02-27-2012, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Geomancer
So how did you clean your play sand Byron?
I'm trying it in a 10 gallon betta tank, but wow is it dirty! I spent about a half hour outside with the hose and a couple buckets of sand stirring it up, dumping, repeat ad nauseam. I got it to the point that I could fill it with the hose spray hitting the side of the bucket and not causing the gravel to stir up.
I used a bowl when filling the tank to keep the disturbance as small as possible, but it still clouded up something fierce. I added a bucket, removed a bucket, back and forth until it cleared up again and filled the rest of the way. That worked well ... until the cory's were added and those guys sure like to dig! They've completely rearranged the sand and is always cloudy now >.>
For my planned 120/125g I'm thinking of trying to find ~1 mm gravel instead hoping it will be easier to clean while soft enough for loaches.
First, I think we sometimes confuse cloudiness from sand with a bacterial bloom. The latter will always occur when a new substrate is added, simply because you have removed the former substrate which will have been biologically very active. My 115g had bacterial bloom for a few months, then suddenly it cleared, and literally overnight. My 29g which I just tore down and reset with sand two weeks ago, took 4 days to clear (bacteria bloom here too). It varies.
To the sand cloudiness. I wash playsand in a bucket in the sink in the utility room; I'm not going outside in near-freezing winter to use a hose.
I put about 5 cups (measuring cups) in a 3 gallon pail, run warm water in, stir, dump water, and repeat. Probably 7-8 times. I judge by sight. When I fill the bucket without manually stirring the sand and I can see the sand, albeit hazy, I am done. When the sand is in the empty tank, I smooth it out as I want it, add wood/rock if being used, then fill about 4-5 inches water depth (using dechlorinator), then drain, then fill about 2/3 running the water into a large bowl. Plant. If this stirs up the sand too much, I completely drain and refill again. Start the filter and heater. Add fish.