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Author Topic: Swapping substrate  (Read 3382 times)
sketchyart
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« on: July 11, 2015, 07:20:09 AM »

I know its not ideal but I want to put sand on the bottom of my tank instead of my cureent mix of large and fine gravel.
managed to get hold of a bag of childrens playsand but am not sure whats the best way  to go about it. Should I leave the gravel and just lay the sand over the top or remove the gravel. Also my ludwigia plants roots are deep into the gravel and I know it wont do so well in the sand so thinking leaving the gravel in would be better for roots systems and would help stop the sand compressing completely. Advice appreciated.
p.s. main recent for change is for the corydoras
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2015, 09:03:51 AM »

Actually, I prefer sand to gravel.  I think that plant roots "hang onto it" better.

It would be better to remove the gravel.  If you don't, the sand will seep down between the gravel bits and end up on the bottom which wouldn't help your corys at all.

Maintenance of sand is easy.  When you vacuum, just wave the vacuum over the planted area.  It doesn't have to be cleaned perfectly in that area because the mulm that is left is good plant food.  In the areas where there aren't plants, hold the vacuum at an angle so that the sand doesn't go up and out of the tank.  Then, run your fingers through the unplanted area to keep it from compacting.

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When in doubt, do a water change.
sketchyart
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2015, 09:26:55 AM »

Brilliant, exactly sort of advice I was after.
would this be safe to do with the fish still in place. I can move them temporarily but it would be to a totally inadequate sized tank as its only my quarantine tank. 30 litres at most and thers 30+ small fish.
and soz for all the questions but one more is this going to completely unbalance my tank. As im still struggling with settling my nitrates below 40. Im fairly certain the reason being was stocking to fast at the end of a new cycle (impatience gets the best of us). But if it will unbalance it further I might wait a week or two untill it settles and then do it.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2015, 10:50:34 AM »

Here is a link to an article telling how to do this:          http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/how-do-you-change-aquarium-gravel-article89.html
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When in doubt, do a water change.
sketchyart
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2015, 01:51:26 PM »

Thanks
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sketchyart
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2015, 08:13:30 AM »

Thanks so glad I read that first than doing it the way I thought. Water went so cloydy when the sand went in I cant even see the rock thats right at the front of the tank so god knows how the fish would of coped with that running through there gills.
Will try amd take picture when iv finished. If it ever clears enough for me to put it all back in that is lol.
 Cheers again
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2015, 09:01:52 AM »

Did you wash the sand before putting it into the tank?  The way it should be washed is to put it into a bucket (used for fish only...never to have had chemicals of any kind in that bucket).  Keep rinsing it with plain water until the water runs clear.  If you don't clean it before adding it to your tank, it will take forever to clear.
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When in doubt, do a water change.
sketchyart
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2015, 09:36:28 AM »

Yeah I washed it for over an hour with the water constanty filling bucket. Thinking maybe I should of done it for a bit longer now but the water was running clear. Kept stirring it when I could which always kicks up some but would settle in about 2 mins with water still running through it. When do you think it would be safe to put them back in? Tetras corys and siamese flying fox.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2015, 11:01:44 AM »

If everything is finished, you can put them in now.  Just be sure to acclimate them as though they were new fish because the water is now completely different. 

Just out of curiosity, what is your nitrate reading now? 
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When in doubt, do a water change.
sketchyart
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2015, 12:22:36 PM »

80ppm so gunna do another water change
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2015, 05:11:51 PM »

Something is very wrong.  On July 11th you had 40ppm nitrate and today you have 80ppm.  Do you live in an agricultural area where people are fertilizing the fields?

How much do you feed to your fish and how often do you do it?
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When in doubt, do a water change.
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