Question: How to transition from sand to no substrate?

benwitz2

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Hi everyone,
I've been using a very fine sand substrate for my leucistic for the last year and a half, but I want to transition to no substrate. It's a 20 gal tank with a large sponge filter. I want to do this because 1) it's a hastle to clean and 2) I didn't know about the "stirring" rule, so now I have weird brown stuff under the sand bed (like in the cross section) which could be poisonous gas bubbles, or algae.
My question is will getting rid of the sand necessitate a new cycle? If I'm correct, a lot of beneficial bacteria lives in the sand, in addition to the filter. What is the best way to go around transitioning to no substrate?
 

Otterwoman

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Just remove it all at once. There should be a bacterial film on everything else in the tank. Any decorations, plants, or even the sides of the tank, in addition to the filter.
 
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