Cleaning Sand? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-27-2009, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning Sand?

We are thinking of switching from gravel to sand. What does it take to clean sand and how frequently should it be done?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-27-2009, 03:07 AM
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I have sand in a couple tanks. Before placing the sand in the tank. approx one pound per gal,, You will want to get a large rubbermaid tub or equivalent and dump five to ten pounds of sand into this tub. Then using garden hose, fill the tub to cover the sand and dump and repeat several times to remove small grains and or dirt or other particles. You can then soop the sand from the tub and place it in the tank. Then place a small bowl or dsh on the surface of the sand and allow the water entering the aquarium to hit the dish or bowl. This will help to keep clouding to a minimum. After the tank has filled,, .I would suggest waiting for an hour or two ,or even overnight,to turn on the filter in the aquarium. Water will usually clear within 24 hours assuming you rinsed the sand sufficiently.
To maintain the sand,You hold gravel vaccum just above the sand to remove debri as opposed to shoving the gravel vac into the sand as you would do with gravel. After you have vaccumed up all the debri on top of sand,,then you simply use a plastic fork or fingers to sift through the sand to prevent pockets of gas from forming that some believe, are harmful to fish. Or you can employ the use of malaysian trumpet snails that will sift through the sand and thus help keep said gas pockets from forming.
I have found that if sand is kept at depth of no more than two inches,, then there is no problem with gas pockets and I also use trumpet snails. Sand should be maintained weekly just as you would with gravel. Difference is,, with sand,, all of the gunk that needs to be removed with vaccum will be on top of the sand as opposed to finding it's way down into the gravel substrates.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.

Last edited by 1077; 08-27-2009 at 03:10 AM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-27-2009, 07:19 AM
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Here''s everything I know about sand:
http://www.fishforum.com/freshwater-...strates-20668/

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-27-2009, 07:33 AM
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YEAH! what Ty said. If I were forced to type a post as informative, and lengthy,, I believe I would shoot myself first!

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-27-2009, 11:43 AM
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If you use a very wide vacuum hose (like a 20oz soda bottle), you can stick it down into the sand and really get it clean (rather than just cleaning the topmost surface).
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-28-2009, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1077 View Post
YEAH! what Ty said. If I were forced to type a post as informative, and lengthy,, I believe I would shoot myself first!
Well, I originally posted that in the hopes it might become a sticky given the number of sand related questions we get. I also just typed it up once and reference if in times like these so I don't have to type it all again.

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post #7 of 11 Old 08-28-2009, 09:31 AM
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Gets my vote for being made a sticky!

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post #8 of 11 Old 08-28-2009, 10:57 AM
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mine too!! i've refrenced other members to it several times
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-28-2009, 12:24 PM
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I found that if you fill your tank half way with water and then slowly scoop your sand in, your water doesnt cloud at all.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-28-2009, 12:44 PM
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i think sand looks alot more naturaul than gravel BUT you will need to get your syphon down deep into the sand to stop solfer pockets from forming and when they do it will stink and the sand were the pocket is will be black but will do no harm if cleaned regularly. I have sand in two of my tanks with sting rays in them and I clean the sand 2 times a week and get in there DEEP. you can forget about putting live plants in with sand, the sand doesnt seem to alow for much if any flow to the roots and alow them to breath. you will want to clean it before better than anything you put in your tank if not there will be amillion things floating afterwords and it can cause havic with your filter.
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