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Old 08-19-2005, 06:45 PM   #1
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Changing substrate with fish !

I want to change my fine gravel substrate to white sand however this tank allready has fish in it. What should I do?

I thought that emptying the tank would be fine with fish in. And then I thought the sand would go all over unless....... I wet it in a bucket and then add it while it is wet as it will be in little lumps and will not go all over in the tank. What should I do?
Would adding sand with fish in (Discus) hurt them at all?
The only other hing I could do is put them in bags while it is settling but I dont know how long it will take for the sand to settle and i dont want to stress the fish !

Please help

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:03 PM   #2
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Its OK to add the new sand with fish in there, it wont hurt anything, but if you dont want sand all over everything just get a cup and pour it where you want it and fan it off your decorations and stuff when you are done.

Think about this a second... if you wet the sand and add it to water, wont it just go all over the place? Of course. Adding it dry wont make any differance, as once it hits water it will do the same thing as wet sand.

DONT take your old sand out with fish in it. It stirrs up all the crud thats accumulated. I know a few people in the SW fourm stirred it up too much and killed all their fish.

Can you save as much of your tank water as possible, and just store it and the fish somewhere else until its done?

Also I would save some of the old gravel to keep some of the bio media in there (If you just keep a little bit and mix it with the new, you wont see much of it at all).
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:31 PM   #3
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As long as your tank is cycled, your filter is holding the bacteria that is needed. I changed out gravel and put in sand and didn't see any spikes. I'd take the fish out, it will make it much easier on you. You will have the wash the sand first so it will be wet already. When removing the gravel you will be kicking up quite a bit of crud. That's another reason why I prefer to take the fish out of the tank. Depending on the type of sand that you use, it will depend on how long it will take to settle. Pool filter sand is instant. It falls to the bottom and stays there. Some sands will float (the black sand I used floated ALOT until it finally decided to stop coming to the surface ), but this won't harm the fish.
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Old 08-20-2005, 04:58 AM   #4
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Well the gravel I have in atm is like not even a cm thick because the fish are discus and i ddint want a bare bottem tank so there is no crud lol :P
How long will the fish need to be out for ?
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Old 08-20-2005, 09:49 AM   #5
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Until you get the new gravel put in
Depends on how fast you work.

They wont have to be out very long if you save all the old tank water, then you wont have to recycle.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:11 AM   #6
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Just make sure you clean the new sand before you even start removing the fish. That way it will go very quickly. Then all you have to do is remove the fish, remove old gravel, dump in sand, wait a few minutes then put in fish.
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Old 08-20-2005, 10:32 AM   #7
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Thanx, There was no more sand lol, so i just got some more fine gravel substrate and washed it 3 times then added it into the tank. The water is abit cloudy bit fish are fine and are eating lol :P
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacdl
Think about this a second... if you wet the sand and add it to water, wont it just go all over the place? Of course. Adding it dry wont make any differance, as once it hits water it will do the same thing as wet sand.
Well, soon as you start pouring sand into the water, it will be wet.

However, I found it MUCH easier to work with wet sand... scooping it out of the holding bucket, etc. Since you want to wash sand very well anyway, why not add it while it is still wet.
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