Changing Substrate

DivingBellSpider

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Hello all,
I was wondering if anyone has had some luck in changing gravel to sand in an already established aquarium. Would it be unsafe for me to do so while the fish are in there? I was thinking of scooping the gravel out with my fishnet, then After washing the sand thoroughly, putting cup by cup close to the bottom of the aquarium to minimize any kick up from the sand. Is this a viable plan? Or would it be harmful to the fish? I wouldn’t replace all of the gravel at once, just probably after water changes week by week. I just want to more natural look, plus I feel like my Cories and Kuhli loaches might like it better.
 

Momgoose56

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Hello all,
I was wondering if anyone has had some luck in changing gravel to sand in an already established aquarium. Would it be unsafe for me to do so while the fish are in there? I was thinking of scooping the gravel out with my fishnet, then After washing the sand thoroughly, putting cup by cup close to the bottom of the aquarium to minimize any kick up from the sand. Is this a viable plan? Or would it be harmful to the fish? I wouldn’t replace all of the gravel at once, just probably after water changes week by week. I just want to more natural look, plus I feel like my Cories and Kuhli loaches might like it better.
Sounds like a good plan. Your sand and gravel will be drifting aand mingling during the process but what I did was, I got a kitty litter poop scooper with a pretty narrow openings between the ribs and used it to sift the last of the old gravel out of the new sand. Of course it was a clean, new pooper scooper just for the tank, NOT the one I actually used in the cat box, lol!
 

Fanatic

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I changed gravel to sand last year and I just used my hands as the main method of scooping (don't do this if you want to avoid sore hands) as much of the gravel as I possibly could. I did take my fish out so I could drain most of the water, and I kept them in a bucket for about two hours while I worked, and then re-acclimated them to the new tank water when I was done.

I believe that the next thing I did was vacuum out the tiny bits and introduce the freshly washed sand, some of the old gravel particles were mixed in with the sand, but I really didn't notice them.
 

Daisytattoo

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I think it would be kind of difficult to do with the tank full. I agree with taking the fish out and changing over. You might lose bacteria but if you have well established filter media you should be ok if you monitor your water parameters and do water changes as needed.
 
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