Gravel To Sand

Discussion in 'Brackish Tanks Forum' started by star17325, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. star17325Valued MemberMember

    I have a tank with 4 GSP in a tank SG is at 1.004 for now next week it will get raised to 1.006, it has been cycled and running for over 4 years now. Well it has mixed color gravel and substrate in it. I was thinking about changing it Aragonite sand. What's the best way to do this without crashing my tank? Is it possible to do this with the GSP still in the tank? I've read some people collect the gravel and stick it in a nylon hose or something and let it sit in the tank for awhile so the BB can seed into the sand. Should I wait til I get to the salinity that I want and then do it or could I do it now?
  2. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    You can get a piece of acrylic or glass sized cut to slightly under the width of your tank so it'll fit comfortably inside without dragging along the sides and you can move it around a bit (if that makes sense). Make the height about .5-1in higher than the height of your substrate. Go ahead and stick it in the substrate, sectioning off about a fourth of the substrate. You can go ahead and do a gravel vac to reduce the amount of gunk and remove it with your hands or a net/container. Go ahead and fill it the Aragonite and keep the partition there. In about a week or so, remove the next 1/4 of substrate, remove the partition, and move it to separate the now empty section and the other sections filled with gravel. Go ahead and add more Aragontite to fill it up. Repeat until you completely replaced the substrate.

    If you wanted to, you can even do thirds (since I'm guessing your tank is really big). This should help in maintaining the BB and seed the Aragonite in enough time until you remove the next section. Make sure to monitor levels.

    I would wait until you get the salinity up to not stress them during acclimating in addition to going in stirring things up, etc. Also, are they adults puffers? You can also separate them during this time to make it wasier for youself

    Welcome to the forum btw
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  3. Merryn O'SheaValued MemberMember

    I recently had to take out my old sand in my large cold water tank because of multiple reasons. Anyway, I did this by taking out my fish and putting them into a large container with the filter and half their aquarium water. Because it was a water change day I used the other half of the water still in the aquarium to gravel vac out the rest (well the majority) of the sand. Once the tank was empty I did a good clean and added the newly cleaned sand, then adding in fresh water (treated with the necessary chemicals) and the water from before and the same filter.
    Did you understand that? Hopefully you did haha. You probably could do this with the fish in the tank. However you would need to do it not on a water change say so that you can keep half the water in the tank for the fish. Just take out all of the decor etc and start to suck up all of the gravel with the vac. This should all go smoothly.
    Although, the only issue is the fact that it is gravel. Is it a fine form or is it big and bulky? If you can suck it up using a vac then fair enough, do so. However if you are unable to, then scoop it out with a net or your hands, its really just simple.
    Good luck!
  4. star17325Valued MemberMember

    No they aren't adults. I just got 3 of the 4 about a month and a half ago and the 4th I just "adopted" Sunday from Petco because someone got it and had it in a tank with fw angelfish and the GSP was nipping the fins and stuff, so they took it in to them. I just started doing the salinity last week raising 0.002 per week and just raised it from 1.002 to 1.004 yesterday. They range from 1"-1.5", the littlest one that is an 1", is the one I adopted from Petco. They are in 125g tank, so yeah its pretty big. Lol

    The gravel is the pebble like stuff that is colored that most people use for fw tanks. The substrate is actually mixed in with the pebble gravel. I'll probably just wait til I have the salinity done and don't stress them out.
  5. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

    Ah, ok, I only asked as when they are bigger/sub-adults, you should increase the salinity up to about 1.010-1.015 which will work into adulthood, but a marine salinity of 1.018 is generally preferred :)

    And geez, someone kept them with angels?? Talk about misinformation/judgement. And that is really awesome of you to save them and put them in a nice big tank :) Lucky fellas!
  6. FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    The easiest way of doing this is to have another filter running while you do the work. I find it easier to basically buy a plastic tube get a heater (or use the one from your tank) get a filter or a sponge filter (if you don't have one) and stuff the media into your HOB or canister filter. Let that soak up for about a month.

    So when you are ready set up the temporary tank. Get the filter running and add some tank water (though it doesn't do much) and let that run for a few hours. Check your water parameters first.

    Once everything checks out move the fish into the temporary tank.

    Drain your main tank, clean up the gravel and stuff. Take the sand and make sure you clean your sand. Put it into a 5 gallon bucket and pour maybe 3-4 lbs of it and get a garden hose and fill it, swirl it so the dust comes up, drain and repeat until it's completely clean. Pour tank into tank. Repeat sand washing until you get enough sand to fill the tank.

    Place your plants, ornaments or plastic foliage back into your main tank.

    Pour some water into the tank, let the filter do the job. It will be cloudy. Add some poly-fil into your HOB or canister to help clean that up.

    Next day check the tank and if the water parameters are good put the fish back into the tank.

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