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  1. #1
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    Substrate Change

    If possible, I'd like to change my tank's substrate from fine crushed coral to sand. The tank has been up & running for just over 2 months now, although at set-up, a great majority of the water, live rock & filter media came from a mature tank. Could I manage such a change safely?

    All input appreciated!
    kate

  2. #2
    Senior Member C-Dub's Avatar
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    wat do u have in the tank?
    33g tank
    60 pounds of lr
    1 clown
    1 black harbour goby

    75g in the works

  3. #3
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    1 Hippotang
    1 Purple Basslet
    1 Velvet Damsel
    1 Yellowtail Damsel
    1 Three Stripe Damsel
    1 Blue Legged Hermit Crab
    kate

  4. #4
    Senior Member C-Dub's Avatar
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    thats alot of fish fast god 5 fish in 2 months
    it will create a cycle angain
    33g tank
    60 pounds of lr
    1 clown
    1 black harbour goby

    75g in the works

  5. #5
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    All LR, filters, filter media, & 75% of the water came from an established tank.
    kate

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cryptoterrorist's Avatar
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    If you can't wait until the next 'upgrade', and it will happen sooner or later, you could treat the tank as if you're moving it; strip it, clean it, drill it. The trick in moving, or stripping, a tank is to keep as much water as you can. The less water you have replaced the easier on the tank. Also, have a 25% water change ready and up to temp BEFORE you start.

    Feed you fish about 2hrs before you bag them. This will ensure that they will be less stressed from lack of food as when they get put back into the tank they might not eat right away from the stress of the move. Once you're ready to bag the fun begins.

    Have your holding tank(s) and plastic bags ready. Bag you fish and what else you might have and set aside with a towel wrapped around them. The towel will clam them (somewhat) but will mainly keep the temp up until you're ready to float them in the holding tank.

    After you have the fish bagged and wrapped, drain the water into the holding tank. Make sure you unplug your heater and power heads before you start draining. Also, make sure your heater stays in the water until it's cool or it'll overheat and could pop before or as you're putting it back into the water.

    When the tank has about 20% of the water left in it switch draining the tank to the second holding tank. This is where you'll put your rock. Once the tank is empty, or mostly, put the rock in the second tank and float the fish in the first tank. Put the heater and a powerhead in the first tank to keep your fish warm while they float and water running so your holding tank has even heat.

    Now you're ready to scrape out the tank. A good idea is to keep a small amount of the old CC to seed the new sand. Once it's cleaned out have your buddy drill an overflow in it. You can silicone a piece of glass on the inside over the hole on the back pane so you won't be kicking yourself in the rear when you're ready to add a sump, better idea just add it now.

    When the tank is back on the stand ready to be filled up, put your sand in. After the sand is in put a garbage bag or shopping bag over the sand and SLOWLY pour the 25% water you hade made up before hand into the tank. Once the 25% water is in the tank remove the bags. Then the rocks go in however you want to put them. The water that the rocks were sitting in (second holding tank) will be full of garbage and can be dumped.

    Now's the time you'd want to unplug your heater in the first holding tank and put a powerhead with some filterfloss in it into the display tank. The filterfloss will get the fine sand in the water column out. If you have some hose that will fit into the power head (gravel cleaners with the large tube work great), put the hose into the powerhead and put the powerhead into the first holding tank. The powerhead will drain the first holding tank into the display tank. Make sure not to point the hose at the sand, or near the bottom. The best placement for the hose is at the water surface pointed lengthways.

    When the display tank is full enough to put the heater in do so and turn it on, but make sure it's at the right water level. After your display tank is full (and all the equipment is reinstalled) and up to temperature float, drip, and treat your fish as you would a newly bought store fish.

    If you did it right your tank will only be a little cloudy but, be sure to change the filterfloss every hour or two and that will soon be gone.

    Well there you have it start to finish. You may lose some fish from the stress of the move, and youíll see a (hopefully very small) cycle. Is it still worth the change or can you wait until you upgrade and just make a note of it?

  7. #7
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    This is not really a good idea!!! Why do you need to change out the substrate?? If you want a different look why not just add 1/4 to 1/2 inch MAX on top of whats there now???
    Rob

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cryptoterrorist's Avatar
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    Iím hoping Iíve scared it out of her OSD. Too much work and not worth the risk.

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for replying to my query! Obviously, the substrate change is not in the best interest of my fish & will therefore not be carried out. Guess I'll just have to start up another tank to achieve the much-desired new look! (Hehee!)

    Cheers!



    OSD: If I added a layer of sand on top of the crushed coral, would the fine sand not sink to the bottom eventually?
    kate

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for replying to my query! Obviously, the substrate change is not in the best interest of my fish & will therefore not be carried out. Guess I'll just have to start up another tank to achieve the much-desired new look! (Hehee!)

    Cheers!



    OSD: If I added a layer of sand on top of the crushed coral, would the sand not eventually sink to the bottom?
    kate

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