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from gravel to sand?


peter-pindare
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hi evrybody, just wanting some expert advise to change from gravel to sand? what type of sand? how much sand?how do i remove the gravel from tank?do i keep my cichlids in my tank when removing and entering substrate? i keep a 4ft tank with geophagus cichlids size range from 2-5 inch cichlids...i hope i have covered everything,any advise thats true would help me alot !

thanks

peter

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Hope this helps you:

Type of sand - washed sand from bunnings or pool filter sand

how much sand - is it a standard 4fter? I would use around 15kgs, depends on how thick u want the bed to be. With eartheaters you could go thicker as they will turn the bed over with their foraging

Keeping of fish in the tank whilst removing/adding the new sand - you could, it will freak them out a bit, better to remove them for a an hour or so then put them back in again IMO

HTH

Aaron

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Lots of sand types and other substrate. need to choose for yourself.

Some like dark and some the light sand.

Your going from stones to sand??

I like the darker as it shows the colour better I think.

But all to there own.

The geo like to pick the substrate up in there mouth and spit it out looking for food.

I would put the fish in a large bucket with airstone while removing and adding as the water

will have a lot of should we say poo from the bottom.

Cheers John

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Pool filter sand usually around $12 for 15kg.

Pool filter sand is coarser than normal beach sand, so it does not get into your canister filters and etc.

Oh and watch your ammonia levels afterwards, as a good portion of bacteria lives in the substrate you already have.

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Gotta say pool filter sand is the way to go!

I did a heap of looking around and I found that it would be the best to use, I wouldn't recommend putting it in when your fish are in the tank, i washed it very well but there was still dust that could get in to your filter. plus it would stress out your fish

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Sand is just better full stop!

Waste can settle into the gravel & rot which raises your nitrates whereas it sits on top of the sand & can be stirred up into the filter by the fish swiming past. Also I find with gravel when you do water changes the nitrates don't drop as quickly as you would expect due to the crap in the gravel bed going back into the new cleaner water which means constant gravel vaccing to avoid the problem. Fish find it easier to move sand around & it looks more natural IMO.

Only downside as mentioned is pumps sucking it up, if you place your inlets well or use a slightly coarser sand this isn't a drama.

Definately remove the fish, if you don't remove all the water consider adding a stack of floss to toss out into your filters for a while- Hobbyfill at Spotlight is the go if you didn't know. I use eskys for the fish as they are food grade & keep the temp stable, plus they are generally bigger than buckets anyway.

I've never had a drama using flocculants like "Magic Clear" but really they only speed it up by a few hours & you still need the floss for it to work anyway.

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thanks everybody...i have a standed jebo 4ft tank,i am going from 4 mm gravel to sand, so pool filter sand sounds like the go..but does this sand raise my ph ?does it matter how much sand? i dont want to raise my ph as i have south american eartheaters! i have used magic clear before and its a great solution so thats going to be a plus for me... so 15kg will be enough you think? i do have a canister filter so does this mean i should keep my filter about 10mm away from ground? as soon as i remove the gravel out of my tank, is 50% water change going to be alright?

what is floss to toss ?

Edited by peter-pindare
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it doesn't raise your pH, go for gold.

Floss = wool/dacron etc. Seriously cheaper at Spotlight compared to a LFS or OFS

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Hi Peter, the best type of sand for south americans is silica sand as it doesn't affect ph, you can buy it for about $25 for 20kg from a LFS or $3 - $5 for the same amount from a mineral supplies company, just depends on convenience and how much you need really, also from a mineral company they usually have a range of grades. I haven't used pool filter sand yet but I'm going to check that out as well for next time, it sounds like its the same stuff, maybe a bit on the coarser side which would still be fine for eartheaters I imagine. Also even though the best stuff is prewashed it still needs a good wash before going in your tank.

Cheers

Larry

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t.. so 15kg will be enough you think? i do have a canister filter so does this mean i should keep my filter about 10mm away from ground? as soon as i remove the gravel out of my tank, is 50% water change going to be alright?

