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Innovative Marine Aquariums

How to add more sand to already running tank?


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I have a 12 gallon tank with 10 pounds of live sand already. I just got a pistol shrimp and goby and would like to make my sand bed deeper for digging. Is it safe to add more live sand into a already running tank? will it cause my tank to cycle agian? Its only been running for 3 months. Whats the best way to put the sand in?

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I think you should be fine. I used a small coffee cup and scooped it in one cup at a time, slowly lowering the cup and depositing on the sandbed, it takes a few minutes but you should find the water will not get too cloudy.

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when i added more sand i filled a cup with 3/4 new sand slowly lowered it into the water only to fill the cup up with water. i got all the sand wet so there was no air bubbles. then i lowered it and poured it where i wanted it.


i had minimal cloudiness.

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You don't even have to use live sand as long as you rinse it really really well. I'd just add one small cup a day for a few days until you get enough in there. It will become live essentially overnight if you're spreading it around a little bit.


For rinsing, I normally run it under a faucet for a while until the water is totally clear. Then pour fresh RO/DI water over it until you feel you've sufficiently rinsed it. Then lower it in.

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Well, got rinsing covered I think... :) When adding it to the tank I do the icing bag method. FIll up whatever size ziplock bag works for you, squeeze out any excess air and seal it shut. Snip the bottom corner off the bag and decorate tank bottom. Bigger the hole the faster it comes out. Easy to go around the base of rocks and such.



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rise in a bucket with RO till it runs clear


2" pvc pipe inserted into your tank (needs to be taller than your tank or atleast above your water line). Add sand into pipe & let it slide down the pipe till it hits your sand bed. Add as much or as little as you want.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you get the bio sand complete, it actually cleans your tank because they pack it with bacteria. I fill up a small cup with it and try to dump it towards the bottom.

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