sand in freshwater setup
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sand in freshwater setup

This is a discussion on sand in freshwater setup within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I recently purchased a 37 gallon tank came with a bunch of stuff including the original gravel and undergravel cleaner. I decided to use ...

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sand in freshwater setup
Old 04-08-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
 
sand in freshwater setup

I recently purchased a 37 gallon tank came with a bunch of stuff including the original gravel and undergravel cleaner. I decided to use the gravel to save a few bucks and I'm not a huge fan of it. It's not the right color and just way to messy. I want to go with sand but I'm not sure how to go about it and I've heard it can ruin filters. I have an aquaclear 50 in the tank currently. Another questiong I havr is ive had the tank setup for about a week now finally got the levels just right to put fish in but the water is still slightly cloudy. I've tried seachems clarity and that did nothing. I moved the filter which slightly helped but still looks foggy. I currently have 2 young convicts and 2 young Dempseys and should be adding a young oscar by tuesday fingers crossed. Can any body give me some advice? I'm pretty new to this.
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:37 PM   #2
 
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I recently purchased a 37 gallon tank came with a bunch of stuff including the original gravel and undergravel cleaner. I decided to use the gravel to save a few bucks and I'm not a huge fan of it. It's not the right color and just way to messy. I want to go with sand but I'm not sure how to go about it and I've heard it can ruin filters. I have an aquaclear 50 in the tank currently. Another questiong I havr is ive had the tank setup for about a week now finally got the levels just right to put fish in but the water is still slightly cloudy. I've tried seachems clarity and that did nothing. I moved the filter which slightly helped but still looks foggy. I currently have 2 young convicts and 2 young Dempseys and should be adding a young oscar by tuesday fingers crossed. Can any body give me some advice? I'm pretty new to this.
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Sand looks great and fish probably prefer it. It's a lot of work, but worth it. If you buy it already washed (aquarium sand) than it's no real effort except a quick rinse. However, it's much more expensive. Rule of thumb is 2 lbs per gallon. So you'd probably be able to make 50 lbs work. If you're doing live plants you may want closer to 70+.

You can buy playsand at HomeDepot, or any big hardware store. It's about $3.50 for 50 lbs. You have to spend a great deal of time, washing/rinsing the sand. Outside with a garden hose and bucket works well. Many, many rinses to get the water clear. I'd say with that much sand, it's a full day project.

You can rinse the sand, with it ready to go. Pull your fish out and put them in a bucket. Take out gravel and add sand, refill water, and keep some existing water and refill. You will have lost a lot of bacteria, so to keep from having another cycle occur, I would save an amount of the gravel, (good size mesh bag full) and put the gravel that is inside the mesh bag in the aquarim. You can keep the bag in the tank for a couple weeks to allow things to re-seed and to get bacteria in the sand.

Oh, also sand will not harm your filter. You do need to turn off the filter when you're doing water changes, so you don't kick up sand that may get sucked in the filter. I have sand in both my tanks, and it has caused no problems with the filter. Most people here I think have sand too.

It's worth it in my opinion, but you will have a task of rinsing sand if you buy regular playsand.

Have fun! Can't wait to see what you decide to do! Post pics when you're done

Gwen
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:42 PM   #3
 
Thanks! :) I'm wondering how it'll work with my filter. Should I attach something like pantyhose to the intake to make sure no sand gets in? And how would I go about cleaning the sand and how often. I got a gravel cleaner with the tank but I'm pretty sure that won't work with sand. ;-p
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
 
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I recently purchased a 37 gallon tank came with a bunch of stuff including the original gravel and undergravel cleaner. I decided to use the gravel to save a few bucks and I'm not a huge fan of it. It's not the right color and just way to messy. I want to go with sand but I'm not sure how to go about it and I've heard it can ruin filters. I have an aquaclear 50 in the tank currently. Another questiong I havr is ive had the tank setup for about a week now finally got the levels just right to put fish in but the water is still slightly cloudy. I've tried seachems clarity and that did nothing. I moved the filter which slightly helped but still looks foggy. I currently have 2 young convicts and 2 young Dempseys and should be adding a young oscar by tuesday fingers crossed. Can any body give me some advice? I'm pretty new to this.
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Gwen has filled you in on some sand issues, so I'll turn to a couple other things I spotted. First being water clarifiers. Don't use them. As you have experienced, they don't always work, and some can be quite harmful to fish. Cloudiness in new tanks is normal, usually caused by a bacterial bloom. It will clear on its own, as the various bacteria colonize and do their work. You can read more to get a better grasp of bacteria here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Second issue is the fish. Those fish all get large, and somewhat nasty. There is insufficient space for all of them, and I can guarantee that things will turn bad. You should have a read of the information in our profiles, it includes minimum tank sizes for mature fish, compatibility issues, etc. Profiles are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; if the name is used in a post exactly the same as the profile name (scientific or common) it will shade and you can click on the shaded name for that profile. Example, Oscar, Convict Cichlid and Jack Dempsey. Please check these out.

