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View Full Version : How to completly change substrate



Jlorenzo
01-24-2010, 12:23 AM
Is this possible to do with only one tank? I want to switch to sand but I don't feel like its a good Idea to have all my fish in a 5 gallon bucket while I do this(although I think I can do it quickly, I am more worried about the sand settling enough so I can turn my filtration back on). Also This would mean almost a 75% water change, unless I don't have to remove all the water. the tank is a 37g. Thoughts, suggestions?

rich311k
01-24-2010, 01:10 AM
Get a cooler for the fish. Change all the water, be sure to rinse the sand very well before starting. They will be fine for a couple of hours.

Little Embers
01-24-2010, 01:16 AM
It can be done....I would get a bigger plastic container (even a plastic garbage bin, clean of course lol) to keep the fish in, as you can just transfer most of the tank water and decor into it and then put the water back into the tank, so you don't shock the fish too much by doing a complete water change....How many fish do you have?

I noticed in another thread of yours that there is a problem with one of your Mollies at the moment....I personally would hold off changing the substrate until you sort that issue out....moving the fish will cause added stress!

sheamurai
01-24-2010, 01:26 AM
I never removed my fish at all when I changed over to sand. Removed the gravel a half tank at a time, left some cover for the fish to hide.
Rinsed the sand obsessively, and filled one half of the tank at a time again.
If the sand is good and wet, then lowered to the bottom before being poured out, it hardly clouds up at all (filter off, of course).
The key is to rinse rinse rinse, and then cover the sand in the bucket with warm water, so cold sand doesn't cool off the tank water, and each scoop is good and wet.

Of course, it was only a 16gal tank, so not a lot of scooping involved. I wouldn't want to do it that way in a 5' long tank, lol. I imagine a 37 isn't too much more trouble...

Jlorenzo
01-24-2010, 01:40 AM
It can be done....I would get a bigger plastic container (even a plastic garbage bin, clean of course lol) to keep the fish in, as you can just transfer most of the tank water and decor into it and then put the water back into the tank, so you don't shock the fish too much by doing a complete water change....How many fish do you have?

I noticed in another thread of yours that there is a problem with one of your Mollies at the moment....I personally would hold off changing the substrate until you sort that issue out....moving the fish will cause added stress!
yes this is true. I am going to wait until that is sorted out but I have been thinking about I like to plan things out before I do anything I shouldnt.

korith
01-24-2010, 01:52 AM
Remove the fish, put them into a large rubbermaid bin (like 4-5 bucks at walmart), you can keep the filter going as well.

Then you can take your time removing the gravel and putting the sand in. Oh remember to rinse the sand a fair bit before you add it into the tank. Drain out most of the water, then add the sand in, then put a large plate on the bottom of the tank before refilling the tank.

If you want to speed up the process with how quickly the sand settles you can use a hob (hang on back) filter in the tank, and fill it with pillow stuffing to catch all the sand.

domjd05
01-24-2010, 07:18 PM
I've swapped 3 tanks over to sand, a 55 and 46, and a 29... It's not difficult, just wash the sand very well before you start your filter back up, there will almost always be some clouding but as long as you don't see large suspended dirt particles floating around and its just "dust", fire up your filter.

I've never changed substrate with my fish in the tank, and I really wouldn't want to try that either, I think it would be better to just put them in a cooler (since you don't have another tank) during the swap. If you are paranoid about the 100% water change, keep 5-10 gallons or so of the old water and just put it back in once the substrates changed.. I personally think it can be done with out draining out all the water, just as easily as if you had drained out 100%.

Northernguy
01-24-2010, 07:23 PM
Its easier and much faster to remove the fish!
It also gives you a great chance to clean out the tank before rebuilding.