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Changing From Gravel To Sand

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Ny82, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    Hi, I just wanted some advice on the quickest and easiest way to change my substrate. I have a 95L tank with black gravel, due to me getting more cories I would like to put sand in. 
    Any suggestions as to what sand to use, colour, how much and of course how to change it with the least amount of stress to me and the fish!
    When I done my 64L fry tank, I used the siphon to vacuum out the gravel but as a result-it broke lol. I have unipac black sand in that. 
    I just want something different to be honest, I see how the cories are at my landlady's house, digging and having fun in the sand, I just think they can't do that in the gravel as it's chunky.
    Suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
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  2. mhancock

    mhancock Member

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    I used a net to get gravel out, make sure you get it all. This may mean letting the water settle.

    Keep an eye on pH when adding sand,



    M
     
  3. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    Ah that's a good idea, I didn't think about using the net, was going to use a plastic beaker but that will take forever. My water is quite soft out the tap, will changing the substrate change the PH? That tank at the moment is sitting between 6.4 and 6.6.
     
  4. mhancock

    mhancock Member

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    I had a problem with sand raising pH to fatal levels, but that seems to be an isolated problem, most people do it and it's fine!
     
  5. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    Oh dear, that does not sound good :/ I did it in my small fry tank and the PH stayed low. The thing is that tank is even lower, it's between 6 and 6.4 which is what the tap water is at.
     
  6. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Depends on the type of sand. Aragonite sand will raise pH- it is used by sw and African rift lake keepers. Most sand should be pH neutral.
     
    Hate to see you lose all the lovely mulm built up in the subtrate. I bet the plants love it.
     
  7. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    Ah right, I was just going to get some more of the unipac stuff. I was thinking white. 
     
     I can't even keep my twisted vallis alive these days! My cabomba went brown and died and my wisteria is melting too :( I didn't used to have issues keeping plants, just seems to be this tank! The fry tank has lovely big amazon sword-no brown leaves and the wisteria is green and growing very fast.
     
  8. frapadoodle

    frapadoodle Moved On

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    Well, many of us, including me use good old playsand.
    Just rinse it for a month of Sundays.
    It's best to remove the fish, even if temporarily to a bucket during the change. I used the net method to remove the gravel.
    Your cories will thank you for it. There is nothing like seeing a cory with it's nose buried up to it's eyes in the sand.
    Sorry to hear about the plant loss. Sometimes it is just the tank, or the plants. Moved the moneywort to the big tank and it just wasn't happy. Put it back in the small tank and it grows like a house afire, even though other than size everything is the same in the two tanks.
     
  9. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    I have a bag of play sand in one of the sheds, it's almost full. My landlady left it for my little ones sandpit. I just looked online and you can get it from argos for £2.99! That's very cheap, a lot cheaper than the pets at home sand for £15. I will check what sand is in the shed, it's very light coloured. 
    I was at my landlady's yesterday and her cories have a great time in the sand. All 4 of her tanks have sand and it's great watching them! 
    Looks like it's all systems go. I shall use the net to remove the gravel, I just have my cories and a few platies and guppies in the big tank (3 platies 4 guppies) they should be easy enough to remove! 
    Will update after it's done. Thanks.
     
  10. Miller2009

    Miller2009 Member

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    Well I'm at the planning stage of changing from gravel to sand and I think I'm for than likely to head to Argos for a couple of bags of play sand. I got a couple of extra buckets from wilkinsons only a £1 bargain I thought so I could give the sand a extremely good rinse and my other 2 buckets for my fish and filter media. I think I'm going to be running a small airstone in the bucket with my fish just to give a little water movement. Hope all goes well and post some pics when you done.
     
  11. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    I will be of to wilkinsons for buckets then! I was also advised to put as much of the tank water back into the tank after the change to avoid a spike-is this right?
     
  12. Miller2009

    Miller2009 Member

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    Well I got told to keep around 50% of tank water then in terms your then doing a 50% wc so no need to but you must keep an eye on the ph as it can change a lot
     
  13. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    I have been out baking in this insane heat, we are lucky to have weather like this in scotland lol. I have come back in now as it's far too hot, I have 1 bucket but I have empty bottles and 2 of the big water bottles. I will use that for half of the water. 
    Here goes. 
     
  14. Miller2009

    Miller2009 Member

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    Yeah I live in the NE England and I've been melting in the back garden all afternoon but I'm defo not complaining. I've now got to go and get 4 bags of sand as the other half has ordered a sandpit for the kids it's going to kill be carrying 60kg of sand
     
  15. Ny82

    Ny82 1 Woman Army ;)

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    Done! Only took me what felt like ages! The cories are loving it and the bronze are already assuming the T position again!
     
    Some pics
     
    [​IMG]
     
    I put the wisteria in the fry tank-I am not putting the rest of it back in until the sandstorm dies down so I can see what I am doing!
    [​IMG]
     
    Bucket full o fish. I put one of the female platies in the fry tank as she is in the last stages of pregnancy and I don't want her stressed.
    [​IMG]
     
    What it looks like so far 
    [​IMG]
     
    Some cory fry to lighten the mood (I was feeling like I shouldn't have started)
    [​IMG]
     
    I will wait until the sand storm dies down, and see what to do next. I wanted to just keep a hard scape with just the wood and rocks but they like to lay eggs on the amazon swords. I will trim down the wisteria and just keep it short and manageable. I don't know what to do really so as I say will see once it settles. 
     
    Thanks again to all who helped make this a less stressful situation!
     

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