question about changin from gravel to sand - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-29-2013, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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question about changin from gravel to sand

I have a 36g bowfront and will be converting gravel to sand. right now my fluval 206 intake is about 3 inches from the gravel surface. I have some questions about what to do with the filter during the conversion.

Should I put the fuval in a bucket with the fish and turn the flow low or leave it in the 36g turned off until I do the change.

how long after the change from gravel to sand should I return the filter to operation?

should I leave the fish in the tank or put them in a bucket with the fluval turned on but at a low flow? 13 neon tetras, 2 gourami, 4 guppy, 4 cory cats

should I put the plants in a different bucket?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 04:38 AM
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Re: question about changin from gravel to sand

A couple of years ago when I changed my substrate from gravel to sand, this is what I did. I picked up two sterlite totes, made sure they where food grade plastic. In one container I placed my fish with water from the tank, in the other I placed my plants and driftwood. On that tank I was running sponge filters which I also placed in the container with the plants to keep them wet. The night before I made sure to wash my sand, so that it was ready to go. From there I took out the gravel and replaced with sand, filled the tank back up and placed everything back in. For your filter I would make sure they you keep the filter media wet, either by running the filter or placing it into a container with water from the tank. You can replace the substrate with the fish in the tank, but I found it easier to remove everyone to a temporary container. Also for removing the gravel from the tank I found that a dust pan works very well, I have a dust pan and small brush that is for aquarium use only to ensure that nothing may be on them that I wouldn't want in my tank. Good luck and if you haven't already, my final piece of advice would be to plan on changing the substrate on a day that you don't have anything else planned. This way you will have plenty of time to work on your tank and not have to worry about getting it done within a certain time frame.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-31-2013, 02:15 PM
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Best method:
Remove everything from the tank.
Put fish in a bucket (or several buckets). Cover the buckets. Fish jump.
Plants in buckets. (good chance to treat for algae- add a little H2O2, OR Excel to the water in the plant bucket)
Put the filter media in another bucket, or just leave it in the filter. In cooler weather the bacteria will be fine for an hour or longer. In warmer weather they need more oxygen. Remove the media from the filter, and put it in a bucket with some water. It does not have to be under water, just high humidity.

The change itself:
Remove gravel.
Wipe sides of tank.
Add substrate (Why not go with a better plant substrate? Sand is like fine gravel- not much benefit to the plants)
Shape hills and valleys, add driftwood and rock as retaining walls.
Plant, misting often.
Fill the tank, allowing the water to run in slowly over a plate or sheet of plastic. This minimizes clouding.
Set up equipment, do not plug it in until the water level is high enough.
Add the fish, but not the water from their bucket(s). Stressed fish produce higher than average ammonia levels, and stress hormones. You do not want to add this to the new set up.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the replies, I am fairly new to tanks (one year) and planted tanks about 6 months. what substrate would be better? how do you add it to the tank as far as rinsing it off, wouldn't this remove anything beneficial for plant growth?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-02-2013, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Best method:
Remove everything from the tank.
Put fish in a bucket (or several buckets). Cover the buckets. Fish jump.
Plants in buckets. (good chance to treat for algae- add a little H2O2, OR Excel to the water in the plant bucket)
Put the filter media in another bucket, or just leave it in the filter. In cooler weather the bacteria will be fine for an hour or longer. In warmer weather they need more oxygen. Remove the media from the filter, and put it in a bucket with some water. It does not have to be under water, just high humidity.

The change itself:
Remove gravel.
Wipe sides of tank.
Add substrate (Why not go with a better plant substrate? Sand is like fine gravel- not much benefit to the plants)
Shape hills and valleys, add driftwood and rock as retaining walls.
Plant, misting often.
Fill the tank, allowing the water to run in slowly over a plate or sheet of plastic. This minimizes clouding.
Set up equipment, do not plug it in until the water level is high enough.
Add the fish, but not the water from their bucket(s). Stressed fish produce higher than average ammonia levels, and stress hormones. You do not want to add this to the new set up.
I've done this many times. The thing to remember is the little extra ammonia will be diluted when put into the new setup. If the filter has been treated properly (treated meaning it's been running or kept wet and bacteria alive) it should knock down any additional ammonia in no time. Even without the filter the fact you're diluting it should be enough.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 05:34 AM
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Re: question about changin from gravel to sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobc4d View Post
thanks for the replies, I am fairly new to tanks (one year) and planted tanks about 6 months. what substrate would be better? how do you add it to the tank as far as rinsing it off, wouldn't this remove anything beneficial for plant growth?
Depending on the type of substrate you choose, will depend on what type of prep you will need to do. For sand substrate, especially something like play sand you will want to rinse it before hand to remove the excess dust and fine particles. Sand is inert, and the nutrients that plants need are added by fertilizers.

As for which substrate to go with I would suggest looking through the threads in the substrate section. Is there a particular look you are going for with your substrate? What is it that you are looking for in a substrate? Depending on what you choose to use will determine what type of prep work will be involved before adding it to your tank.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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my mind was knowing what substrate I was talking about, the fingers typed what they wanted LOL

What I meant about rinsing the substrate, for instance Eco Complete. I was at PetCo and read the bag, it said to rinse before placing in tank. Well wouldn't this remove anything helpful for plants?
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