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Best way to rinse sand?

This is a discussion on Best way to rinse sand? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina If you're planning to have any type of bottom feeders or substrate fish, or fish that like to sift through ...

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Best way to rinse sand?
Old 03-09-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
If you're planning to have any type of bottom feeders or substrate fish, or fish that like to sift through the sand, be very careful with your choice of sand. Sand is DEF ideal for these types of fish IF it is the right kind of sand. I've heard of people having problems with sand blasting sand and Tahitian Moon Sand. People have reported barbel erosion and infection with these sands in substrate fish, and gill inflammation in sifting fish. I'm not sure about other types of sand. I can say that I haven't heard bad things about play sand, and my own experience has been trouble-free.

The planning stage is so exciting! Good luck!
Where do you get play sand at?

I know I plan on getting a Albino Long Fin Pleco, and a few Kuhli Loaches. I'd rather not run the risk of having those parts of their mouths bothered by the wrong sand match up.

Last edited by Sanguinefox; 03-09-2012 at 09:01 AM..
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:54 AM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanguinefox View Post
Where do you get play sand at?

I know I plan on getting a Albino Long Fin Pleco, and a few Kuhli Loaches. I'd rather not run the risk of having those parts of their mouths bothered by the wrong sand match up.
The kuhli loach should definitely have a sand substrate. They like to burrow.

I use Quikrete Play Sand which I get from Home Depot, and Lowe's also carries it I believe. Takes a lot of rinsing, but it is a nice looking and very authentic substrate. For a 75g, which is presumably 4 feet long by 18 inches wide, two 55 lb bags will do it. You don't want more than about 2 inches depth overall, and two bags will give you this plus a bit spare which is always nice to "fill in" with.

Byron.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
 
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I have also used the Quikrete play sand from Lowe's, and I have used Paverstone brand play sand from Walmart (which is NOT paver sand, that's a completely different thing), and I have also used another brand from The Home Depot, but the name is eluding me ATM. All the brands have been great, and since there is usually sand spilled on the floor at the store, you have a chance to feel the sand, rub it between your palms, to make sure that its not too sharp/abrasive. The color varies somewhat by batch, IME.

I think the problem I mentioned earlier with certain brands and types is that the sharpness varies by batch. If you choose to use a sand other than play sand, I would make sure you have a chance to feel it first. I don't know if a pocket magnifying glass might help, if you can't feel it.

If you use my method for cleaning play sand, which is messy and wasteful (and fun!) but produces very clean sand, I would use 3 50# bags of play sand.

You can also google close up images of the sand you want to buy. For example, this is pool filter sand:



You can see the grains are all roughly spherical and very smooth edged.

Below is CaribSea "Torpedo Beach Sand":



You can see that the grains are much more irregularly shaped and are sharper.

On this site, that sells kinds of sand for sand blasting (Clemtex.com - Abrasive Media | Black Beauty, Green Diamond, Green Lightning, Starblast XL, Garnet, Aluminum Oxide, ALOX, Steel Grit) it states that "Black Beauty is a mineral slag that has sharp diamond-like cutting edges, and does not attract moisture, while providing fast cleaning rates, and an excellent anchor profile for a superior coating adhesion." Wow! "Sharp diamond-like cutting edges" is NOT something I would want my substrate fish on!
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:15 PM   #14
 
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The kuhli loach should definitely have a sand substrate. They like to burrow.

I use Quikrete Play Sand which I get from Home Depot, and Lowe's also carries it I believe. Takes a lot of rinsing, but it is a nice looking and very authentic substrate. For a 75g, which is presumably 4 feet long by 18 inches wide, two 55 lb bags will do it. You don't want more than about 2 inches depth overall, and two bags will give you this plus a bit spare which is always nice to "fill in" with.

Byron.
I was going to get one but they are far too small (the ones in stock at place I went too). I'd rather not buy them to become Bichir food.

I do believe that is what I picked up today. I set up my tank with the stuff (with play sand).

Last edited by Sanguinefox; 03-09-2012 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #15
 
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Sponge for HOB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinaMinaMina View Post
Warning! Don't run your filter on a tank that is cloudy due to sand if you have an HOB style filter! You'll kill your impeller in a hot minute! This method is only safe with canister and sponge filters!

Also, if you have an HOB, you'll want to fit a sponge over the intake tube. In an HOB, the water goes past the impeller before it hits the mechanical filtration that would screen out sand. So this is why sand kills the impellor. On canisters, the water goes through mechanical filtration before it hits any moving parts. And sponge filters don't have any moving parts, of course. So fit a pre-filter sponge over your intake tube on an HOB in case a fish kicks up some sand while the filter's running. Bonus, the sponge will increase your biofiltration and increase the longevity of your mechanical filtration.

Good luck!

Mina, Was wondering what kind of sponge you would use to put on HOB filters? Do they all fit the same intake tubes? or do you need a certain sponge to fit a certain sized tube?
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:59 AM   #16
 
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I use this:



Its a tube made of sponge, manufactured by Eshopps. I paid $5 US at my LFS. I bunch one end together and tie a rubber band around it. Then I turn it inside out and slide it over the intake tube (without strainer, Marineland filters). I make sure to leave at least 1.5" of single-layer sponge between the end of the intake and the start of the bunched up sponge so I don't stress my filter too much by making it draw water through too many layers of sponge... if that makes sense. The finished product looks like a boom mike. You could, if you wanted, secure the sponge with another rubber band, but I don't. I find that it stays in place just fine, and the rubber band would ruin the aesthetics. I like this method because it looks tidy and blends well into the back ground. But, honestly, there are cheaper methods and really any sponge material you can get to stay over your intake will work.

For maintainance, be sure to squeeze it out through in dechlorinated water each week with your water change. If it should have more debris for some reason, clean it as needed. You'll want to be sure that it doesn't attract too much detritus, as this can strain your filter. But I haven't had any problems with that.

Good luck!
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:35 AM   #17
 
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Everything you need to know:
HOW TO: Add Sand To Your Aquarium - YouTube
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:12 AM   #18
 
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My only issue with that video is the type of sand used. White sand should not be used as a substrate for any but a very few fish. I understand that it is possible to get black pool filter sand, that would work. Substrates should always be darker rather than lighter in colour.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:38 PM   #19
 
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Oh I agree, I always use dark sand. In fact my current substrate, I was lucky with because it came in a non-transparent package but is an attractive dark brown.
White Sand is pretty much another bright light for a lot of fish, which in turn causes stress.
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