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Old 03-27-2012, 09:09 AM   #1
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Switching to sand. Need tips!

Ok, I've bought a bag of silver sand to put in my tank instead of the gravel that's already there . Any tips on how to go about switching them out? I know I'm gonna have to rinse the sand a LOT, but I'm a bit confused about the logistics of getting the gravel out, how best to put the sand in, all with fish still in the tank and while keeping the good bacteria alive :/
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #2
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You can just scoop it out our siphon it out with a big hose while the water is in there. A good way is scoop out as much as you can first then siphon the rest out with the water.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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I would take the fish out while you do it, it could cause stress.
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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Ive only got one bucket, which I'm gonna need for rinsing the sand, and for holding the sand while I take the gravel out won't I? I can't think of any other way of doing it :/
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:17 AM   #5
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You can use a laundry basket with a trash bag. Rinse ur sand rhen put it in the bag. Then use your bucket for your fish
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:35 AM   #6
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What kind of fish do you have? Also turn your filters off while you add sand until it settles
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Old 03-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #7
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I recently replaced gravel with sand. Used a large (unused) cat litter scooper to get the gravel out. I left the fish in. They didn't enjoy all the activity but they made it through the process.
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:28 PM   #8
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Well, that's the wettest my home has been in a long time I tried using a bin bag to put the sand in. I tested it first for holes by filling it with water. No holes, so I started putting my rinsed sand into it, and like magic, holes appeared and my sand started disappearing managed to put most of it back in the bucket while I thought of a plan b.

I thought I'd change the substrate with the fish still in the tank, but they stressed quite a lot and kept getting in the way. So I put all the sand in a tiny tank we've got that we put our snake in while cleaning his main tank. Fortunately the sand just fitted in it I put my fish in the now empty bucket with my filter, so keeping the bb alive too and cleared out the gravel.

The water was filthy so I had to empty it out a jug of water at a time because my bucket had fish in. then I had to put the sand in and smooth it out, then plant all my plants. Filling the water back up took ages because I only had the jug to use! The sand settled straight away, but the water is still cloudy. Got all the fish in, heater and filter running fine, no problems.

The tank looks so much nicer now, but that was so stressful for both me and the fish. One of my otos went white :/ hope he'll be ok. Looking forward to getting some dwarf corys in there now I think I'd definitely recommend anyone else to have more than one bucket!!
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #9
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I was going to say spend £3 on an extra bucket but I thought you may have already thought of that :P I need to do the same. I considered getting some sand too but it's so expensive from the Lfs
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkes
I was going to say spend £3 on an extra bucket but I thought you may have already thought of that :P I need to do the same. I considered getting some sand too but it's so expensive from the Lfs
Well I had the choice of £20-£30 at the fish shop, or £1.99 at the garden centre I only needed a small 5kg bag of silver sand for my tank, but a 25kg bag was only £3.99. Bargain!

I should have bought another bucket, but impatience is one of my many faults I'd bought the bag and wanted to get it done today. I didn't have time to go and buy another bucket, and if I didn't do it today, I've have had to wait til saturday. Plus I haven't really got anywhere to store a second bucket. I didn't realise just how awkward it'd be without it though
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishies86

Well I had the choice of £20-£30 at the fish shop, or £1.99 at the garden centre I only needed a small 5kg bag of silver sand for my tank, but a 25kg bag was only £3.99. Bargain!

I should have bought another bucket, but impatience is one of my many faults I'd bought the bag and wanted to get it done today. I didn't have time to go and buy another bucket, and if I didn't do it today, I've have had to wait til saturday. Plus I haven't really got anywhere to store a second bucket. I didn't realise just how awkward it'd be without it though
If you have one bucket... You can place the additional bucket inside the original :O ! :P
Wow that is cheap! What's the sand called? Is it ment for something else? It must be a nightmare to clean though I can imagine right?
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:49 PM   #12
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Haha sounds like you had fun
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:53 PM   #13
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It's called silver sand. It's used for mixing into compost for taking cuttings etc. perfectly safe to use in the aquarium though as far as I'm aware, it's the finest grain sand you can get.

Lol! Fun is probably not the word I would use ;D really pleased with the result though
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:00 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishies86
It's called silver sand. It's used for mixing into compost for taking cuttings etc. perfectly safe to use in the aquarium though as far as I'm aware, it's the finest grain sand you can get.

Lol! Fun is probably not the word I would use ;D really pleased with the result though
How did you know it was safe to use?
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilkes

How did you know it was safe to use?
Through reading lots of posts on AA cloudiness settled overnight, and tank is looking lovely now
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:57 PM   #16
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Well done I'll keep an eye out for that
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