Byron.
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Old 04-08-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
 
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Gwen has filled you in on some sand issues, so I'll turn to a couple other things I spotted. First being water clarifiers. Don't use them. As you have experienced, they don't always work, and some can be quite harmful to fish. Cloudiness in new tanks is normal, usually caused by a bacterial bloom. It will clear on its own, as the various bacteria colonize and do their work. You can read more to get a better grasp of bacteria here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Second issue is the fish. Those fish all get large, and somewhat nasty. There is insufficient space for all of them, and I can guarantee that things will turn bad. You should have a read of the information in our profiles, it includes minimum tank sizes for mature fish, compatibility issues, etc. Profiles are under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; if the name is used in a post exactly the same as the profile name (scientific or common) it will shade and you can click on the shaded name for that profile. Example, Oscar, Convict Cichlid and Jack Dempsey. Please check these out.

Byron.
Thanks. I talked to the guy at the store he said since they are fairly young introducing them should help keep down the violence once they mature. He picked out certain sizes of each to help reduce the chances of fighting. Currently they get along great I've had no problems yet. I've owned Oscars in the past an owned an adult jack Dempsey briefly but had to return him due to his violent nature. If problems arise the right actions will be taken. Whether it be purchasing a seperate tank or rehoming them.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
 
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Thanks! :) I'm wondering how it'll work with my filter. Should I attach something like pantyhose to the intake to make sure no sand gets in? And how would I go about cleaning the sand and how often. I got a gravel cleaner with the tank but I'm pretty sure that won't work with sand. ;-p
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Yes, I know nothing about the type of fish you have, glad Byron could weigh in there

I have an Aquaclear 70 with my sand bottom, and have no problems. The sand will not get sucked up with normal fish activity etc. If you want you can put a fluval sponge filter on the intake, that might make you feel better. They cost about $5.00. If you are stirring the sand up (which I never do) to be safe, when doing a water change, just shut the filter off. You can use a gravel cleaner/syphon but you take the larger end piece off so you just have a round solid tube. I never even knew the piece came off (at least on mine) until I read on this forum, that is what you do with sand. You don't actually put the tube in the sand, you can just hover over it, and pick up obvious debris. I rarely see any debris, except some dead plant matter. I never see fish poop, so I guess the sand absorbs it and my plants use it for nutrients.

Hope that helps!

Gwen
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
 
Thanks!:) I'm more than likely gonna go with sand in the next few months. The gravel is just to dirty looking. Will the sand affect any of the fish potentially spawning? I think the guy gave me a breeding pair of convicts so if that's the case (No I won't be keeping any and if they successfully breed I'm going to switch one out and put in the same gender) will the sand make it harder to hide the fry?
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
 
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Thanks. I talked to the guy at the store he said since they are fairly young introducing them should help keep down the violence once they mature. He picked out certain sizes of each to help reduce the chances of fighting. Currently they get along great I've had no problems yet. I've owned Oscars in the past an owned an adult jack Dempsey briefly but had to return him due to his violent nature. If problems arise the right actions will be taken. Whether it be purchasing a seperate tank or rehoming them.
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I don't intend this to sound mean or anything, but whenever I see comments like this I just have to respond.

Fish are the way they are because that is how nature and evolution made them. You cannot change their inherent behaviours. Jack Dempsey are aggressive fish, and as it matures it will become more and more so. Knowing this from past experience, I don't know why you would risk the poor fish, or other poor tankmates, again.

And regardless of the aggressive issue, your tank is too small for these fish, aside from a pair of convict cichlids. An oscar needs a 75g tank on its own.

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:04 PM   #9
 
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I agree with Byron on that. I had 3 German Rams and some Cardinals and when the 2 started spawning it made things difficult for the other fish. If you want them to spawn, don't add more to the mix. Fish will likely now spawn if conditions are right, and crowding may effect this, and will definately cause aggression, eggs eaten by others etc. A 37 gallon won't be big enough for fish to escape.

If you plan on upgrading, than that may be okay in the long run.

Sand will have no impact on spawning. I've had my Rams spawn on a rock and also on driftwood, but the rock is a favorite with this pair I have. You'd have to read up on how the fish you have spawn, and what conditions they need. Raising fry is tons of work, so think about whether that is what you want. I've decided to not let mine spawn right now, so I've up'd by ph to prevent it. It required a seperate tank, when the fry reach a certain age, and feeding live food to fry etc. I just decided for now, it's not worth the work.

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:12 PM   #10
 
Thanks. I don't necessarily want them to spawn I was just curious if the sand would cause any difficulties. As for the Oscar, it's only a possibility. I plan on adding plenty of spaces to hide/establish territory. The jack Dempsey we previously owned was raised on it's own and was at a pretty good size when we got him which I think contributed to the aggression. I was told introducing these 4 together shouldn't be a problem in the future. But that's just what I was told by the guy at the shop as well as various pages online.
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