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Thread: From gravel to sand

  1. #1

    Default From gravel to sand

    Has anyone ever attempted to change a large tank from gravel to sand, without removing the fish? Is this wise, or even possible? Trying to decide which would be more stressful for the fish, being shifted from 90g tank to holding bucket back to tank, or to stay in their home and watch it changing significantly as I dredge out gravel and replace it with sand. I'd like to start clean with no fish, but don't really have a holding tank for them to stay in that can accomodate their large size and numbers.
    90g Mixed Tang
    C. Frontosa Burundi
    Tropheus duboisi
    A. Calvus Nkamba Bay Yellow
    Labidochromis Hongii - lone mbuna ranger

    40g Mixed Mbuna
    Labidochromis caeruleus
    Ps. Acei Yellow Tail

    30g Mixed Mbuna
    Cynotilapia afra mara
    Ps. Saulosi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Tampa, FL/ Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I have done it both ways and as long as it's not too cramped I would go with the buckets. That way you won't have to worry about injuring any fish. Rinse the sand as good as possible to cut down on cloudiness. You may want to bag some of the gravel and place it back in the tank to reduce the chances of a mini cycle. Rubbermaid containers make good temporary holding tanks for situations like these as well. Hope that helps. Good luck.
    Cichlid Power!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Holland Patent, NY
    Posts
    8,889

    Default

    I have done it many times.....

    I just siphon out the old stuff like doing a water change... you can usually get it 99% of it out before 50% of the tank is drained...

    If you take you gravel washer tube - you can use it to "funnel" sand to the bottom with less of it getting stirred up. (Just the tube not the hose or attachment)
    "Cichlids aren't aggressive, they are territorial. Aggression is a response to inadequate territory for their breeding and feeding needs."

    "A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!"

    My Tanks

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you both for the advice. I ended up doing a real half and half on the 90g, must have been schizo Saturday. I took out the smallest fish before the change, left the big ones to fend for themselves, and only changed half the tank from my brown natural pebble mix to sand! Instead of taking all the gravel out, I pushed it over to one side and on this side I left the large cave for the lab hongi (that I can't seem to part with as I convert to tangs) and the bigger anubis plants. I added the sand (pool filter, sort of a tan not white-white) on the empty half, and I put some rocks and slate and holey rock along the "divide", and some on the sand side. The result is rather unusual but I must say very natural looking. Sort of picture a lake that is both sand and gravel. The fish are extremely curious about all of it, and quickly picked their sides. It seems very peaceful, and I don't have the whole issue of dark bottom vs light on fish color - there is both! I need to get a background on it and maybe a piece of driftwood, then will post pics. I have that I-love-what-I-did-to-my-tank happiness right now.
    90g Mixed Tang
    C. Frontosa Burundi
    Tropheus duboisi
    A. Calvus Nkamba Bay Yellow
    Labidochromis Hongii - lone mbuna ranger

    40g Mixed Mbuna
    Labidochromis caeruleus
    Ps. Acei Yellow Tail

    30g Mixed Mbuna
    Cynotilapia afra mara
    Ps. Saulosi

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