Okay, so, newb here. Lemme start with that I have a 20 gallon tank that's been running for about three years now. I started with gravel and changed to sand about a year in or so and that's what's still in there now, a white sand. I don't mind the sand, except that it kills my filters and I'm considering a fish that likes to kick up substrate.
So I've been eyeing fluorite, it looks a little heavier than sand and if that's the case then I'm hoping it won't get sucked into the filter so easily. My problem is how do I switch from sand to fluorite? With the initial change to sand I put a bunch of gravel into a nylon and let it hang in the tank for a few weeks, the transition was smooth and no fish were lost.
But sand would fall through the nylon, wouldn't it? So how do I switch from it to fluorite while keeping the beneficial bacteria?
Any suggestions? Thoughts? Comments?
You can probably leave about a 1/4" or less of the original sand on the bottom and still gain the benefits of the beneficial bacteria in the sand. The sand probably has lots of mulm which should offset any cycling issues. As long as you have at least a 2-2 1/2" cap of fluorite, I cannot imagine you would have issues with that 1/4 layer of sand getting kicked up. Usually the smaller substrate settles on the bottom and the larger grained substrate tends to remain on top. Since the sand a much smaller grain than the fluorite and is already on the bottom, you should not have any issues. Since the fluorite is larger grained, you should not have any compaction issues either. I would ensure that you plant some deep rooting plants just in case. Amazon swords, cryptocornes, etc., would work well.