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FAQ: Can I use SAND as substrate? How to convert?
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JTamosaitis
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL

PostPosted: 2008.05.25(Sun)19:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

What type of sand is suitable (dumb question I know)
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nes999
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Joined: 10 Mar 2009
Location: Peoria IL

PostPosted: 2009.07.08(Wed)10:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read all the pages and I really havent seen how to change from gravel into sand. I have a 55 gravel tanks and am wondering how to convert it to sand.

also is they're anything other than mts that will air-ate my sand I personaly don't like mts as for they can cause a outbreak.
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nikelodeon79
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Joined: 08 Nov 2007
Location: Wisconsin, U.S.A.

PostPosted: 2009.07.08(Wed)10:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

nes999 wrote:
I have read all the pages and I really havent seen how to change from gravel into sand. I have a 55 gravel tanks and am wondering how to convert it to sand.

I have converted many, many tanks over to sand, including 55g tanks. With a 55, you actually have an easier job than with a shorter tank if you intend to leave the fish in.

I decided to leave the fish in my tanks while doing the switch, rather than try to catch them all and place them in a separate container. I drained most of the water out, leaving just enough for the fish to swim around in. I then took out most of the decor, but left some in on one side of the tank for the fish to hide in. Using a net, I scooped out all of the gravel on the other half of the tank. Once that was completed, I moved the decor over to the now bare side of the tank. I then scooped out the remaining gravel.

Make sure your sand has been thoroughly rinsed before you begin the process. Once the gravel is gone, you can simply scoop your sand into the tank, using a cup or small bucket. Be careful not to pour too much in at once, or else risk burying a fish. When you're done, put all the decor back in where you want it, fill the tank (use an upside down plate to pour the water on so as not to disturb the sand). Wait until the sand has settled a bit and then turn your filter back on.

An alternative method would be to remove the fish to a separate container. You could then take out all the decor and gravel at once, and pouring the sand in would be quicker.
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Cliff Mayes
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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Location: Western NY

PostPosted: 2009.07.08(Wed)11:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Beauty Sandblasting Sand has been OK for several years. I have never kept Africans but I got the idea from a Chichlid Specialist many moons ago.

I got the Sandblasting Sand from a Concrete Supply originally but lately I have gotten it from Tool Rental place. Look around and use the Phone Book and NET first.

The Pool Sand sounds interesting and I will try it one of these days. Round edge Sand sounds good for my Cories.
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flyersguy1685
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Joined: 10 Dec 2007

PostPosted: 2009.12.07(Mon)12:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK so I've read over a bunch of the pages and have a few questions:

-Would sand be OK for an 8 inch common pleco? Or would his clumsy movements kick up sand all the time and make it more of a headache than it needs to be? Also, would it be harmful for the pleco sucking in all that sand off the bottom?

-Would MTS's be necessary for an unplanted tank? If they are necessary for aeration purposes, would they harm the pleco? Because I'm sure he would "accidentally" eat them when he does his nightly vacuuming?

I really would like to put sand in my tank as I think it looks so much better than gravel, but I don't know if it's worth the headache that it could potentially bring. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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eric2008
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Joined: 16 Apr 2010
Location: Macon,Ga

PostPosted: 2010.04.16(Fri)15:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

flyersguy1685 wrote:
OK so I've read over a bunch of the pages and have a few questions:

-Would sand be OK for an 8 inch common pleco? Or would his clumsy movements kick up sand all the time and make it more of a headache than it needs to be? Also, would it be harmful for the pleco sucking in all that sand off the bottom?

-Would MTS's be necessary for an unplanted tank? If they are necessary for aeration purposes, would they harm the pleco? Because I'm sure he would "accidentally" eat them when he does his nightly vacuuming?

I really would like to put sand in my tank as I think it looks so much better than gravel, but I don't know if it's worth the headache that it could potentially bring. Any help is greatly appreciated!



I have used sand for quite some time and have never had any problems with plants or filters or dead spots.
Never use any sand that is not spcifically designed for aquariums,it may have sharp edges that can damage the gills of some species of fish I.e. Cory cats will filter the sand through their gills and are happiest with sand substrate.

When I converted to sand I placed a Tank divider in my tank and moved all fish to the side I was not changing, lowered the water level by half and scooped out my gravel & other decorations and placed large rocks to act as a divider between the two types of substrate.I waited 3 weeks and repeated the process with the other side.That way I had no problems with triggering a new biological cycle as your substrate also has bacteria that aids ammonia and Nitrite processing.
The key for plants is to have enough sand to cover the roots and hold the plant to the bottom.
Caribsea has great sand for freshwater tanks that includes water with bacteria and avoids compacting while it doesn't cloud the water from fish swimming I.e plecos and other bottom dwellers.
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