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how do a change substrates?


Feb 2, 2008
i want to change my substrates but i'm not sure of the best way to do this. attm i have a 3 inch deep sandbed but i want to take it out and add fiji mud and mineral mud. but what is the best way i can do this without clouding the water that much(if thats possible). thanks!
If you want to remove it slowly (or in sections), I have found using a siphon hose works well for sand but you will be doing major water changes at the time. Slowly scouping with a Solo cup works for the first couple of open inches but you will still muck up the water (not a big deal if you have been stirring the sand bed, if not you stand a chance of exposing dangerous bacteria in the deaper dead areas). I have used a long automotive funnel to replace/add substrate with better luck than just dumping but I don't know if anything will help with mud. Hopefully Thales will have some suggestions but I think he started with an empty (as in no occupants) tank when he created his environment.
You could always get one of those plastic square critter keepers, fill it with fiji mud, and place it on the sandbed. That was the octo could access it and make a burrow if it felt the need to.
Can you just cover the sand, maybe in just half the tank? You don't want to lose all that filtration. If you remove everything you will be starting the tank from scratch. If the tank is brand new now - bag up that octo and send it over! :biggrin2:

The muds are going to cloud your tank. A lot. You'll want something like a canister filter with a pleated cartridge to filter out the fines - without it, you tank may be cloudy for days.

Brocks idea is great too - thought the occy will prolly set up shop right behind the critter keeper or between the keeper and the tank wall.
the tank has been up for about 5 months. she seems to burrow in the sand fine for now. i think i might use brocks idea or put it in the back corner of the tank where theres not as much flow. hopefully that will help with the cloudiness. thanks!