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Going from Flourite to Sand

This is a discussion on Going from Flourite to Sand within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> a tip on sand, of any kind, rinse it till you think it looks good, then rinse it 3 more times :) I am ...

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Going from Flourite to Sand
Old 09-29-2011, 11:08 AM   #11
 
a tip on sand, of any kind, rinse it till you think it looks good, then rinse it 3 more times :) I am going through hell with mine, and i thought i had rinsed it enough after 20 mins of swishing, draining, rinsing, repeat... and my tank is STILL cloudy after 2 50% water changes, god I am glad I have not put in the good water yet!
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:36 AM   #12
 
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Originally Posted by Sabledog View Post
a tip on sand, of any kind, rinse it till you think it looks good, then rinse it 3 more times :) I am going through hell with mine, and i thought i had rinsed it enough after 20 mins of swishing, draining, rinsing, repeat... and my tank is STILL cloudy after 2 50% water changes, god I am glad I have not put in the good water yet!
I took the gravel out and poured about 2-3 inches of sand into the bottom of the tank. Filled it up, and did probably about six 75% water changes before it got to be partially cloudy. 12 hours later, see the picture I just posted. I WILL NEVER NOT FULLY RINSE THE SAND AGAIN! I wanted to pull my hair out.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:45 AM   #13
 
For those looking for black sand you might find this discussion helpful. It is about black diamond blasting sand which is 8 dollars for a 50 lb bag and many people have found it looks exactly like the tahitian moonsand

Black Sand


When I bought it, I found mine had weird shaped pieces but my experience seems to be in the minority. Maybe I bought the wrong grade. Anyway... it has a lot of fans
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #14
 
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On the amount of sand needed for a 29g. You want about a 2-inch depth across the tank; you can deepen this a bit at the back for larger-rooted plants (use rock or wood to build it up a bit) and have it less (1 inch) at the front. I used a half bag of playsand for my 29g, which is about 25 pounds (12 kg).

I have changed tank substrates several times, and would offer these suggestions to make it smoother (and safer for the fish). If you don't already have one, buy a spare tank; a 20g will suffice. Just the tank, nothing else. A used one that doesn't leak is fine. When you're ready to start, place it close to the existing tank on a stable table, chair, whatever; I've even used the floor. Fill the 20g with water siphoned from the existing tank, leaving a couple inches at the top (fish jump). Place the existing filter in the spare tank, running, and the heater. Move over any wood, rock, decor you want to keep, and the plants; plants can be left floating. Then net the fish over. Fish as I say do jump, so at this point I usually use the cover (minus the light) from the 29g to lay across the 20g. No light because this is less stressful.

Remove the existing substrate from the 29g. If you want to keep it, a suitable container is a clean (new) garbage pail or tub that you can buy for a couple dollars from Home Depot and similar places. Clean the inside of the tank; it is easier to get off algae and such when empty. Add the washed sand and spread it. Fill the tank with tap water at the approximate temp of the spare tank, add dechlorinator. Place a soup bowl or similar dish on the bottom and run the water into that to avoid displacing the sand. Half fill the tank. Move the wood, rock, decor over, and plant it. At this stage, if it is really cloudy from all the digging into the sand, i do a water change down to the substrate, then refill as before, adding conditioner at the very start. Move the filter/heater over. Test the pH and temp to see if it is close to the water in the spare tank. I always have the temp in the new tank a tad warmer than the temp in the spare; it is better to move fish into warmer rather than cooler water. If the pH is more than a couple decimal points different, I siphon out about half the water from the spare and replace it with tap, just like a normal water change, using the conditioner. I might do this a second time, half the tank. Then net the fish over.

Byron.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:56 AM   #15
 
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That sounds like a good idea. As far as getting a new tank, would a large Rubbermaid bin work? One not used for anything else.

Also, will adding new plants and getting rid of some of my old plants at the same time be too much stress for the fish?
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:00 PM   #16
 
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I have two 10 gallon tanks with the Tahitian moon sand. I do like the black look, but it is expensive. I did rinse the Tahitian moon sand in a 5-gallon bucket repeatedly but still had some initial cloudiness. It cleared after a day. I thought about the blasting sand, but the shipping costs were high, at least where I was looking. I'm going with the playsand for a planted 40 breeder, for looks and cost-efficiency, but I have not started the rinse process yet!

Hint: when rinsing sand of any type, wear some latex, nitrile, or dishwashing gloves. I hate getting sharp sand grains wedged under my fingernails!

Last edited by DKRST; 09-29-2011 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:02 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by Jbrofish8 View Post
That sounds like a good idea. As far as getting a new tank, would a large Rubbermaid bin work? One not used for anything else.

Also, will adding new plants and getting rid of some of my old plants at the same time be too much stress for the fish?
No on stress from changing plants. They will obviously be stressed from going through this, but that can't be helped. A big advantage of the spare tank is that you can take your time. I have even left fish in the spare for 2-3 days when I redid my 115g. They didn't have much space, 95 fish from a 115g moved into a 29g full of huge chunks of wood and all the plants...but they managed.

I always think it handy to have a spare tank on hand. And a 20g is a decent size. It can be handy when re-aquascaping the wood, moving plants, whatever. The tub would work, as will pails, though less controllable for filtration.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #18
 
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Just a tip I use a lot of sand what with my hermits and fiddler crabs I pick mine up at the landscaping place . You can get mortar sand that bricklayers use Its pretty clean takes way less time to clean then playsand. IT is fine but I like the look of it. They only charge me 3.00 for a garbage pail full.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:51 PM   #19
 
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Tank cleared up nicely, now 24 hours after the switch. I'm so much happier with the new substrate. Fish really seem to enjoy it more too.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:32 AM   #20
 
looks good.
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