Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Im debating if I should change up the sand in my 150g. I've been using the pool filter sand for about 8 years now and quite frankly im a little bored of the look. I think the Eco Complete African mix would compliment my background quite nicely. Im just not sure If its worth all the time and hassle

Which leads me to my question. How would you go about removing and adding? The easiest way I can think of is to remove the rocks, keep the fish in the tank and wet vac out all the sand. Might be able to get it all in 1 shot.

My next question is how many 20 pound bags do you think I would need to get a deep sand bed going? My footprint is 60×24 but the 3d background takes up a good amount of space. I was thinking 6-8 bags

Anyways let me know I'd you guys think it's worth the outcome still debating... but I would love to get a new look going
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
Not a fan of eco complete...look or cost, but that is personal preference. Take a look at pictures of the actual lake.

For amount, use the substrate calculator in the Cichlid-forum Library.

Your fish would not be able to sift sand or spit substrate all over, you would lose that natural behavior. A deep sand bed has some downsides...I go for shallow every time.

I usually remove the fish but if your old substrate is VERY clean and you don't mind the extra care required for working around the fish, you could leave them in.

I use a clean dust pan for scooping the substrate. How could you know if your wet vac was clean enough not to pollute the tank unless it was new? Even then?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In the actual lake all you really see is rocks and open water. Im not necessarily trying to replicate the lake. I perfer a darker substrate look now. Something new to keep things interesting you know? Like I said *** had this exact setup for about 8 years now and it's getting a little bland

As for the wet vac I'd definitely be purchasing a new one and rinsing well so I don't risk cross contaminating anything. Plus I need one lying around in case of an emergency. You never know
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,531 Posts
Even more reason to remove the fish so you don't accidentally suck one up. I would scrub the wet vac inside and out with vinegar...some things have an oil when manufactured that you would want to get rid of.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,862 Posts
Fate, you can also use a large diameter vinyl hose and 'vacuum' the sand into 5G buckets, of course this will take multiple attempts but can be done easy enough and is the method I use when I don't want to remove the fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I thought about that but thought it might be more of a hassle. But you are right it's alot safer. What size diameter hose do you recommend?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,862 Posts
I've used anywhere from 5/8" vinyl to 1-1/4" sump pump hose to remove substrate and water from my tanks depending on tank size, fish size and/or how much of a hurry I'm in. Mostly I use 1" vinyl hose with a short length of scrap PVC pipe shoved into the hose end so I can better watch where I'm sucking up sand. 1" vinyl hose is still fairly flexible and can be kinked with your free hand when you want to stop the flow temporarily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Deeda said:
I've used anywhere from 5/8" vinyl to 1-1/4" sump pump hose to remove substrate and water from my tanks depending on tank size, fish size and/or how much of a hurry I'm in. Mostly I use 1" vinyl hose with a short length of scrap PVC pipe shoved into the hose end so I can better watch where I'm sucking up sand. 1" vinyl hose is still fairly flexible and can be kinked with your free hand when you want to stop the flow temporarily.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
cyclonecichlids said:
I'd replace the sand 1/3 at a time. There is beneficial bacteria living in that sand. Your tank might crash if you replace it all at once.
Im not too worried about the beneficial bacteria in the sand. I have an FX5 and an FX6 full of matrix and sponges aswell a AC110 with more bio rings and sponges.

But with that in mind I have been doing every other day 25% WCs and been removing parts of the sand each time. Decided the slower approach was the safest route for the tank and the fish. Didn't want to risk shocking anything. The PIA part is going to be rinsing 160lbs of sand
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,862 Posts
Sounds good and I have also used this method over a few days when I wasn't in a bit hurry.

Did you use the sand calculator from the forum Library? I'm assuming so since for a 60" x 24" footprint the suggestion is 160lbs of substrate which is fairly deep unless you are planting live plants with healthy root systems. Try shooting for a 1" deep substrate and see how it looks to you especially since you have an in-tank background which does use up some floor space depending on the model.

You could try and rinse some of each bag and see how dirty it actually is though that can vary from bag to bag and also between which product you end up using. I usually use a 5G pail and fill about 1/3 full of substrate and then rinse while stirring up what's in the pail. Fill, rinse, repeat. There is also an article in the Library Here and a video Here that may be helpful regardless of which brand of substrate you buy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
I have done this several times including this weekend on my 375g tank altho I may have equipment that you dont that makes it easy. Larger diameter hose but not too big you dont want to suck out too much water too, a little larger than a python hose is good. Get a 5g bucket and put that in a larger rubber made garbage can (have some for fish stuff over the years). Siphon sand into bucket and let it overflow into the bigger can...I have a big power head I use for faster water changes hooked to a hose so I put that pump in the bigger trash can so I can just siphon out all the sand without stopping until the 5g bucket is full. I pulled 3 full 5g buckets out of my tank,that way easy.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top