Sand big mistake!
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Sand big mistake!

This is a discussion on Sand big mistake! within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I made a big mistake using sand instead of gravel in my my 55 gal. I believe I used 5lbs or so. I don't ...

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:00 PM   #1
 
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Unhappy Sand big mistake!

I made a big mistake using sand instead of gravel in my my 55 gal. I believe I used 5lbs or so. I don't know what to do. Broke two of my Tetra Whispers because of sand in the magnetic impeller.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
 
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If you washed the sand well, it should remain settled on the substrate unless the filter flow is churning it up (which it shouldn't), or overly-active substrate digging fish. And make sure there is at least 5 inches from the sand to the filter intake.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
 
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Sand an HOB filters can work just fine. Both my 29 gal and 55 gal are sand bottom and have HOBs. The key it to keep the sand from getting in the filter. A pre-filter sponge works great for this. Since I can't find them in my area, I made one. I cut up an Aquaclear sponge and slipped it over the intake. When I know I will be stirring up the sand (such as a water change or moving the plants around) I will turn off the filter and wait a few hours after I'm done to turn it back on. This gives any sand that was kicked into the water column time to settle down.



This is the best picture I have of my prefilter sponge on my 55 gal tank. As you can see it's just a sponge stuck on the intake. My HOB's haven't had a single problem since I added the sand.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
 
I agree - sand is a great substrate, but as mentioned, it must be washed/rinsed well to remove the fines and the intake strainer must be 4+ inches from the top of the sand.
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
If you washed the sand well, it should remain settled on the substrate unless the filter flow is churning it up (which it shouldn't), or overly-active substrate digging fish. And make sure there is at least 5 inches from the sand to the filter intake.
I probably didn't wash the sand long enough and well enough. I had at least two five gallon buckets half full of sand. Cleaned it as well as I could for at least three days. I also had four goldfish and one koi swimming around. Could have used a better technique to clean the sand. Bought the play sand over Petco's black sand. The play sand seem to be much smaller than the black kind.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:25 PM   #6
 
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I put a small amount in the bucket, maybe 1/5 full, then turn the hose on with a sprayer at full blast to churn it up, dump, and repeat several times. I don't stop doing that until it gets to the point that after ~30 seconds of turning the water off it looks clear.

I then set that sand aside in another bucket, and start over with another 1/5 of a bucket.

I did that both for a 10 gallon, and a 125 gallon. Took me several hours to do the 125 but it was worth it in the end, saved so much money.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
 
What kind of sand did you use? Some of the aquarium grade sand that you buy in pret stores wont need very much of a cleaning, but with playsand, like what you would buy at the hardware store...well i would put in about 3 hours of good cleaning
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:36 PM   #8
 
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Hardware store...you are so right.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:39 PM   #9
 
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I just put 100lbs of sand in my 75g. I was always a gravel guy but the natural look the sand gives the tank is simply amazing. After following instructions from Byron on washing the play sand and almost 6hrs of washing the tank was full. Yes its a pain to wash but the end result is beautiful. If I were you Trofishlore, I would rewash and give it another try.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoke88 View Post
I just put 100lbs of sand in my 75g. I was always a gravel guy but the natural look the sand gives the tank is simply amazing. After following instructions from Byron on washing the play sand and almost 6hrs of washing the tank was full. Yes its a pain to wash but the end result is beautiful. If I were you Trofishlore, I would rewash and give it another try.
The only problem would be getting all the sand out, I'm thinking about using my gravel vac and siphoning all the sand out into lots of 5 gal buckets.
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