Potential tank transplant and sand


New member
Apologies, I have read a hundred threads like this on here, but when it's your own tank, you want to make sure you know your options.

Long story short, a framed picture fell onto my tank earlier this week and shattered the glass lid to my Eheim Aquastyle 9-gallon tank. It sucked. I have been trying everything I can to get a replacement, but it's looking like I may have to buy the tank again in order to replace just the lid, since it doesn't seem to be available at all, anywhere. I have contacted Eheim support twice with no response, so I assume I'm kind of screwed on that front.

I figure, sine I have to get a new tank (because I can't deal with the frequency of lidless top-offs), I might just want to get a different tank altogether.

I'd like to get sand instead of gravel this time, but I really don't want to lose all of the diversity and built-in cleanup of the substrate I have now. If I choose to go with all new sand, will I see big losses in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem? Alternatively, I wouldn't mind keeping the gravel if it would be better to do so, but I know that just kicks up all kinds of nitrates and bad stuff that has been baking underneath for a long time.

I guess I'm looking to see what others have had success with, what to expect, and hopefully get some piece of mind about going one way or another on this.

Also, any recommendations for nanos in the 10-gallon range would be greatly appreciated!


New member
I would certainly not utilize old substrate..
While you will loose some the population will likely replenish itself just via whats still in the rock coming out and establishing itself in the sand again..

You could always just keep 50% of it or whatever and cover it right up with sand..

Isn't the lid for that Aquastyle just a flat piece of glass? Go to a glass shop and get one made... .Even just a piece of acrylic (then it won't break when you get wild again)


Super Best Friends!
Premium Member
I'd use some of the old gravel along with the new sand. I saw an increase in pod growth when I added some crushed coral in and around the rock structures in an old tank. I just piled it in some out of sight places in the aquascape. You could use your gravel to fit that role and add new sand everywhere else.

The most important thing is not transferring a ton of detritus with the swap, which is why you normally want to use fresh sand in a new tank. Feel free to use the rock/water though.


New member
Google versa-Top glass aquarium tank lids, they make all sizes & they are hinged along with a plastic pc that clips onto the back which can be cut for anything that is in tank but hanging out. I purchased 2 from them they are great & i have almost no evaporation at all.
And they can be cut which i had to do to both just a tad, i used a wet saw but im sure a glass shop could also do that for cheap.

Crooked Reef

Active member
I second the not using old substrate and go to a glass shop. I was going to have some glass sump baffles made and a local glass shop would cut the panes and polish the edges for about $25. You will lose some biological population, but like mcgyvr said it will replenish very quickly. I recently pulled the black sand from my Biocube and put white sand in without issue, though admittedly I had no fish in there at the time and added a cup of sand from a well established reef.