Adding sand to an established community tank with gravel

My 29 gallon community planted tank has been up and running for almost a year now with black painted aquarium gravel. I would love to have black sand in my tank for my corys, but my problem is all of my plants and baby crs. I tried to rearrange my tank when I got a new piece of driftwood a few months ago and ended up unintentionally burying a half dozen baby shrimp who refused to move out of the way. They just don't scurry away like the adults do when I swipe my fingers at them. My plants have really long roots that intertwine around the whole tank.

I was thinking about only removing the gravel in the front or just the sides and replacing it with black or even white sand. What would be the best way to do this and keep the sand and gravel from mixing?
The sand WILL mix no matter what. It will be extremely difficult to keep the two separated. Each time your fish move, or you do a water change, it will kick some up and eventually blend together.

Personally, if that were me, I would remove all of the gravel and start over with the sand. A pain, yes.. but that would accomplish what you are looking for.
I put pool sand on top of my white gravel in my 10 gallon. The fish like it better but it is a pain to clean because I use just the hose to suck stuff off of the sand and it often sucks up pieces of gravel which clog it. Maybe if it is a thick layer of sand on top it would work but mine is a thin layer.

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