Changing black live sand to white

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. 2111 views

  • Posts: 2
  • Liked: 2
  • Thanks Given: 0
  • Received: 0

Hi guys,
I have my reef tank (Aqua Nano 40) 55 Litre for 2 years and I'm thinking about changing my black live sand (1.5 inch deep) to white. I'm not sure if I should just buy a bag of live sand and replace it. At the moment I have a pair of clownfish and 5 hermit in there. I have lots of pods in my tank and I know I might lose some of them. I'm also afraid that ammonia in my tank might increase and kill all the animal. I'm not sure what to do really.... Please give me some suggestions, I will be greatly appriciate it. Moreover, I really want some small tiny grain of white live sand but not sure what brand I should buy and if they have a specific name for it?
Thank you very much for your time.


  • Administrator
  • Posts: 8,616
  • Liked: 1968
  • Thanks Given: 692
  • Received: 1211
  • Location: Manchester
  • Tank Thread:'-tanks-6/i-conica's-tank-(picture-heavy!)/

Reply #1

Hi, Nick.

I wouldn't bother buying live sand. I think it's a bit of snake oil that bacteria and microfauna stay alive for months inside sealed plastic bags. It would become anoxic and everything would die.

How much live rock do you have? The rock will provide ample surface area for bacterial colonisation, so you won't be losing all that much by removing the black sand.

Removing the sand will kick up a lot of detritus, and so you're best siphoning it out during water changes. You probably can't siphon/vacuum it out all in one water changes' worth of water, but you can do it progressively over several water changes. It's ok for the tank to be pretty much bare bottomed, some tanks are bare bottomed deliberately.

Once all the black substrate is out, you can then rinse your new crushed coral sand and then handball it into the tank (powerheads off) and job done.

Get some pictures of the tank up.  ;)

Also, you can create a tank thread to document your tank in.
Donate to the running of ReefBase


  • Posts: 1,038
  • Liked: 286
  • Thanks Given: 435
  • Received: 211
  • Location: Birmingham
  • Tank Thread:'-tanks-6/hdreef-tank/

Reply #2

Hi Nick, don't forget to rinse the new substrate with RO water and not with tap water;)

The small tiny grain sand could get blown all over the tank. Depend on if you have planned to keep any corals on the sand, if you have planned to do so then I'd recommend sand size 3-5mm
Last Edit: Jul 13, 2015 8:01:07 pm by Hai

Nick Fakthep

  • Posts: 2
  • Liked: 2
  • Thanks Given: 0
  • Received: 0

Reply #3

Hi Guys,
Thanks for the replies. I have 2 brain corals in my black sand. Might get a bit bigger grain for the corals. I have about 6 Kg of live rocks in my tank. I'm thinking about having only 1 inch of sand so it's easier to clean. I will upload some picture after I finished changing it. Thanks a lot guys.  8D


Related Topics

7 Replies
Last post May 14, 2016 9:37:22 am
by Debbiem
6 Replies
Last post Oct 30, 2016 5:55:46 pm
by Actionman
2 Replies
Last post Dec 3, 2018 3:09:50 pm
by ajm83
4 Replies
Last post Jun 24, 2020 7:28:06 pm
by Carol
3 Replies
Last post Jul 4, 2020 9:18:17 pm
by ajm83