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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hang on filter (dont have the money to go to a can. yet) and want to change my gravel to sand, i have some questions!
will the sand hurt my filter?
the in-take is about 5" off of the bottom, is that far enough?
How many lbs. of sand would a 55gal need?
What kind of sand?
where would i get the sand?
How long will it take to settle? Should i remove the cichlids?
will the water coming back out of the filter stir the sand back up?
Thx for the help!

P.S. if you can only answer one even that would be great!
 

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Wow. Well thought out questions.
Yes, sand can hurt the impellers on your filter if thier not high enough above the substrate. Placing a course sponge sleave over your intake will eleviate this problem.

Use the calculator at the bottom of this page to fiqure out how much sand you'll need. http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/calculator.php

So far as what sand to use almost any type is good as long as it's rinsed very well before putting it in the tank. Home improvement centers, gardening centers, pool stores and rock supply places are all good sources to find sand.

It took over a day for my tank to clear up after I had switched from gravel to sand. (Washed plaster sand from Lowes) My filters had no problem removing any "dust" left over from the initiall cleaning and my Mbuna weren't bothered by it at all. Whether the sand will stir up because of the return of your hob is dependent on how tall your tank is. Mine is 18" high and my AC110 doesn't stir it at all although I'll have to admit that the outlet flow pours in over a rock structure.

Hope this helps. :)
 

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Desi<3 said:
I have a hang on filter (dont have the money to go to a can. yet) and want to change my gravel to sand, i have some questions!
will the sand hurt my filter?
the in-take is about 5" off of the bottom, is that far enough?
With the intake 5" off the bottom, your filter should be fine.
Desi<3 said:
How many lbs. of sand would a 55gal need?
What kind of sand?
What ever kind of sand you like. Do you want light colored? Darker? Natural beach color?
What kind of fish? Some like finer grained sand, some don't use the sand...
Desi<3 said:
where would i get the sand?
Depends on which type you go for. Think about what look you want and what kind of fish you have or will get.
Desi<3 said:
How long will it take to settle? Should i remove the cichlids?
If you rinse the sand very well, it won't take long at all.
If your gravel has been in there a long time, you should probably remove the cichlids.
When you start removing the gravel you may have a real problem with water quality.
Desi<3 said:
will the water coming back out of the filter stir the sand back up?
When the water level gets low, like during a partial water change, your sand may get some agitation
from the return. Usually, if the sand is clean, it just makes a divet and you can smooth it out after you refill your tank.
Desi<3 said:
Thx for the help!
Hope this helps.
Alicem
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
my returne is at the very top of the water. I keep it level w/ the water so that it doesnt make any noise and doesnt stir up the water as much.
the return is 17" above the gravel!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ooo and i just re-measured the the distance the intake is from the ground, i was way off, it is more like 2 1/2 - 3" off the ground!
Im guessing that will be a problem??
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i cant get the bottom intake off of the plastic tube!
i think somebody glued it on! :lol:
Got any ideas on how to get it off??!
Could i just put a thick sponge over the intake?
I think this is gonna be more trouble than its worth!
Please tell me it will be much better after the sand is in!??!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OMG it took half an hour :eek: but i got the bottom off of the intake tube!
Now when i get the sand i will be able to get it off!

OK a few more questions!:

1. Even with the intake about 5" off of the ground it would still be best to get a sponge and put on the intake, right?
2. I think I will go with pool sand. Does the color look nice? How should i clean it before adding it to my tank?
3. So I have to remove my cichlids, how long will they have to be out? All I have open it a 5gal bucket.
4. OK and some how i came out with 558lbs of sand :eek: :eek: :eek: ! WOW can that even be right for a 55 or did i do something way wrong!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oooo wow did i do something wrong there!
I think that will be enough for me!
BTW, i like the after best, i think your fish do too.

