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Discussion Starter #1
In my 80 gallon, I have a small section that currently has white sand. There is a river rock boundary that keeps the sand where it needs to be. My idea was for it to look like a section of "beach". What a bad idea. The sand now looks terrible and I want it out of there. Here's my question. Can I just gravel vac it out during the next water change and just place regular gravel substrate in its place? There are fish in the tank and I don't know if that's a concern or not. They are not skittish fish at all. In fact, I can't keep them away from my hands or my gravel vac when I do a water change. My idea was to place gravel in a measuring cup and gently pour it in the area where the sand is. I'm just not sure if the noise will disturb the residents. I'm planning on doing this tomorrow (Friday) night so if this is a bad idea, please let me know. Thanks!
 

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Master of mistakes
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I have done many gravel swaps with fish in the tank...no problems, what i did find out was that in too thick of a layer of gravel gasses will build up under and maybe stress the fish......IF you do as you suggested at water change just suck up the sand right out....perfect


as far as placing in new gravel.....gentle & soft or dump in no matter to the fish its the matter of "how dirty and cloudy can you handle"?
the fish wont stress too bad by putting in the gravel...just use the cup and lower it in.


Doug
 

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Darth,
Have you moved the sand? How did it work out? I have a ten gallon tank with a sand bottom that I want to change out. Hoping to learn from your experience before starting.
Dave
 

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Darth,
Have you moved the sand? How did it work out? I have a ten gallon tank with a sand bottom that I want to change out. Hoping to learn from your experience before starting.
Dave

Dave,

its easy to do and NOT stressfull, you can use a garden hose and just suck up the sand, it moves real well with the water.....only issue with 10 gallons is you will remove way more water before the sand is gone, so you will have to maybe do it in partials till its gone

DOug
 

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Dave you could let the bucket sit for a few mins and then after the sand settles put the clear water back in. It may take awhile but you still have cyled water. With Doug it was a small section of the tank. (right) If you were to swap all the sand for gravel at one time you will have removed a large amount of the Bac. Colony and if you have a fully stoocked tank you will be I fear in trouble with the nitrate and nitrites. So you will need to be able to test daily.
 

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Dave you could let the bucket sit for a few mins and then after the sand settles put the clear water back in. It may take awhile but you still have cyled water. With Doug it was a small section of the tank. (right) If you were to swap all the sand for gravel at one time you will have removed a large amount of the Bac. Colony and if you have a fully stoocked tank you will be I fear in trouble with the nitrate and nitrites. So you will need to be able to test daily.
actually the original poster said it was a section.....pending your filter this is true that you will go through a small cycle possibly by removing all substrate at once.....if you have a strong bio in your filter, you should see no change in parameters BUT to be on safe side, you would want to feed lighter than normal for a week or two and may want to add some store bought bio booster stuff.


Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry it took so long to get back. The sand changeout went well. I usually do a 20% WC and it took me the entire 20+ gallons to siphon out all the sand. I barely made it. Pouring in the gravel was not an issue either. I put in 10 pounds and it was a snap. The only problem was my fish were so curious with what was going on that I had to keep shooing them away so I wouldn't pour any gravel ON them. And, my male blue ram kept pecking at the bottom of the measuring cup. It was quite humorous. After everything was settled, the residents immediately investigated their new landscape and took to it very well. It looks soooo much better than that white sand. I was warned about it, but I guess I had to find out for myself. No more sand for me.
 

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Sorry it took so long to get back. The sand changeout went well. I usually do a 20% WC and it took me the entire 20+ gallons to siphon out all the sand. I barely made it. Pouring in the gravel was not an issue either. I put in 10 pounds and it was a snap. The only problem was my fish were so curious with what was going on that I had to keep shooing them away so I wouldn't pour any gravel ON them. And, my male blue ram kept pecking at the bottom of the measuring cup. It was quite humorous. After everything was settled, the residents immediately investigated their new landscape and took to it very well. It looks soooo much better than that white sand. I was warned about it, but I guess I had to find out for myself. No more sand for me.

glad all went well, yeah fish can be the curious ones! mostly everyone will take a small amount of advice and apply their own methods regardless of warnings, we always think "it has to work" AND most of us do as you and find out the hard way.....ahhh another eye open, another problem solved

happy fish keeping

Doug
 
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