Switching Substrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Switching Substrates

I currently have play sand as a substrate. It's a nice tan color, but I really want to switch it to black.

So I have two questions, maybe more...
1. In what way can I do this that has the least effect on by biological bacteria? Can I just buy those bb additives? Or does the plastic mesh/pantyhose trick work with sand?
2. What effect will changing the color of my substrate have on my plants and fish?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 03:55 AM
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When changing substrates its beat to remove the fish and plants into buckets while you change about the substrate in the tank. Once you switch the substarte its probably wise to do a rather large water change (maybe 70%) becuase chances are the water will become really cloudy and/or polluted from disturbing the substrate.

The change of color substrates wont matter to fish or plants really. Unless you are going from nutrient packed substrate to an inert one. Plants can possibly melt a little from just not liking being transffered/moving around. Lighter colored Fish can potentially darken to match the substrate color vetter, some fish are said to show better colors against darker substartes, but I think its just contrasting colors tha make it pop and not the actual fish brightening up, although fish could possibly brighten up if feeling happier/safer with the darker substrate.

Biological bacteria should manly be in the dilter mesia because of the better flow. Some will be on the tank walls, decor and substrate, but are minimal, so you shouldn't need to worry about keeping the beneficial bacteria from the old substrate. The new substrate will colonize shortly.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 04:36 AM
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I recently did it (switched to black diamond) and I used as much of my current tank water as possible. It cleared up quick enough. The only problem I ended up with and I'm not sure if it was coincidence was my fish got sick with some bacterial something. I'm also wondering if some fish I bought had something going on first. I thought maybe I left too many in the 5g bucket for way too long. I would suggest making sure you have them in plenty of water maybe with an airstone. Again, not sure if this caused my issues or not. Aside from that, it was fine. Plants did fine as well, no melts even from my crypts. And I switched from eco that wasn't all that old

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-20-2015, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your answers! I guess I'll just wait for a while, since I bought a new filter to add on, I'll just wait for that one to be packed with bb.

I'm planning on switching Tahitian Moon Sand, it looks like a nice black bag. Plus, it settles way quicker than play sand.
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