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Help me set up my new 50 gallon (plants and fish)

This is a discussion on Help me set up my new 50 gallon (plants and fish) within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Yeah I saw the quickcrete sand at Lowe's and Home Depot for like $3 or $4 for 50# bag. Ill go ahead and get ...

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Help me set up my new 50 gallon (plants and fish)
Old 11-29-2011, 03:12 PM   #11
 
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Yeah I saw the quickcrete sand at Lowe's and Home Depot for like $3 or $4 for 50# bag. Ill go ahead and get that.

Now is it better to put the sand in before or after the water?

Nubster- not sure I like plain black sand.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:18 PM   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevysoldier View Post
Now is it better to put the sand in before or after the water?

Nubster- not sure I like plain black sand.
I do it before the water. Cut open the plastic bag the sand came in and place that on top of the sand in the tank. Pour the water onto the plastic. Keeps the same from getting stirred up.

As far as the black sand, it isn't the most natural looking but it sure does make the plants and fish pop.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:32 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevysoldier View Post
Yeah I saw the quickcrete sand at Lowe's and Home Depot for like $3 or $4 for 50# bag. Ill go ahead and get that.

Now is it better to put the sand in before or after the water?

Nubster- not sure I like plain black sand.

You must rinse the sand--rinse, and rinse, and rinse... you get the idea. It is very dirty, loaded with minuscule particles of dirt. If you do not rinse it well, the tank will be opaque for weeks.

Once you've rinsed it to the point where the runoff water is clear enough that you can see the sand in the bottom of the pail (for several rinsings it will not), put the rinsed sand in the tank. Add your hardscape (wood, rock). This disturbs the sand and if the tank has water it will be terribly dirty. Once the substrate and hardscape is done, slowly add water, letting the stream run into a soup dish or something to deflect it. I always add about 4-5 inches of water, it will be very dirty from the previous work, so I drain it out down to the substrate and then begin filling again. The tank will still be cloudy but not as bad.

Planting: you can plant after the above, which will obviously disturb the sand again. Or you can plant with the hardscape, but be careful as some plants will not "stand" in air and leaves and shoots can break easily. Or you can plant with just a bit of water, drain that water, and then fill.

The cloudiness that remains after all this will dissipate and is not harmful. Sometimes a few days, in my 115g it took a few weeks.
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #14
 
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Some filter floss goes along way in clearing it up faster too.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:32 PM   #15
 
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Lowest has Quickrete playsand and its light colored. Typical sandbox stuff. They also have Quickrete general purpose sand. It is darker but seems dirtier. Its the type for building and the type. Im confused on which you have byron.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:49 PM   #16
 
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This?
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:59 PM   #17
 
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Yes, i have the playsand. At HD I saw the other, it was identical (to me, under the store lights) in colour and I nearly bought it as I thought it was a tad more coarse. But it felt sharper, as one would expect from a mortar-type sand, so I went with the playsand.

You can see the playsand in my 33g and 115g tank photos.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:19 PM   #18
 
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Sorry I didn't reply before, I was sitting in Lowe's parking lot waiting for Byron to make sure I got the right stuff. lol I got a 50lb bag for $3.68 and a second bag that had lost a little bit from a hole for $1.80.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
I do it before the water. Cut open the plastic bag the sand came in and place that on top of the sand in the tank. Pour the water onto the plastic. Keeps the same from getting stirred up.

As far as the black sand, it isn't the most natural looking but it sure does make the plants and fish pop.
Good idea to use the bag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
You must rinse the sand--rinse, and rinse, and rinse... you get the idea. It is very dirty, loaded with minuscule particles of dirt. If you do not rinse it well, the tank will be opaque for weeks.

Once you've rinsed it to the point where the runoff water is clear enough that you can see the sand in the bottom of the pail (for several rinsings it will not), put the rinsed sand in the tank. Add your hardscape (wood, rock). This disturbs the sand and if the tank has water it will be terribly dirty. Once the substrate and hardscape is done, slowly add water, letting the stream run into a soup dish or something to deflect it. I always add about 4-5 inches of water, it will be very dirty from the previous work, so I drain it out down to the substrate and then begin filling again. The tank will still be cloudy but not as bad.

Planting: you can plant after the above, which will obviously disturb the sand again. Or you can plant with the hardscape, but be careful as some plants will not "stand" in air and leaves and shoots can break easily. Or you can plant with just a bit of water, drain that water, and then fill.

The cloudiness that remains after all this will dissipate and is not harmful. Sometimes a few days, in my 115g it took a few weeks.
Yeah, I have read a lot that it has to be rinsed. I rinse everything that goes in my tank but I'll be sure I rinse the sand really well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
Some filter floss goes along way in clearing it up faster too.
I'll probably run both the HOB and the canister for a little bit to clear it up quicker.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Yes, i have the playsand. At HD I saw the other, it was identical (to me, under the store lights) in colour and I nearly bought it as I thought it was a tad more coarse. But it felt sharper, as one would expect from a mortar-type sand, so I went with the playsand.

You can see the playsand in my 33g and 115g tank photos.
Maybe it's my computer but your tanks look darker than what's in the bags which is why I was so confused. The general purpose sand did seem sharper but it also seemed to have a lot more crud in it.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:08 PM   #19
 
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Maybe their playsand is lighter coloured in Ohio.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:20 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
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Maybe their playsand is lighter coloured in Ohio.
That is a very real possibility.
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