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Gravel question

This is a discussion on Gravel question within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hey all, I was looking into alternatives to the expensive gravel found at petco and petsmart. I found all purpose gravel, pea pebbles, and ...

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Old 12-07-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
 
Gravel question

Hey all, I was looking into alternatives to the expensive gravel found at petco and petsmart. I found all purpose gravel, pea pebbles, and play sand by quikrete from home depot. Would these be okay to put use for my tank? I've got some corys, barbs, and gouramis with some live plants mixed in.
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:06 PM   #2
 
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I'm not an "expert" by any means, but I have heard of people doing that. The only thing I would recomend is boiling them really good/washing them before you put them in, especially the pea gravel, because it is often crushed gravel, so it may look white but after a wash it is a totally different colour, due to the dust on them. I think it's worth a shot, good luck and let me know how it goes
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
 
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gravel

the pea gravel works great after countlessl washes in a bucket or metal caulender under an outside hose...as backer said its pretty dusty stuff....
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Old 12-08-2010, 01:02 AM   #4
 
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WASH WASH WASH!!!!! when i set up my 60 gallon i went with some dark pea gravel stuff. it came in a bag, i placed the bag in the tank and cut it open, then i went ahead and added some water, BAD IDEA!!! the water was black and nasty. I then tried to do water changes all week long and ended up having to drain all the water, scoop out the rocks and wash them with a collander. loks great now. Be carefull with boiling them, (read the stickynote in this forum). I have also bought scrap pieces of decrative stone and used that, just ask to make sure no pesticides have been used on or around it and wash wash wash. hope this was not too long and it helps ya out.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:38 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by lrmaya View Post
Hey all, I was looking into alternatives to the expensive gravel found at petco and petsmart. I found all purpose gravel, pea pebbles, and play sand by quikrete from home depot. Would these be okay to put use for my tank? I've got some corys, barbs, and gouramis with some live plants mixed in.
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I'd get pool filter sand.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:56 AM   #6
 
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Bottom feeders especially LOVE sand. I have play sand in my tanks and the kuhli's & cory's adore it. Easy to clean, too, once you get a little practice. As everyone has said, wash wash wash! No matter what you use. The real key is using something which doesn't change your water chemistry. Unless you have hard water fish that need the added minerals, but thats a whole different issue. :) Your soft water fish will appreciate sand and lots of driftwood. :)
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:36 AM   #7
 
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I would love to try sand at some point but have always been hesitant. How does cleaning work. Pretty easy with gravel. Does sand work the same way when you are useing the vacum? Does the waste settle so it can't be seen?
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:19 AM   #8
 
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I would love to try sand at some point but have always been hesitant. How does cleaning work. Pretty easy with gravel. Does sand work the same way when you are useing the vacum? Does the waste settle so it can't be seen?
Sand is much easier to keep clean than gravel, IME. As long as you get sand that's not super fine, you don't have to worry about sucking it out. Pool filter sand is large enough that it won't get kicked up in the water, either.

I was hesitant, but once I switched one tank to sand, I soon switched them all.

Yes, waste will settle on the surface of the sand. If your filtration is strong, it'll get swept along (with help from fish swimming by) and sucked up by the intake. For water changes, making tiny circles with the nozzle about an inch off the bottom is enough to get the waste up off the bottum so it can be sucked out without sucking the sand out.
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by jaysee View Post
Sand is much easier to keep clean than gravel, IME. As long as you get sand that's not super fine, you don't have to worry about sucking it out. Pool filter sand is large enough that it won't get kicked up in the water, either.

I was hesitant, but once I switched one tank to sand, I soon switched them all.

Yes, waste will settle on the surface of the sand. If your filtration is strong, it'll get swept along (with help from fish swimming by) and sucked up by the intake. For water changes, making tiny circles with the nozzle about an inch off the bottom is enough to get the waste up off the bottum so it can be sucked out without sucking the sand out.
+1!
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Old 12-08-2010, 11:26 AM   #10
 
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AWSOME Thanks!! We are looking into getting another tank andi think i am going to try sand now. I am assuming the best place to get the filter sand is a pool store?!

thanks again
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