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Old 08-15-2013, 12:23 AM   #1
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Changeing substrate?

I need to change my substrate from gravel to sand how do i do this?
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:45 AM   #2
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Easy peasy.
Start by washing the substrate you want to put in, then..

Drain the tank trying to keep some of the tank water so you can add it back to your tank after change, 50% if you possible would be a good aim. This will stop the water chemistry from swooping too much either way when you fill up the tank after change also.

Fill a bucket with tank water and place your fish into it. Take you filter, an airstone and place it in the bucket also to keep everything oxygenated and wet. Changing substrate can be quite a quick process or can take along time, a tank like yours should be easy but a planted tank can be time consuming as you can imagine.

Take everything out the tank with the old substrate, replace with the new. Replace decor that you want to keep and your filter ect, then put your fish back in. Bishbashbosh.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:45 AM   #3
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I have done the switch many times. Don't remove fish. Put all tank decorations at one end fish will go hide amongst it if they get scared. Remove gravel at that end. I like to use an aquarium net. Just scoop it out with it. It works great. Move everything to the other end. Scoop gravel out of that end. Wash sand in a bucket a little at a time very well. Until the water runs clear off it. Slowly pour into the tank and spread around. Repeat until you have all the sand you want in.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:46 AM   #4
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I need to change my substrate from gravel to sand how do i do this?
If I were you I wouldn't change your substrate. Don't you have live plants? Plants do better in gravel IMO, but you could do a sand and gravel mix. I have Eco-Complete and Fluorite Black Sand. The sand is below the gravel. If this tank is established with fish in it, I wouldn't change anything. Unless you have another tank that is established to put the fish in, I would leave it alone.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:55 AM   #5
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If your gonna change substrate if go with Eco complete. It's easy to do. Personally I don't like gravel for planted tanks but that's just my opinion.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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I am having sand in my 29 gallon

I'm submerging my filter media( so the beneficial bacteria doesn't die), my current stock and plants in a 5 gallon bucket with a heater and air stone, then wash the sand thoroughly, save around 10 gallons of my water(plus the 5 in the bucket with fish, so like 15 gallons) and then add the water, fill in the tank with new one, what 30 minutes for it to settle, put the filter back on, what for temp to settle in, add plants, add fish, and done
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:39 AM   #7
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If I were you I wouldn't change your substrate. Don't you have live plants? Plants do better in gravel IMO, but you could do a sand and gravel mix. I have Eco-Complete and Fluorite Black Sand. The sand is below the gravel. If this tank is established with fish in it, I wouldn't change anything. Unless you have another tank that is established to put the fish in, I would leave it alone.
Plants will do perfectly well in any type of aquarium. Sand actually tends to make planting new stems and plants way easier than gravel and is WAY cleaner. The eco complete is very nice, if possible I would go with the fine grain of it.

I'm curious though, what's the purpose of the sand underneath the gravel?

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I have done the switch many times. Don't remove fish. Put all tank decorations at one end fish will go hide amongst it if they get scared. Remove gravel at that end. I like to use an aquarium net. Just scoop it out with it. It works great. Move everything to the other end. Scoop gravel out of that end. Wash sand in a bucket a little at a time very well. Until the water runs clear off it. Slowly pour into the tank and spread around. Repeat until you have all the sand you want in.
I disagree with leaving the fish in the tank. There are just too many potential issues along with excessive stress on your fish from them having to hide from the major change in their environment.


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Easy peasy.
Start by washing the substrate you want to put in, then..

Drain the tank trying to keep some of the tank water so you can add it back to your tank after change, 50% if you possible would be a good aim. This will stop the water chemistry from swooping too much either way when you fill up the tank after change also.

Fill a bucket with tank water and place your fish into it. Take you filter, an airstone and place it in the bucket also to keep everything oxygenated and wet. Changing substrate can be quite a quick process or can take along time, a tank like yours should be easy but a planted tank can be time consuming as you can imagine.

Take everything out the tank with the old substrate, replace with the new. Replace decor that you want to keep and your filter ect, then put your fish back in. Bishbashbosh.
+1 That's about the best way to do it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:22 AM   #8
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I disagree with leaving the fish in the tank. There are just too many potential issues along with excessive stress on your fish from them having to hide from the major change in their environment.
Far less stress than netting, leaving in a bucket and also having the fish think they have been moved to a new environment.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:25 AM   #9
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Instead of the big hassel could i put sand ontop of my gravel?
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:28 AM   #10
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Instead of the big hassel could i put sand ontop of my gravel?
It would just get mixed together when you do your gravel vac'ing.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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I put the sand under the gravel so that it would look more natural and so that I wouldn't siphon it out. I usually don't siphon into the sand/gravel bed, I go over it. The sand also has other benefits to plants. The sand is very fine... another reason that I put it under the gravel.
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