• For a Limited Time the R2R Partner Membership is NOW OPEN! Get some cool swag and chances to win part of over $20,000 in prizes! Click here for more details

replacing sand

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
Hi, I am replacing my sand in my 125. Doing a reboot. I'm thinking to start at one end and work my way across, not removing most from the sides and front, but leaving some, maybe in back, so there is live sand to seed the new sand and keep some critters if there are any, I hope. I can't remove all the sand where the goby and pistol shrimp live but can remove a lot elsewhere

The problem with current sand is it is too fine and blows all around. I am thinking to replace with the below which should be okay for sand sifters--I think. Might not get from amazon as I want it faster than what they say, but an idea that this will be okay. I'm not sure I need "live" sand, but maybe it won't hurt?
1600914918653.png


 

Anubisxii

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
249
Reaction score
198
I just switched from an 18 and a half gallon tank to a 40 gallon tank I left all the old sand in the t old tank and used that sand it worked great. I just dosed Dr Tim's one and only and some API stress syne on a daily basis and I got zero spikes of anything after the move. I am a fan and it worked great. I would be careful pulling out old sand all in the same day there's a lot of negative nutrients that builds up in there over time that you don't want getting in the water column.
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
I just switched from an 18 and a half gallon tank to a 40 gallon tank I left all the old sand in the t old tank and used that sand it worked great. I just dosed Dr Tim's one and only and some API stress syne on a daily basis and I got zero spikes of anything after the move. I am a fan and it worked great. I would be careful pulling out old sand all in the same day there's a lot of negative nutrients that builds up in there over time that you don't want getting in the water column.
I planned on working on one side of tank at a time. removing sand, removing rock. replace sand, move on so several days if not a week.
 

Anubisxii

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
249
Reaction score
198
If doing it over time you should be good. Just keep an eye on ammonia and nitrates would be my 2 cents. My understanding is when you move around all that sand you can unearth lots of detritus that's settled in the sand.
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
If doing it over time you should be good. Just keep an eye on ammonia and nitrates would be my 2 cents. My understanding is when you move around all that sand you can unearth lots of detritus that's settled in the sand.
My no3 has always been off the charts... I'm hoping this, cleaning rocks, and multiple water changes will get it down.
 

vsolovyev

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
43
Reaction score
36
Live sand from a sealed bag is full of dead bacteria, when adding to an already established reef tank you should expect to see a spike in ammonia, safest bet might be to add regular sand and maybe scoop some of your old live sand to get the new cycle going. Just a note- I replaced my entire sand bed about 7 months ago part of moving my tank, you will definitely see all the algae problems you see in a new tank in your new sand bed, gha, cyno blooms and what not. Good luck!
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
Live sand from a sealed bag is full of dead bacteria, when adding to an already established reef tank you should expect to see a spike in ammonia, safest bet might be to add regular sand and maybe scoop some of your old live sand to get the new cycle going. Just a note- I replaced my entire sand bed about 7 months ago part of moving my tank, you will definitely see all the algae problems you see in a new tank in your new sand bed, gha, cyno blooms and what not. Good luck!
Hope I can bypass some of that, as I am not moving tank. Just trying to reboot the system and make some improvements. I plan on taking some areas down to bare bottom and add new, while leaving a thin layer in other areas to mix with the new. I'm thinking of adding in 40-60 lbs, slowly.
 

av8soulfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
158
Reaction score
316
Location
SoCal
I changed out the sand in my 100 gallon cube. I did it in 3 stages. I switched from jagged aragonite to fiji pink. My wrasses are happier. No issues with ammonia or nitrates. No livestock loss. The new sand was "live" but I rinsed the snot out of it with regular tap water many times since it was super cloudy. The final 3 rinses were with RODI water of course. The final rinse was with salt water. It still took about a day for the cloudiness to go away completely.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
13,830
Reaction score
11,355
Location
tejas
It is dangerous Susan to change out in sections. I know people do it, but I also have tank loss threads on file from others where they regretted the partial move. The way we get to 36 pages in the sand swap thread with no losses is doing it all at once

The only safe way is all at once. If you change sand with water in the tank you up well wastes, risk cycling and loss.


the rocks house organisms that reseed the sand, the ones currently in the sand didnt come from the original bag they came down from live rocks, or frags you added over time

in our sand swap thread we show the buildup of new pods and worms in the sand four times in one tank with four different bed replacements.

If you change it all at once, with rinsed new sand as mentioned, you don’t risk loss. Your choice on the % risk

it doesn’t matter if you buy wet or dry, pre rinse it w tap as mentioned above. Reef systems do not required sandbed bacteria it’s why removing the waste all at once is safest, your live rock bac take over instantly. You wouldn’t have to add any sand back if you wanted to be bare bottom, so inputting dry or wet sand on the swap won’t matter.

try to imagine the countless tanks cycled with bottle bac, tens of thousands. But if they add bottle bac into a bag of wet sand, it must be dead or inert? Wet sand always has bacteria, they don’t autoclave sand before packing it out wet. Of course it’s live just as bottle bac are live, but it won’t matter, reef tanks are not required to have sandbed bacteria that’s just stuff made up on the internet. The bacteria you need are rock bac, they don’t care what you add to or remove to the side.
 
