How Do I Changing From Gravel To Sand

annaberg1067

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I currently have regular gravel in my tank but since I have kuhli and weather loaches, I know that they would be better suited with sand. What is the process for changing gravel? Is it possible to do it with the fish still in the tank? I have around 10 kuhlis and 2 weather loaches and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to catch them all to put them in a holding tank
 

MrBryan723

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I've done it without removing my fish. You stir up a lot of trash so maybe vac out the gravel a bit first and then do a decent water change after. Also rinse the sand well or it will still be cloudy after the water change.
Also pay special attention to your ammonia and such because removing so much BB can cause a mini cycle until it reestablishes in the new substrate.
 

DarkOne

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I would pull out all decorations and scoop out the gravel and slowly dump into a bucket (in case you scoop up a kuhli). Once all the gravel is out, you can easily catch the fish. Put the fish in a bucket or container (air stone would be good). Then fill with sand, add decorations and finally the fish.
 
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annaberg1067

annaberg1067

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I've done it without removing my fish. You stir up a lot of trash so maybe vac out the gravel a bit first and then do a decent water change after. Also rinse the sand well or it will still be cloudy after the water change.
Also pay special attention to your ammonia and such because removing so much BB can cause a mini cycle until it reestablishes in the new substrate.
Ok. Should I turn off the filters when I put the sand in?
 

kallililly1973

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I did it in my 55 with all inhabitants still in the tank and the filter running. Lower the water level about 25% removes plants driftwood and decorations use a beach shovel or dust pan( obviously a brand new one) get a 5 gallon bucket scoop your gravel out... lots of stuff will stir up. Siphon another 10-20% . Depending on the sand u use clean it in a bucket and take a cup and add it all at the opposite end of the filter then lightly spread it out to your liking add back plants decor and driftwood refill your tank using prime water conditioner for the entire volume of the tank turn your lights and heater on and enjoy!
 

Yehoshua

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Use a plastic dust pan to scoop out the gravel. When adding the sand, turn off your filters.
 

MrBryan723

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Ok. Should I turn off the filters when I put the sand in?
I would say yes just so you don't get any stuck in the impeller. I have my equipment aside from my heaters running off a single power strip that I flip off when I do any maintenance.
 
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