Hey Peter, I put 20 kg in a standard 4ft tank and it has an average depth of about 2 inches. Personally I like it a bit deeper than that, but thats pretty much personal choice, I think the bigger the fish the more depth of sand for them to sift through. I recently did a change from gravel to sand and a 50% water change worked fine for me. 10mm is pretty close, I keep my inlets between 50mm and 80mm above the sand.

Cheers

Larry

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I recently did a change from crushed marble to gravel of the same grade..

I dont have a problem with nitrates etc or waste sinking in between the gravel... Then again I have a lot of bottom dwellers, that there is constant movement there and crap goes in the filters.

:-)

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"Deffinately, Remove Fish, as you will be very dissapointed there-after, I assure you"!

I would just like to point out that when you change to sand, make sure you turn off

the filters & even during a w/c this will help not get any sand in your filter motor.

Regards

Symphy ;)

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ok boys and girls , after a big weekend sorting out how to set up my new geophagus tank with new gravel and drift wood...this was the end result, ooohhh and thanking all of you guys for your input and tips...

i spent $20.00 on 40kg 1mm brown sand, couple more nice looking driftwood with 4 x plants...this is how i did it..first i went and brought zeolite to add to my canister before i did anything to abbsorb as much crap from my tank removing the old gravel with my fish still in the tank , as soon as all the gravel was out the tank it was in a big mess , so i left it for about 3 hours for everything to settle down and become much clear.

3 hours later i sucked out the remains of dirt etc , with 70% water still in the tank. now the fun part added my new brown sand closing off the canister,as soon as the sand was in i opened the canister to start doing its job again. the next morning i finished my tank. i have taken some photos for those who want to see the end result.

old tank set up....

http://www.badongo.com/pic/3158462

new tank set up.......

http://www.badongo.com/pic/3158400

http://www.badongo.com/pic/3158470

http://www.badongo.com/pic/3158472

tell me what you think!!

thanks peter

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Looks great Peter, I'm sure your wonderful looking Geo's will thank you for it too.

I have to admit too, spraybars on the back is a very interesting idea, if I didn't have such huge support rails I would probably give that a try!

Edited by japes
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Hi Peter

IMHO the old 1 looks better due to more greenary although I know how anubias grows & how fantastic it will look as now it looks a little bare. :8

The new look is an excellent change & thats what I love so much about the hobby. How easy it is to change things. :)

Thanks for sharing with us. I always love seeing pics of others tanks, great ideas rome. :thumbup:

Regards Symphy ;)

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black out the background too - it will be amazing how the fish pop right out at you with a dark background & dark substrate - plus the contrast of the plants will be even more with a background too.

I think the brown looks pretty sweet

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black out the background too - it will be amazing how the fish pop right out at you with a dark background & dark substrate - plus the contrast of the plants will be even more with a background too.

I agree, black backgrounds make a world of difference and would definitely make up the contrast that these guys think the tank is missing ;)

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paint the outside back of the tank with black paint is the easiest if the tank was out from the wall a bit, not really practical with a full tank

You could get black vinyl sticker sheeting (bit messier) - it goes on like window tinting with soapy water that you "squeegie" out - again you need space but this is a little safer to do on a full tank if you have the room.

I used black contact on my nano reef tank but getting the bubbles out was pretty annoying - like painting not a hot idea in the confined space.

I've heard of people using blackout curtian backing stuff (jet black material basically) & somehow fixing it behind the tank - might be the easiest option on an established tank.

Or dodgy McDodge - black cardboard stuck on - though any spills over the back make it look horrid

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I use the black vinyl style sheeting you get from your LFS, Spray canola oil over the back and use something like a .. hmm I don't know what it's called, here's photos :p Basically you iron out the bubbles and it's the same as painting it, though not quite so permanent (and easier).

IPB Image

IPB Image

IPB Image

Last photo is a (dirty) full tank shot last week to give you an idea of what it looks like filled etc. That funny sort of section on the left is just a reflection of slightly opened curtains.

Edit: Clean shot from today.

IPB Image

Stealing your thread a bit here ;)

Edited by japes
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