Aquarium Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We've had our 55 gallon tank for about 7 months. It currently has a sand substrate, which I really hate and it's a pain to keep clean. It never looks "clean" to me. I really want to switch to a gravel bed, but I'm worried about how to do this in a way that won't desperately stress out the fish. We have 1 oscar and 1 pleco (both are nearly 4 years old). I feel it will be really hard to take all the sand out without draining the tank, but how bad will that be for the fish? I can move them to a small tank while we clean it but will fresh new water be detrimental to them? Our filter has a bio wheel so I was wondering if that would help at least keep their good bacteria in the new water, so it's not at total shock to their systems. Any advice, tips, or suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
the fish will only be in the small tank for a short period of time, they will be stress alittle but should be ok... fill the small tank with water from the tank your going to drain. That will help.

When you got everything to gether and ready to go into the tank. Drain the tank but keep at least 50% of the old tank water. preferabliy the water that has all the bio-colony from vacuming. Keep this in buckets you will need it to refill the tank. Do not clean the filter leave it dirty. Drain the tank and replace the sand witht hte gravel. now just set back up the tank and fill with thte dirty water, top it off with fresh water as if you just doing a water change. If will look dirty, don't warry about it it will all settle down in a few hours. Your tank will go into a mini cycle, but nothing to worry about really just keep an eye on your levels. After a week, just start you normal weekly WC's. Gravel Vac. very light just over the surface don't get down into the gravel just clean it up allittle, after that next week just do you normal cleaning . If you divivd the gravel into 4 sections and clean a new section each week you Bio-colony will be stronger and you water quailty will be better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yep, that's a big reason I want to switch to gravel. We did put a sponge over the filter intake and that helps a LOT with the sand, and we clean it when we do water changes. We also have to thoroughly clean out the filter itself ever time too though, intake tube, everything, we basically have to take it apart to clean it and it's just too much of a hassle to get all the sand out all the time. BUT the sponge definitely helped. We got it from a local aquarium shop, the guy gave them to us, don't know what they were supposed to be for, but I just cut a slit in the middle big enough to fit it completely over the filter intake, like a pre-filter actually. It works pretty well, I just don't want to deal with the upkeep of taking apart the filter every time to get all the sand out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,048 Posts
Did you guys ever think about shorting the intake tube, which would get it up away from the heavy amounts of stirred up sand as will as use a fry sponge. I was just thinking because I never used sand and most likely unless its a wet/dry system where sand is not a problem, from what i can see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
yep, tried shortening the intake tube, it only goes between 1/3 and halfway into the tank. it still gets sand in though. i do have 2 very messy fish though, i expected the oscar to be messy, but my pleco is just as bad if not worse than the oscar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I used a clear syphon hose and sucked the sand out, a little at a time. You can suck it out each time you do a water change. then when you want to add gravel I take a 2 foot long plastic pipe,, 1.5 inch, taped to a 2 leader bottle top half (as a funnel). You can stick this in the water rest it on the bottom and place the gravel exactly where you want it. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REMOVE THE FISH.

Petfishtalk podcast talks about removing gravel this way. New Pet Fish Talk Show.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top