So about the cleaning & sponge on the intake? Any ideas?
o and there are 4 - 2" fish
2 - 4" fish
2 - 3" Fish
and a 3in featherfin cat. All of these would have to be in the bucket! Would they live? How long will it take the sand to settle?
 

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If you keep up with cleaning your tank than you should be OK to leave them in there. The only reason to take them out would be when all the waste got stirred up. A sponge would be good on there, you can just rinse it in old tank water when it needs to be cleaned. The sand in the water colum will not hurt the fish, remember these guys are designed to live in the wild. while we all strive to give them ideal conditions, they can live in less. Before anyone takes that the wrong way, I mean they can live in less then ideal conditions short term, long term we owe them the best homes possible since we took them out of nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK so im guessing it would be better to just leave them in thx for all of the help guys!
Im going to get my sand from a pool supply store, it is $5 for a 50lb bag!
 

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New to all this! What is "intake"????

So i am wanting to change from gravel to sand too...... it will be hard to do when i have about 10 fishies in there, friend suggested to use a dustpan and scoop all gravel to one side until most is all gone and pour the sand into one side slowly.......
 

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rayzorhead said:
New to all this! What is "intake"????
The intake is the tube that draws the water into the filter.

rayzorhead said:
So i am wanting to change from gravel to sand too...... it will be hard to do when i have about 10 fishies in there, friend suggested to use a dustpan and scoop all gravel to one side until most is all gone and pour the sand into one side slowly.......
Remove all the decorations, large rocks, plants, etc.
If you remove the gravel with a dust pan you'll need a large container...wide enough for the dust pan to go into, to pour it into.
FYI water will come with it...
Watch out not to scratch your glass sides and be careful of the silicone around the bottom.

When you put the sand in, put it in using some sort of container,
something like a cottage cheese container.
Lower the container with sand into the water, let the water slowly go in it,
lower it to the bottom and pour it out slowly.
If you just dump it in, the water will be a mess...

I know you guys are ok with leaving the fish in there during the switch.
It's just that the gravel holds so much crud. It will get stirred up if it hasn't been cleaned really well along the way...

Here's what I'd do:
I'd take the fish out and hold them in a bucket of clean tank water, shut off the filter, drain the rest of it,
clean deco, remove the gravel, replace with sand, add deco, etc, re-fill aquarium (don't forget the declor)
restart the filters, make sure temp is good, add fish.

Do as you want to, this is just what I would do. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK well i was just going to dump it in! :lol:
guess I will be using a cup? Cups are good right?
And sponges from say Kroger are good right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
you mean with taking out the gravel?
there is still the bacteriar in the filter, right?
so it would be more like a 1/2 or 1/3 cycle wouldnt it?
 

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I would not completely empty the tank. I would empty it 50% or so, then replace with new water once the sand is in. Just pour slowly to minimize the stir up of sand. Since you are taking out gravel which does contain beneficial bacteria, I would not clean the decorations, etc.

When I switched from gravel to sand, I left my fish in the tank, and they were fine. Probably less stressed than if I had tried to catch them all. I worked on my tank sections at a time, working from one side of the tank to the other. I removed decorations on one side, then scooped up the gravel with a small metal strainer. Once the gravel was gone, I slowly replaced with sand, by lowering plastic cupfuls of it and slowly pouring it from the cup close to the bottom of the tank. I moved my way across the tank that way. Once all the sand was in, I rearranged rocks.

There is more than one way to do it safely, as we have all read! But, vaccuum your gravel if it is dirty, so that you lessen the dirt that gets stirred up.
 

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I know the cycle qustion can be dabated on and on it is always a judgment call. An idea for adding your sand though. You could use a funnel and a length of hose, the hose would deliver the sand right to the bottem of the tank, and you could conrtoll the flow of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Jeepguy, I am the worst person to ever use a hose! When I am vacumming my tanks I have water going EVERYWERE (at the end I look like somebody pushed my in a pool)! Could you imagine sand doing that! :lol: :eek:
 
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