Changing out old sand

Need an easy way to change out o,d sand
Tank has been running for about 5 yrs but the sand was left over from a larger tank
It's been rinsed several times, tank was torn down and reset up a few months ago
Still getting nasty rust colored algae
Would like to replace with new sand


Well-Known Member
Typically we don’t recomend Messing with the sand bed at all. Toxins will be released that can while out a tank. This is assuming you have fish. You can siphon off small amounts from a single area once a week or so while you are doing regular water changes, till most of it is gone, you should be OK. You will need to monitor for ammonia and keep your nose tuned for hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell). be Prepared to do large water changes if you detect either.


Staff member
Imforbis is absolutely correct. Biological filtration is all about surface area. The sand bed in a reef tank is typically 90% of that surface area. The brown algae is most likely a silicate variety and can be easily resolved with regular water changes, reduced feeding and lighting cycle control. How long are you running the lights? Is the system near a window? Keep in mind, whenever you rinse or remove stable nitrifying bacteria, your system will experience a bacterial bloom (aka) hard cycle to compensate for the new nutrient load. All bad. Your best move would be to add some snails and hermit crabs, reduce lights to no more than 7 hours per day, do a 10% water change and be very careful not to over feed. If food is hitting the bottom or ending up on your filter, you're feeding too much. Please feel free to reach out anytime.


How long are you running the lights? Is the system near a window?

kodi nox
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