View Full Version : Cleaning Sand when upgrading tanks?

03-26-2007, 09:48 PM
Im upgrading my 10g nano tank to a 20g tank, due to a leak (have had the tank for 17+ years) and i was wondering if anyone cleans their substate when they move or upgrade their tanks?
I know there is alot of deterious sp? buildup is the substrate, i use Caribsea aragonite <2mm and it is 2-3in deep.
Should i be cleaning this before i put it in the new tank? or just put it in "as is" and deal with the tank clouding for a day?
Also is there any chance of releasing traped nitrates or amonia from the sand when doing this?

I don't want to go BB either i still like the natural look of the sand :biggrin:

03-27-2007, 07:05 PM

Reefer Rob
03-27-2007, 07:44 PM
It's best to buy new sand when you switch tanks. Skim a little of your old sand off the top if you want to "seed" your new tank. If you had a DSB it gets really nasty down deep, I wouldn't want to re-used it. Lately I've gone to about a 3/4" sand bed, which I stir a couple of times a week (like a Zeo reactor)

03-28-2007, 02:38 AM
i've read alot about not using it and some saying they used their sand again. so i'll chime in here for ya, from own personal experience...i've done it at least 3 times without incident, not even a hiccup. i rinsed very well till there was virtually nothing left to rinse and voila!! hope this helps.

oh yeah, don't forget that the sand you're paying $30/bag for has been used before already :wink: .

03-28-2007, 03:17 AM
I took old sand from my 60gal and moved some into a new biocube i just got. I don't see why there would be any problems. Then again my 60gal isn't exactly aged yet either.

03-28-2007, 04:51 AM
You can use it , just make sure to wash out all the dirt. Or it will spike your nutrient count, and it will lower your ORP very rapidly. Sand beds use a lot of oxygen. Changes like that are not welcomed by the corals so wash it good.
Well, you know you need to use your tank water for washing right?

03-28-2007, 06:08 PM
...and it will lower your ORP very rapidly...

What is ORP?

03-28-2007, 07:10 PM
Well, you know you need to use your tank water for washing right?

I thought if i washed it i could use RODI water, and some tank water. I need to save as much water as i can for the Transfer to the bigger tank (going from a 10gal to a 20 gal)

03-28-2007, 07:12 PM
What is ORP?

ORP = oxidation reduction potential IIRC

Reefer Rob
03-28-2007, 07:30 PM
The best way to remove phosphate is to soak it in RODI water, changing the water every day or two until it has leached out of the sand. (not sure how long) If it was only an SSB, and you aren't keeping SPS I wouldn't worry about it.

03-28-2007, 11:21 PM
how about using the 10g as a sump and leaving the sand bed as is... thats what i plan to do when i upgrade my 20g to a 33g

03-29-2007, 03:27 PM
I think im going to use the 10 gallon as a hospital/quarintine/frag tank. I just built a stand so i can hide it benieth my 20g. I guess i'll just leave the sand in there, maybe seed a little into the 20 after i wash it.

03-29-2007, 03:39 PM
When I swapped my 180's, I shoveled (literally with a dust pan) all my sand into pails, did a quick rinse with tank water, then dumped it into the new 180G.

I saved all the old water I could, and put what wasn't in drums holding my rock back into the tank and ran a diatom filter on it for 2 days, stirring it a couple times a day, and changing the bed in the diatom at times every couple of hours when it plugged.

I have not seen any issues in my tank since everything was put back in.