post
i had a 10 yr old cycled tank and I wanted to switch from a gravel substrate to sand.

I did tons of research on each type of sand and I decided to go with pool filtration sand. it's heavier than standard sand, so it falls to the bottom fast when a fish kicks it up. It's silica based so it's inert. meaning it does nothing to your water chemistry. it is very compact so debris and food particles do not penetrate, which is great for the cats that clean up the bottom of uneaten flakes.

I would never go back to gravel again, all my tanks are now using this sand.
not to mention is SUPER CHEAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I get 50lb bag for $17
granted I needed 4 bags, but it was worth it in the end.

here are my tanks with the sand.
I have been using this sand in my tanks for 20+ years

not to mention is gives a great natural look.
Take my advice with a grain of sand, lol (no pun)
I've done it all and seen it all, and tried it all.
Ill defiantly go with this then. Your tanks are beautiful. Thank you so much, if I need any help ill be sure to ask you.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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If done properly the change from gravel to sand should not effect anything. Just make sure filter material stay wet so not to kill all your bacteria and wash the sand beforehand and then wash it again
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:29 PM   #11
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Yes I agree w ddodad.
The major step is washing the sand. This will prevent cloudyness.
How I do it. I fill a 5gal bucket a quarter of the way with sand. Insert hose and wait for water to run clear. Stir it up with your hand once in a while.

Take your time. Rushing this step will cause your tank to look dirty.
As you clean more and more sand. Put it aside till u are ready to use it.

To add sand, fill a large cup with sand. Slowly submerge the cup un the tank. When you get to the bottom, slowly tip your cup.
This way sand is added without disturbing anything.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ddodad View Post
If done properly the change from gravel to sand should not effect anything. Just make sure filter material stay wet so not to kill all your bacteria and wash the sand beforehand and then wash it again
Thanks for the Advice, was just worrying about the levels changing.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by billberet View Post
Yes I agree w ddodad.
The major step is washing the sand. This will prevent cloudyness.
How I do it. I fill a 5gal bucket a quarter of the way with sand. Insert hose and wait for water to run clear. Stir it up with your hand once in a while.

Take your time. Rushing this step will cause your tank to look dirty.
As you clean more and more sand. Put it aside till u are ready to use it.

To add sand, fill a large cup with sand. Slowly submerge the cup un the tank. When you get to the bottom, slowly tip your cup.
This way sand is added without disturbing anything.
Yeah, I will defiantly make sure I rinse the want thoroughly first. Thanks.
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