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!!