Switching from gravel to sand, how long do I wait...

Strmwrng

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Hello all!
So as the thread title says, I’m doing the big switch... but you need a minute of background...
4 days ago I really got sick of my plastic plants and took them out :oops: Since then I’ve been doing daily water changes cuz I caused a nitrate thing.:rolleyes: It’s all because I hadn’t been cleaning deep down into the gravel, I’m sure. When I pulled the plastic plants out, I put in some nice rocks.
So here’s my question; how long should I wait to do the switch? I took out a lot of bb space with the plastic, how long should it take to get the bb onto the rocks now? I don’t want to do the switch until I have enough bb ‘on top’ so there won’t be a crash.
I’m open to all ideas...THANKS!
PS - Thanks to you all, this process is from ‘tank envy’ when I see pics of your gorgeous tanks! I’ll get there, and thank you for making me want to do better!:thanks:
 

HoldenOn

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Hello all!
So as the thread title says, I’m doing the big switch... but you need a minute of background...
4 days ago I really got sick of my plastic plants and took them out :oops: Since then I’ve been doing daily water changes cuz I caused a nitrate thing.:rolleyes: It’s all because I hadn’t been cleaning deep down into the gravel, I’m sure. When I pulled the plastic plants out, I put in some nice rocks.
So here’s my question; how long should I wait to do the switch? I took out a lot of bb space with the plastic, how long should it take to get the bb onto the rocks now? I don’t want to do the switch until I have enough bb ‘on top’ so there won’t be a crash.
I’m open to all ideas...THANKS!
PS - Thanks to you all, this process is from ‘tank envy’ when I see pics of your gorgeous tanks! I’ll get there, and thank you for making me want to do better!:thanks:
Most nitrifying bacteria in our tanks lives in the filter, specifically in the filter media. You can do the switch whenever you would like. When I did it, I took out several rocks, and was fine. If the tank is going to get new plants and it has the same filter, there is almost no chance of a mini-cycle.
 
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Strmwrng

Strmwrng

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Most nitrifying bacteria in our tanks lives in the filter, specifically in the filter media. You can do the switch whenever you would like. When I did it, I took out several rocks, and was fine. If the tank is going to get new plants and it has the same filter, there is almost no chance of a mini-cycle.
Thanks so much for that info! I do also have new plants., this wknd looks like a thing!!:kana:
 

AilyNC

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I didn't get any cycle issues when I switched out gravel for sand. Makes a big difference to look of the tank and it's so much easier to plant in than gravel. I aimed for 2"-3" depth.
 

itiwhetu

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Why not just put the sand over the gravel, then you don't have to re establish the tank and you will get the look you want.
 

Colin_T

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I don't know what the question is. How long do you wait for, what?


So here’s my question; how long should I wait to do the switch? I took out a lot of bb space with the plastic, how long should it take to get the bb onto the rocks now? I don’t want to do the switch until I have enough bb ‘on top’ so there won’t be a crash.
I have no idea what you mean when by this.

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Why not just put the sand over the gravel, then you don't have to re establish the tank and you will get the look you want.
You don't put sand on gravel because it falls through the gaps and makes problems worse.
 

itiwhetu

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I don't know what the question is. How long do you wait for, what?



I have no idea what you mean when by this.

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You don't put sand on gravel because it falls through the gaps and makes problems worse.
Why would you take out a stable base to replace it with sand. Put the sand on the top and you get the best of both worlds
 
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Strmwrng

Strmwrng

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Why not just put the sand over the gravel, then you don't have to re establish the tank and you will get the look you want.
I’d like the look of smooth sand, not lumped with gravel underneath. It would make my base too deep to cover it also, I think. Sounds like I won’t have to re-establish the tank; my first 2 replies had no issues so I’m hoping for the same results.
 
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Strmwrng

Strmwrng

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I don't know what the question is. How long do you wait for, what?



I have no idea what you mean when by this.
I thought I removed a lot of beneficial bacteria (bb). So wondered how long for it to grow on the replacement rocks. (Now I’m wondering if I’m replying to this in the right place)
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You don't put sand on gravel because it falls through the gaps and makes problems worse.
 
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Strmwrng

Strmwrng

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Nope Colin T, I didn’t do my reply correctly, but it’s there. Sorry, I’m not tech savvy with the most basic things.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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You might get a mini cycle when you replace the substrate, you might not, fingers crossed for not! I personally did get a mini cycle, nitrites went to 0.25ppm, but it only took four days of daily water changes for the tanks beneficial bacteria to catch up again.

Tips: Only feed lightly immediately after changing the substrate, less food in means less ammonia out.
Test the water twice a day, first and last thing in the day, any spikes in ammonia or nitrite, do a 75-80% water change.
If the tank does mini cycle, it usually only takes a few days to a week for the colonies to grow large enough to replace what was lost, so just keep an eye by testing twice daily and water change as needed. Once ammonia and nitrites stay at zero (or if they never go above zero in the first place) you're good and can go back to your normal maintenance routine! :)
 
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Strmwrng

Strmwrng

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You might get a mini cycle when you replace the substrate, you might not, fingers crossed for not! I personally did get a mini cycle, nitrites went to 0.25ppm, but it only took four days of daily water changes for the tanks beneficial bacteria to catch up again.

Tips: Only feed lightly immediately after changing the substrate, less food in means less ammonia out.
Test the water twice a day, first and last thing in the day, any spikes in ammonia or nitrite, do a 75-80% water change.
If the tank does mini cycle, it usually only takes a few days to a week for the colonies to grow large enough to replace what was lost, so just keep an eye by testing twice daily and water change as needed. Once ammonia and nitrites stay at zero (or if they never go above zero in the first place) you're good and can go back to your normal maintenance routine! :)
Thank you! I always appreciate your detailed and thought out replies! :nod:
 

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