Changed substrate in the 110 aquarium

AV8BDriver

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Last week I went to my LFS to get some pinky floss. Next to the register was a clearance rack. On the rack, was a hand full of items. What caught my eye initially was a 48” Fluval Marine 3.0 light reduced from $209.99 to $129.99. I also noticed 2 55lb buckets of Reeflowers pearl white sand.. I have been wanting to switch from gravel to sand for sometime but just never had a reason or wanted to go to the trouble. With the buckets of sand reduced from $41.99 to $25.00 and a sign that said take 2 for $40, I now had a reason.

Because I was going to leave the fish in the aquarium during this change, I decided to take my time and be cautious. I vacuumed the gravel each day slowly removing 1/3 of it over the next three days. This was done in an effort to reduce water cloudiness and minimize any unnecessary spikes in ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, or phosphates. To my surprise, nothing increased during the process and the fish showed no signs of stress. The tank was kept 60% full with a partial water change prior to adding the new substrate.

With a clean bottom, it was now time to add my stones and sand. I rinsed the sand thoroughly in a bucket and using a garden hose and my drill with a grout mixing attachment. This attachmemt churned up the sand very nicely and the water ran completely clear in about 5 minutes. This process worked out much better than I could have ever imagined.

On a side note, a few weeks ago, I added some large stones to my aquarium giving the fish some places to hide out. Some of the members suggested that I remove the stones and place the stones on egg crate material. I told my self that I would try this I ever re-did the aquarium. Well now was the perfect opportunity with bare glass and and a clean aquarium. I want to say thanks to those members who made this suggestion. With the stones on the egg crate material, the bottom glass will remain undamaged and the fish can’t dig under them potentially causing them to topple over. The last thing that I want to happen is to have the stones to topple over and injure fish, or even worse, break the glass flooding my floor and killing all of the fish.

I slowly added the sand over the corse of an afternoon. I ended up using only 80lbs of the 110lbs of sand. The water clouded only very slightly with each addition of sand (approx 20lbs each time). After all of the sand was added, it only took my filter only took about 3 hours to have the water crystal clear. I attribute this to thoroughly rinsing the sand and slowly adding it to the aquarium.
C1FA5170-C256-4851-952E-4207FB97E0D4.jpeg
A99EF25A-7BF8-4C6A-B2CB-804CFE77D121.jpeg
33AC4E03-BBC4-4AD9-94F7-477471DF2916.jpeg

It has been six days so far and all is well. I wasn’t sure if removing all of the gravel would cause a mini or a maxi crash because of it containing a lot of beneficial bacteria. So far neither have happened. The water parameters remain pristine and stable. Perhaps the canister filter had enough beneficial bacteria to keep things fully in check. In the end, I must admit that It was quite a bit of work. More so than I anticipated, but I am pleased with the outcome.
 

FishBoy101

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AV8BDriver said:
Last week I went to my LFS to get some pinky floss. Next to the register was a clearance rack. On the rack, was a hand full of items. What caught my eye initially was a 48” Fluval Marine 3.0 light reduced from $209.99 to $129.99. I also noticed 2 55lb buckets of Reeflowers pearl white sand.. I have been wanting to switch from gravel to sand for sometime but just never had a reason or wanted to go to the trouble. With the buckets of sand reduced from $41.99 to $25.00 and a sign that said take 2 for $40, I now had a reason.

Because I was going to leave the fish in the aquarium during this change, I decided to take my time and be cautious. I vacuumed the gravel each day slowly removing 1/3 of it over the next three days. This was done in an effort to reduce water cloudiness and minimize any unnecessary spikes in ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, or phosphates. To my surprise, nothing increased during the process and the fish showed no signs of stress. The tank was kept 60% full with a partial water change prior to adding the new substrate.

With a clean bottom, it was now time to add my stones and sand. I rinsed the sand thoroughly in a bucket and using a garden hose and my drill with a grout mixing attachment. This attachmemt churned up the sand very nicely and the water ran completely clear in about 5 minutes. This process worked out much better than I could have ever imagined.

On a side note, a few weeks ago, I added some large stones to my aquarium giving the fish some places to hide out. Some of the members suggested that I remove the stones and place the stones on egg crate material. I told my self that I would try this I ever re-did the aquarium. Well now was the perfect opportunity with bare glass and and a clean aquarium. I want to say thanks to those members who made this suggestion. With the stones on the egg crate material, the bottom glass will remain undamaged and the fish can’t dig under them potentially causing them to topple over. The last thing that I want to happen is to have the stones to topple over and injure fish, or even worse, break the glass flooding my floor and killing all of the fish.

I slowly added the sand over the corse of an afternoon. I ended up using only 80lbs of the 110lbs of sand. The water clouded only very slightly with each addition of sand (approx 20lbs each time). After all of the sand was added, it only took my filter only took about 3 hours to have the water crystal clear. I attribute this to thoroughly rinsing the sand and slowly adding it to the aquarium.
C1FA5170-C256-4851-952E-4207FB97E0D4.jpeg
A99EF25A-7BF8-4C6A-B2CB-804CFE77D121.jpeg
33AC4E03-BBC4-4AD9-94F7-477471DF2916.jpeg

It has been six days so far and all is well. I wasn’t sure if removing all of the gravel would cause a mini or a maxi crash because of it containing a lot of beneficial bacteria. So far neither have happened. The water parameters remain pristine and stable. Perhaps the canister filter had enough beneficial bacteria to keep things fully in check. In the end, I must admit that It was quite a bit of work. More so than I anticipated, but I am pleased with the outcome.
No pain, no gain :) Looks amazing!!!
 

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