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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I would like to change my 2 10g tanks over to fully planted tanks. Right now, I have a mix of live and fake plants, some which should be planted in substrate (but aren't yet :-? ) and some which are attached to decor (java fern) and some floaters.

What I would like to do is remove the gravel (regular tank gravel) and replace with sand, specifically the carib sea Tahitian Moon sand.

I am not sure how to do this without wrecking my tank cycle or having to redo my entire tank (each 10g is divided into 2 sections with 1 betta in each side, so 4 bettas total between the 2 tanks). The dividers are craft mesh and can be removed easily.

I was thinking about pushing all the existing gravel to one side, and adding the sand in, wait a week and then remove the rest (to allow the bacteria to remain in the tank) but I'm not sure if a week is long enough, or if there is a better way to go about this.

I saw a good guide on how to add sand into the tank with a bottle, but wasn't sure about bacteria and such. I also searched the forums here but didn't see anything relevant in the search results. May have been using the wrong keywords :/

Does anyone have any suggestions for approaching this? Has anyone done it themselves? Please help :) Thanks in advance.
 

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While your bacteria does live in the gravel, it resides primarily in the filter so you don't have to worry about taking out the gravel or anything; it won't hurt.

I use a net, careful the net may bend with the weight of the gravel, and I just scoop it out into a bucket until it's all or mostly gone. Then I use that water bottle method to get the sand in there; works perfectly! Much easier with a smaller tank as well (recently did this with a 45 gallon >.< uggg, waayyy too much work! Should have used a 1 or 2 liter bottle lol!)
 

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Well, when I did this, I am 75% sure that I didn't wreck my cycle too harshly. I just made sure that my filter was in tank water and that I didn't take too long.

What I did was I completely gutted my tank, made sure that all of the gravel was out, put your dividers in, then put the caribsea moon sand in. It was really easy because it's wet, so I just had to smooth it down. As long as your filter stays wet, I wouldn't worry too much about your cycle crashing since that's where the majority of the bacteria live.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much for your replies, I feel much better about this now! Going to have to set aside a Saturday to tackle this :)
 
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