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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - gravel to sand
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gravel to sand

If you are new to the hobby.

gravel to sand

Postby Bedbug » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:59 am

I have a filter on back of tank and a 3 inch dia. 5 inch long sponge filter that is full of bacteria. Ammonia is 0, nitrite 0, nitrate about 20.

Hear is what I want to do.
1 Shoo fish to one end.
2 Put in a divider.
3 Remove plants and hiding spots.
4 Use fish net to remove gravel from half the tank.
5 Add washed sand, about an inch deep.
6 Add plants plastic log.
7 Remove divider.

Do I add Start Zyme/prime before I start?
Just watch readings?
How long before I do the other side?
Suggestions requested.

Thanks in advance BMB
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby Graeme » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:16 am

Sounds like an interesting project! I've not used Start Zyme/prime but someone will no doubt advise on that. Have you got one of those internal mini filters you can temporarily put in the new sanded side to help remove the dust from the water?
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby malakye » Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:31 pm

Personnaly I would take the fish out, put them in a bucket with the filter and heater. Remove the gravel in the full tank and put the sand in. When the sand settles put the filter in and check the stats, add an airstone to the bucket with your fish, they will be fine for a few days. It may take a few hours for the sand to settle. Prime is great stuff but you still have to watch the stats and keep the ammonia and nitrite at 0.
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby Bedbug » Sat Apr 25, 2015 10:18 pm

Apr./25/2015
This is the 6/7 gal tank with the 7 Serpae and the 2 pepper cats.
This morning I took plastic plants & hollow tree stump out. All the little fishies fled to the other end of the tank. Wrap divider with fine cheese cloth. With the 6 inch net I had most of the gravel out in 7 or 8 loads, Putting my hand under net to not bend wires as it came out of the water. Made the external filter suction pipe shorter 3 inches off bottom, left it off.
Used a cup to lower prewashed washed sand into the tank. Half if the tank is now about 1 inch deep in sand. Returned plants, tree stump and filter tube. Took about half an hour and I could always see through the gravel side.

One hour latter; Tank nearly clear. Removed divider. :cla: :ok:

Two hours after adding sand. Both cats playing in the sand. Serape's chasing each other as usual. My smooth sand looks like a war zone, bomb craters all over. Cats must think their is food in their some where.
Removed gallon of water cleaning the gravel some. Pulled external filter and washed in fish water, cleaner than I expected, Pulled the sponge filter and the out side looked like sand. It cleaned up easily.
Will start checking for ammonia daily starting tomorrow. If it goes up I will do a water change then add the Start Zyme " same as prime, different co." and If no problem will do the other side next week end.

More latter BMB
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby Graeme » Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:30 pm

Sounds like it all went to plan!

Got any pictures?
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby Bedbug » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:49 pm

Tank I.JPGTank I A.JPGTank I I.JPGTank II A.jpgTank II B.JPGIt has been 3 days and I never got an ammonia reading.

I didn't bother with putting in the divider in this time. I took out the spunge filter hollow log and plastic plants, 5 scoops later the gravel was out.
I washed the gravel better this time and their was never a time I could not see the fish, It was funny the Serpae & corys would come to the end where I was adding sand. I would lower the cup and they would rush to the other end. By the time I got back with another cup they were inspecting my work. The Cory's would tilt at a 45% angle put nose in the sand and wiggle throwing sand all directions.

With no ammonia spike I will do the other tank all at once, and with the black skirts I will do as Malakye sujgested and remove them. With every thing removed It still took longer to net the fish than it did to remove gravel and put in the sand, added the two filters. Added plants and hide places and returned the fish. Total time 20 min, not counting sand washing time. I will continue to watch ammonia for the next week. Tank I A was taken after I finished adding sand, the filter ran 10 min.

Will add pictures ( maybe )
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby malakye » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:10 pm

looking good, the corydoras will love having the sand in there rather than the gravel as it is kinder on their barbels.
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby Graeme » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:12 pm

The sand looks good.

The 50/50 photo gives a hint that it might be possible to create something arty with sand and a touch of gravel maybe!
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby Bedbug » Fri May 01, 2015 1:20 am

Graeme I thought about that too. I did notice that the sand had expanded it space about 4 inches into the gravel in 3 days. It appeared the sand went between the gravel stones and went to the bottom. If you put a hand full of gravel any were and it will show until the sand fills all the cracks. You may able to put in a low rock divider across the tank or a corner. I vacuumed the gravel and was surprised at the amount of sand that was in the pail after.
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Re: gravel to sand

Postby malakye » Sat May 02, 2015 9:57 pm

the gravel does tend to just swallow up the sand and ends up looking like just gravel. I did make a stream effect using gravel, sand and perspex to keep them divided many moons ago.
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