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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, sometime in the near future I'm going to be going to an all black substrate in my Mbuna tank. Here's an outline of how I'm going to do it, please let me know if you see any holes in this plan.

1. Rinse new sand throughly
2. Fill up 2 five gallon buckets of current tank water
3. Put air stones in both those buckets
4. Split fish up between the two buckets
5. Take out all rocks of the tank
6. Take out 60% of tanks water
7. Take out old sand ---How do I do this exactly?---
8. Put in new sand
9. Fill up the tank with water
10. Turn everything back on and let water heat up accordingly
11. Put fish back in tank
 

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Use your siphon/vacuum to do it. If you use a python, put a big bowl under the faucet while you're sucking, and empty it periodically.

If you have a rubbermaid tub, the fish will likely be more comfortable in one of those instead of the buckets, there's only so much floor real estate in the buckets. When I changed my tanks out, I had about 8 fish under a filter pad I had floating in there. Maybe try to put some stuff that they can hide in into whatever container you decide to use.

If you're using rocks in your hardscape, it'll be easier to put them in after you add just a tiny bit of sand(I put a VERY thin layer on the bottom of my tank to equalize imperfections in rock, but not so thick that the fish can get under them and dig), then place your rocks, then do the rest of the sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a Siphon but it never really picks up that much sand...but I'll give it a go.

And that's a great tip about adding the rocks, thanks! :thumb:

Have any ideas on how to hide a bubble wall that the unit itself is a lime blue/green thing? Right now just putting a line of rocks across the bottom.
 

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I don't really like bubble walls, so I've never had this problem, but you could probably paint it the same color as the sand and it would be a little less visible.

If your siphon doesn't really pick up much sand, try just using the smaller tubing and not the vac attachment that you likely have, the larger the tube, the lower the velocity, and the less likely it is to pick up sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent, thanks Laurel.

And yeah I'm a bubble wall freak...the fish like to play in it so I can justify putting one in just about every tank I have :D
 

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All I did was take the fish out, sponge filters in rubbermaids.

Drain the ank, turning heater and filters off before starting.

Scoop all the substrate out and put in 5 gal pails

Add new sunstrate

You issue here is the ph of the new substrate vs the old. If it is significanty different, you will need to acclimate the fish in the rubbermaid by GRADUALLY changing the water in the rubbermaid with the newly filled tank

The bacteria you need is in the filter anyway.

Add the water into a bowl in the new tank, to avoid introducing the sand dust into the water.

Add warm water, to alleviate the load on the heaters, and the fish, who are by now chillin in the rubbermaid

Gradually swap out the water in the rubbermaid with the water in the tank, and yer good to go.

I did it with WC ventralis and cyps - no losses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looking into putting some egg crate in here to help stabilize the rocks as I have diggers.

Question is...where can I find egg crate? Will hardware stores carry it?
 

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Yeah, it's called light diffuser. It can be found in the lighting section of most hardware stores.
 

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I've changed the substrate in my 450g easily...

Just get some hose and siphon out into a large garbage can or rubbermaid. You can get a nice large garbage bag and use them to line your household garbage can if necessary.

Once the the can/container, whatever is filled with sand and water is near the top, just use a small pump to put the water back in the tank and then start again...you can easily get every last bit of substrate out this way.

Oh, and if your local LFS has it, you can get some rigid tubing to stick into the hose to make it easier to reach the bottom and reach everywhere on the bottom easily.
 
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