question about sand - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-19-2012, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
question about sand

had a question for you guys who use sand. how do you vacuum it? i would assume it would just make a real mess and alot would get sucked up the tube.

i like the play sand idea but i also read somewhere on here that a guy used sandblasting media. i used almost 200lbs of it sandblasting the engine bay of a 69 charger recently. its a dark black color i think it would look nice in the tank if it wouldnt hurt the fish at all or screw up the water.

46g bowfront freshwater
10g freshwater
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-19-2012, 11:08 PM
jaysee's Avatar
Different sands will do different things. Pool filter sand is heavy enough to not really get sucked out - you have to be careless to do that. Other sands are much finer, and will get taken out to some degree.

I've tried a few play sands and hated them all. I have heard that it's a good idea to skip over sandblasting sand, though I don;t know anything about it - never used it or ever wanted to.

I actually don't vacuum the sand. I have a strong circular flow within the tank that collects just about all the waste.

125 - BGK, chanchito cichlid, pictus cats, silver dollars, palmas bichir
125 - cichlids (severums, bolivian rams, chocolate), rainbows ( turquoise, red), loaches (angelicus, zebra, kuhli and horseface), plecos (BN, RL and clown), denison barbs, tiretrack eel, pearl gouramis, betta
90 - Congo tetras, african knife, upside down cats, spotted ctenopoma, kribensis, delhezzi bichir
2.5 - betta
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-19-2012, 11:09 PM
Hanky's Avatar
Basically you dont vacuum it like you would gravel. most people that use sand have heavilly planted tanks and dont vacuum , I just run the vac about 1-2 inchs above the sand and let it pick up debris but not the sand, i always end up getting some sand up but not much. I like pool filter sand better since its a bit bigger grains and settles down quicker. sometimes I'll just stir up the sand a bit by hand. Blasting sand looks and works great too. We want pictures when your done, not the tank, the Charger. lol
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-19-2012, 11:32 PM
Quantum's Avatar
most of the black sandblasting media appears to be coal slag, a byproduct of burning coal for electricity production, a MSDS of one brand shows that it is mostly non-crystalline silica (most play sand is crystalline silica - quartz) and aluminum oxide with CaO, MgO, and FeO, it makes a good blasting media because it has sharp edges, I wouldn't put any substrate fish on it

I would also expect the CaO and MgO to raise the pH
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-19-2012, 11:34 PM
Boredomb's Avatar
I have used different types of sand and it really doesn't matter you get the vacuum to close and you will suck it up. LoL Just make sure to hold the end of the vacuum about 1/2 -1" above the sand and you will be fine. I have sand in my tank now and I don't really touch it because of it being planted.

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post #6 of 7 Old 05-20-2012, 09:35 AM
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If you go the play sand route, like I did and I dont regret it one bit, twice a week I use a turkey baster to blow the poop down to one end of the tank, then use a small 2g bucket and small pvc tube (small, I dont want to suck anyone up) and syphon out the debris while doing a water change at the same time. I dont have a problem with doing it.

Also it's so cheep who care if some gets sucked up.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-20-2012, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
good advise thanks guys. i cant use alot of plants cuse i have cichlids. i got one large sword plant that they dont seem to bother. i have a ton of pothos growing in a hob filter im needlessly using as i have a cascade 1000 canister filter aswell on the tank. i also have some with their roots hanging in the tank.

the chargers almost done well it will never be done haha. but i rebuild a 440 for it and repainted the engine bay. new clutch new aluminum radiator. i should be driving it quite soon :) its been down for two years. 440s arent cheap lol

46g bowfront freshwater
10g freshwater
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