changing to sand

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by geminichick_90, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. geminichick_90Valued MemberMember

    So i have decided that i am changing from my black gravel to pool filter sand in my tank. I'm just tired of seeing the poop and other bits of junk in between the gravel and think that the sand will be better... plus it is better for my MTS to burrow into. So my plan is to get a plain 10 gallon tank to house the fish in until i get the 29 clean and sand put in. just going to move the fish with the filter and heater straight into the the new tank with fresh water. They might be in the 10 gallon for up to 2 weeks so i can go through the gravel and find all (well most) of my MTS that i didn't get out and into the breeder net i have last gravel vac. Then change the tank over to sand and let it settle

    The best part is that i will then have an empty 10 gallon to do something with :) might make it a plant only tank since i have no other filter... then eventually change it to a betta tank when i get another filter and heater :) hehehe
  2. anzValued MemberMember

    Just wanted you to know that you will still see the poo with PFS. In fact, it may be more prominent because it just sits on top of the sand and does not fall between the gravel. However, I still like it better than gravel!

  3. fishynoobWell Known MemberMember

    I've just done the swap on my tank I found the 2litre bottle method the best to wash and place the sand very efficient and with minimal mess after the gravel has been removed.

    I drained the tank removed the gravel gave it a clean filled the tank half full of freshwater ( I left a filter running to help remove the gunk that I didn't manage to get rid with a few water changes to get it cleared faster)

    Once the water was cleaned I filled a 2 litre bottle half full of sand used the syphon to fill the bottle with tank water (since it was already primed and is much easier to do it that way than priming water each time to wash the sand.

    Shake the bottle and then let it settle, more tank water to flush out the gunk. Repeat the shake settle and flush until the water is clean then shake the bottle tip it up under the water and pour the sand in the desired place. I found this easier than putting the sand in then getting the dish to add the water as I don;t have a water changer that goes to the sink and I had minimal substrate disturbance when topping the tank up.

    I know there are many ways of doing this but I found this the easiest as I had already placed some large decorations in the tank.

  4. geminichick_90Valued MemberMember

    Anz- yeah i know it will sit oon top... just will make me clean it better :)

    Fishynoob- i was thinking of doing the 2 liter bottle thing..... but why use prime every time? i'm not going to have fish in the tank so i don't have to use prime until the tank is completely full and i add the fish back. personally i think that was a waste of prime to clean the sand

  5. 3aquariumsValued MemberMember

    I want to use new pool sand in an unused tank, is this method good for cleaning the sand prior to putting in the tank? I don't know how to remove the dust from the sand and if it is even necessary. Sorry about the thread psudo hyjack.
  6. geminichick_90Valued MemberMember

    yeah the 2 liter is actually a really good way of rinsing and keeping what ever remains from being in the tank
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    The problem with the bottle method of cleaning is that it assumes that the sand coming out is clean because the water is not fouled. It requires agitation to really get it clean. I know how much water is required to clean it with a bucket, and it's no where near what's in the bottle...

    Of course we all have different opinions of what "clean" is.
  8. skjl47Valued MemberMember

    Hello; Dry sift the sand thru a screen or colaner to remove some of the dust. How much dust is removed depends on how you go about it and to a large degree the size of the screen.
    After dry sifting the sand will sitll need to be well rinsed.
  9. skjl47Valued MemberMember

    Hello; Do yourself a favor and keep the black gravel for later use. I tried sand some decades ago and eventually found the downside not worth it. I had my gravel in buckets so was able to put it back in use.
    For what it is worth my MTS burrow thru the gravel in my tanks quite well and have done so for many years.
  10. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with Jaysee. A big enough bucket is the better way to clean sand and to detect if the water is actually coming out cleaner with each rinse. IME, the more you clean each "batch", the better it settles and is dust free when putting the sand in your tank.

    Just a side note - I have sand in all of my tanks now. I detest gravel as it forms algae on it much faster, it's harder to clean, doesn't look as nice or isn't as natural as sand is (Sand is smoother on the fishes scales, too).
  11. geminichick_90Valued MemberMember

    Jaysee- i should of added to clean the sand i a bucket first until the water runs clear then add it to the tank through the bottle method. It takes more time but gives good results. i did it that way with my bf's uncle's 75 gallon tank and he loved it.

    skjl47- i plan on keeping the gravel just in case. my MTS burrow through it with little problem but i just want to change to sand cause i don't like cleaning the gravel now. I should of started with sand :(
  12. AlanGreeneWell Known MemberMember

    I have very fine sand and a large clean bin I can clean it in, how do I make sure Im not losing a lot of sand while im washing it? will the sand not get washed away same as the dust?
  13. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    When I wash mine I shove the hose to the bottom of the sand while its running and let it overflow the bucket. Normally the stuff rising to the top is really light particles like dust I don't want anyway so I just let it flow out. You may need to adjust how much water is coming through the hose so it isn't as likely to get your sand suspended and overflow with the rest of the stuff.

    I also periodically dump all the water out of the bucket and start again.
  14. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I use 5g buckets for mine also, simple and effective. PFS is great to work with also compared to playsand.
  15. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I did the same too, I filled the 5 gallon tank about 20% and put a garden hose in it and stir that thing up. It takes about 5-10 mins but once the water is clear than you should be good to go. I opted to do this during the spring time so I didn't have to use the bath tub and water the yard at the same time.

    I took the fish out and put them in a QT tank for a little bit. Poured the sand in and got water in there, and let the filter clean whatever I left. It's a tough change to do. And it can take a while. So I recommend you do this over a weekend.

    Cleaning it isn't hard at all. You stir the tank a little to get the poo going and just lightly bursh your vaccum over the sand.

    Your going to lose sand but were talking like small's just naturally going to happen. If your worried about keeping every single grain of sand than I say you have other things to worry about.

    It be nice to have multiple buckets so you can multitask. One bucket to clean the sand while the other is used to scoop the sand into the tank. Than fill, rinse and repeat.

    good luck.
  16. fishynoobWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry I didn't add prime to the the bottle I added it to the tank then used tank water (via the gravel vac)to clean the sand. I did this as I wanted my fish back in there asap and they were not out for very long at all. I was going on a beter safe than sorry route as it was my first time.

    I used a sand from my lfs it is super fine but didn't cloud the water at all going in it just all sunk and stayed there. I was very impressed with the stuff but there doesn't seem to be any clear markings on the bag what it is. It was what they used in all their tanks beautiful stuff. I was toying with the idea of creating one of those underwater waterfalls with this sand flowing down one of my rocks.
  17. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    The last few tanks I converted to sand, I didn't remove the fish or the water :) I scooped out the gravel with a net, did a water change to clear the water, ran the filters for a little to finish, then after washing the sand in buckets, I just poured it in the tank with a pitcher. pour2.jpg
  18. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    The above method is more or less what I use as well. Generally, I'll do half the tank at a time so the fish can hang out in the side I'm not messing with at the moment. Imo, it may be more stressful netting and moving them than using this method.

    Jaysee- I use a red solo cup, it fits in my bucket better. ;)
  19. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I too have a red solo cup - it's what I fill the pitcher with :)

    Also, once the fish know you aren't in the tank for them, they tend to relax. And sometimes get in the way.
  20. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I never have taken my fish out for a substrate change. In fact, they usually are good helpers with evening out the sand for me. ;)

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