I made the mistake of using fine sand. Advice needed

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I used oolite sand because i intended for a low flow softie tank, but I’m doing SPS and LPS now.

I have a lot of sand and I need to remove most/all of it and replace it with special grade.

Only caveat is that I refuse to touch my rock work because I absolutely love it so much and will be devastated if it was messed up.

What’s the most effective way to remove my current sand bed?

Note: The rock work is sitting on the sand. It doesn’t bother me.


Biggest problem I’m going to face is trying to save the 200 nassarius snails that I added to my sand bed.
FEAF7DF6-2739-433B-93A8-B862BB9AA941.jpeg
 
Fritz

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I would do it right, you have just admitted doing it wrong and regretted it.

The rock should be sitting on the glass not the sand so it's more stable, I would remove the rock then the sand.

If you don't want to do it that way, just remove as much as you can around the rock work and hope it doesn't fall and hit the glass, I would think fine sand would be unstable once fish, snails etc start digging around the rock work, I would consider placing the rock on the glass base.
 

tehmadreefer

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Do what I did in my 180. Every water change i sucked it out until it was gone then went bare bottom. Took a while but, didn’t have to tear apart my tank!
 
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I would do it right, you have just admitted doing it wrong and regretted it.

The rock should be sitting on the glass not the sand so it's more stable, I would remove the rock then the sand.

If you don't want to do it that way, just remove as much as you can around the rock work and hope it doesn't fall and hit the glass, I would think fine sand would be unstable once fish, snails etc start digging around the rock work, I would consider placing the rock on the glass base.
Ok. I’ll remove it.
 
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Think you will find it actually easier removing it.

I would then just siphon the sand up, picking out the snails from the bucket.

I would also add something like Fritz turbo start after you replace everything just to be safe.
I don’t have any fish in the tank. I just made a thread on aquascape ideas. I’d really appreciate any help I can get.
 

jhuntstl

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Whether that scape is glued together or not, that would be a very tedious job getting all the oolite out from underneath without tearing things apart. If you dont want to disturb anything, I think your only option is leave it under the rocks, siphon out small sections around your scape and replace with special grade. Rinse and repeat.

Like others have suggested, though. Just do it right.

I had to swap some fiji pink for special grade. Same flow situation like yourself. I had a lot of saltwater at the ready to replace what I siphoned out. Ended up doing a 60-70% WC. I'm sure there's a smarter way to reuse a lot of the dirty water by filtering it with socks or something.
 
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Whether that scape is glued together or not, that would be a very tedious job getting all the oolite out from underneath without tearing things apart. If you dont want to disturb anything, I think your only option is leave it under the rocks, siphon out small sections around your scape and replace with special grade. Rinse and repeat.

Like others have suggested, though. Just do it right.

I had to swap some fiji pink for special grade. Same flow situation like yourself. I had a lot of saltwater at the ready to replace what I siphoned out. Ended up doing a 60-70% WC. I'm sure there's a smarter way to reuse a lot of the dirty water by filtering it with socks or something.
I’m going to do it right. I need all that sand gone because it blows around everywhere and makes the tank cloudy.
 

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I don’t have any fish in the tank. I just made a thread on aquascape ideas. I’d really appreciate any help I can get.

That's good then.

Is that the pic of the tank? If so and it sounds as if you haven't glued the rock work together? If that is the case I would definitely consider making it as secure as possible as that is a tall structure with a lot of rock.
 
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