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Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

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Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby karldonteljames » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:06 pm

Hi All,
I'm loving keeping the Malawi's they look great, and all seem to be doing well, but i'm a little unhappy with my substrate.

As its play sand, its obviously very "yellow" after looking about online alot of people seem to use pool filter sand, i've found a local supplier and am thinking of making the jump.

My plan is:
1) Remove all rocks and fake plants
2) Remove the Fish and put them in a temporary tank
3) Remove about 25% of the water
4) Remove the playsand
5) replace the Rocks and hardscape
6) Use 50Kgs of PFS
7) fill the tank and leave to settle for an hour or two
8) Return the fish to the tank

My tank is a 50gal (I believe) its 120*35*45cms so i would assume that 50Kgs is enough?

I just wondered if there is anything i need to consider at all, or if i should take a different approach? - not entirely sure the best way to remove the sand either, i'm thinking maybe a new dustpan and an old bucket to put it in? - Any advice here would be great.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby LoverRock » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:08 pm

When I switched my substrate ( fine gravel) I left the fish in the tank and slowly removed and added the gravel with a jug. I would also do a bigger water change, I did about 80%, which I do once a week anyway.

Because I lost some bacteria from the gravel ( and rocks if they dry out ) I didn't feed for three days and then monitored the nitrite just to be sure til the next water change.

Just treat it like an extended water change.
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Re: Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby bradderz123 » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:01 pm

I would change half one day and the other half a week, or two later, to allow the bacteria to populate.
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Re: Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby Clare » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:53 pm

I have always changed it all at once with no problems.
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Re: Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby CarlosFleggos » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:25 pm

The amount of bacteria in the substrate should be inconsequential as long as you have adequate filtration, the main bulk of bacteria will be in the filter media, holding out on the feeding just to make sure wouldn't be a bad idea, but not essential.
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Re: Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby Dave G » Sun Dec 13, 2015 7:25 pm

What sand is most widely used? Unipac silver sand?
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Re: Substrate change - Play sand to Pool filter sand

Postby Clare » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:50 pm

Many people use unpack silver sand. It has less chance of compacting and causing unhelpful bacteria. When using such fine sand, I'd recommend making sure you have a colony of cat fish.

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