Last edited:
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
Thanks @brandon429 I just ordered 1 bag of Aragonite Special Grade Dry Sand 40lbs - CaribSea from brs. MIght need 2 depending on how much old sand stays. They said to add in slowly?

So I can remove all the sand I want or can get too (I have to leave some of the current sand where the goby/shrimp live) but will take out as much of the rest as I can get to. Then I can add a layer of new sand? If I need or want more can I add it a week or so later? I have 40 lbs coming for a 125. Maybe I should just go order a second bag?

I'll also be removing a lot of rock to clean the rock, sticking them in a 45 to keep them live and then rescaping.

I can use tap water to rinse sand. Should I do a final rinse with RO water to get tap water out?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
13,830
Reaction score
11,355
Location
tejas


almost, but there's an important distinction we use in the thread to avoid loss


the reefs are literally taken apart to change the sand, the rocks corals and fish come out. its not in-tank work. so if the tank is too big to effect that practically then you are on the risk method of in-tank and partial work.

the only risk free method is:
drain your current clean water into brutes to hold, stop at the last 1/3 it will start to cloud. keep 2/3 for re use

take out your fish hold separate

take out rocks and coral hold separate from fish

finally, remove the sandbed and now you have an empty glass bare aquarium.


rinse the new sand to cloudless perfection, using tap, last rinse is RO then ready for use

refill tank w old water and new, rocks, corals ,on cloudless sand.
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
oh man. my worry is losing the pistol shrimp as when I moved the pair from an old tank to new, I thought I'd lost him (it was in one of the rocks,, luckily one I put in the new tank) I'll ck out that thread, just not sure I'm set up/equipped to do a complete tear down
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
View Badges
Joined
Dec 9, 2014
Messages
13,830
Reaction score
11,355
Location
tejas
If your sandbed doesn’t have dark spots in it then I’d personally think it’s low risk of loss to do in tank work, getting some sort of invasion two months after the partial work is 90% likely imo. I realize some tanks are too big.


if you had no dark spots/ exceptional waste loading (let’s see pics of sandbed) I bet it won’t die but the surgical method above has a perfect safety record, at the cost of large work.

look how dangerous the waste is, isn’t it amazing we run collection zones on purpose for things that poison


even if we swap your bed, how are you going to prevent needing to be part of that thread above eventually (sandbeds fill up, invade your tank with something)

nobody designed a reef to have to do all that above for safety, it was that the promised outcome of their sandbed never happened (self balancing, handles it’s own waste) so they had to post there if they wanted a guaranteed save method.
 

Saltyreef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
2,039
Reaction score
1,671
Location
Bay Area, Ca
Ya i would pull your sand and rinse clean in rodi then replace. That will reboot your tank without the cycle issues and retain your bacteria.
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
@Saltyreef The sand I have is a size 0 so it gets blown all over. Plus I want to get another sand sifter, so it also blows all over the rocks, making them full of detritus. I ordered sand sized 1-2, still good for a sand sifter and won't blow around. Maybe the thing to do is take out some old and put new on top? Though I've read you should not do that.

My 2 goals here are: take at least half rock out to clean and blow out and scrub algae fuzz and have sand that doesn't blow around. That will also help my parameters of no3 and po4. Not many corals left (neglected tank) and fish all healthy. You can see yesterday's build entry for what corals I have left.
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
Here you go @brandon429. I spent 2 dday scaping glass clean so had used the powerheads to keep blowing the stuff off the sand bed. (you can see in build thread the "before" pic. Sandbed in back is a bit dirtier. I had 3 powerheads fail and didn't k now it (currents, hooked together)

In the past I used a turkey baster to blast sand, sections at a time during water changes. Of course that put sand in water column and onto rocks. I plan to go back to that, unless I can suck stuff during water changes with new sand. Current sand is too fine to do that.
20200924_122527_resized.jpg


Sand and dirty rock

20200924_122539_resized.jpg


20200924_122553_resized.jpg

Goby and shrimp home
20200924_122604_resized.jpg
20200924_122623_resized.jpg
.
 
OP
Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 28, 2016
Messages
2,571
Reaction score
2,301
Location
Tracy, California
oh, I usually use my algae blade scrapper to get along front where it looks nasty but I was putting so much ick from the glass on 3 sides, I didn't want to do more.
 
Corals.com

Which do you prefer?

  • A few LARGE, not as colorful less expensive, coral colonies filling your tank

    Votes: 22 48.9%
  • A lot of TINY, but very colorful more expensive, frags covering the rock

    Votes: 17 37.8%
  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 6 13.3%

Online statistics

Members online
2,057
Guests online
4,398
Total visitors
6,455
Top