Swapping To Sand

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by penguin02, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. penguin02

    penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    I've been planning to switch my 26g community to sand for a while now, and now I'm finally ready to order the Black Diamond Blasting Sand from tractor supply. I have a plan (I think) and I'd really like some feedback. I don't feel comfortable adding sand with fish in the tank, but I ALSO don't feel comfortable taking fish out of the tank. So I'm nervous.

    1) Wash BDBS thoroughly in a bucket until water is clear.
    2) Stop all tank equipment. Fill two buckets with tank water.
    3) Put filter media in one bucket.
    4) Carefully net fish into the second bucket. Power on the battery powered air pump.
    5) Drain the tank until one-third of the water is left.
    6) Scoop out gravel. Vacuum tank to get loose particles out of the water.
    7) Put BDBS in a cup. Submerge the cup and carefully pour sand on tank bottom. Repeat.
    8) Fill tank back up. Give sand time to settle.
    9) Add filter media and fish back into the tank.

    I'd like some advice on taking fish out of the tank. Is it safe to leave them in the bucket for (possibly) two hours? Here's my stock.
    1x platy
    2x platy fry
    1x guppy
    1x endler
    2x balloon molly
    4x glofish tetras
    5x cories
    1x mystery snail
    2x nerite snails

    I realize that some schools aren't completed and such, but that's because my tank has suffered losses in the past month.

    Has anybody ever taken fish out of their tank for long periods of time? Should I cover the bucket with cardboard to prevent jumping? Also, any advice to prevent clouding? I've never done sand before.
  2. FishFish221

    FishFish221Well Known MemberMember

    Sand won't really cloud unless you pour water directly onto it. You could also put the sand in a plastic water bottle after washing, and then put the sand in the bottle into the tank. This way you do not have to take anything out of the tank. This video should explain it better:
  3. Fashooga

    FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    When I switched years ago I left my fish in the QT tank for a day to make sure all the readings were right. I think you have the right steps but I would check the water parameters first before you throw the fish in there again.

    The reason I say this is that you want to make sure that your not starting a mini-cycle. Removing all that gravel has BB in there, so essentially your starting a fresh new one. So the best thing to do is run the tank for a day with no fish and make sure there's no white clouds billowing around the tank. If it's grey that's just the sand. Once it clears up do another test of the water and if everything checks out throw them back into the tank.
  4. grantm91

    grantm91Fishlore VIPMember

    If you wash the sand well there will be no need to leave fish any where just put them straight back, well regardless really. 1282adcf3343d111df4c11ba3dc6eccd.jpg
    Keep fish and contents in buckets with filters and heaters running. IMG_2018.JPG
    Table pond method.
  5. C_mats54

    C_mats54Valued MemberMember

    Very helpful video

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