Substrate swap journal - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-05-2012, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ashtricks View Post
I picked up a 50Lb bag of Sakrete play sand from Lowes. Took out may be a gallon of sand in a bucket and washed it like 15 times. I guess it is futile to expect it to be completely clean. I will treat it just like dirt.
Wet sand is much darker than what you see in the bag. With water it gets compacted too. Kept the sand in the bucket under 5-6 inches of water. Soaking it overnight to see how it will turn out. May be I will wash it a bunch of times tomorrow.
I am planning to keep some of the old gravel in the tank along with old filter pads just to avoid the tank going through cycling.
I am definitely not going to put play sand in my 125 g :D LOL
already tired of washing <1 g!
Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post

I have to agree. I've done playsand in all my tanks, but they are no bigger than 43 gallons. I can't imagine washing enough sand for 125g!
I've done this

For my 125 gallon 6 foot tank I washed 175 pounds of sand (three and a half bags). Yes, it took a long time sitting in the street with two buckets and a hose, with the neighbors all looking at me like I've gone crazy (maybe I have).

You can get it pretty darn clean. Not 100%, but clean enough that if you fill the tank carefully, there is no cloudyness at all. I put maybe a fifth to a quarter of a bag in a 5 gallon bucket, then spray the heck out of it. Let it settle for a minute, then dump the water. Repeat 10-15 times or however long it takes for the water to look pretty darn clear ~30 seconds or so after you turn the water off.

Yes sand compacts when wet, but I wouldn't say it's too bad. If you get sand wet, then drain the bucket, it's very hard to dig around the sand. But if you fill the bucket with water and reach in, it is very easy to dig around in the sand. Being under water makes it loose versus just damp when it sticks together like glue and is perfect for sand castles.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails work wonders in keeping the sand free of dead spots. Plants and Cory's rate sand an A+
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-06-2012, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Today the water in the bucket is very clear. My 10g is getting really really dirty. I think I will swap the substrate today evening.

For my 125 gallon 6 foot tank I washed 175 pounds of sand (three and a half bags).

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post #13 of 18 Old 06-06-2012, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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So finally after two hours of back breaking work I finished swapping the substrate. Haven't put the fish in yet. Waiting for the water to clear up.

This is the neglected tank. Procrastinated the cleaning for a long time.

Emptying the tank. Yes! That is a clutch of pond snail eggs on the glass. It is surprising how just a single snail can start laying eggs which hatch!

This is my plant stock. These guys started drying withing minutes!

Filled up the tank with about 1.5 inch of Sakrete play sand. I had to wash some more sand. This time I did it in small batches. Much faster, much cleaner!

I have a fry separating container which I used to pour water in so as to not disturb the sand.

Ready for plantation.

Planted and filled up! I put an air stone, a couple of ornaments from previous setup and a small sponge filter rated for 5 gal in the tank. Hopefully the filter will help in clearing up the water. Looks like it is going to take a while clearing up.

Keeping my fish in the small 6 gal hex for a couple of days. Hopefully the bacteria will start their job quickly in the 10 g. The hex has my old filter, heater, couple of PVC pipe caves and a bunch of gravel hopefully has enough bacteria so that it does not go into cycling!

One off the track suggestion! Clean up spot algae the moment you see it! Once it proliferates, may you have the strength of a WWE wrestler to clean it off.
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post #14 of 18 Old 06-07-2012, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tank is clearer than y'day but still murky.
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post #15 of 18 Old 06-08-2012, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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The water cleared up real good in the morning. Left it like that till afternoon, tested the water, all is good. Put the fish in. And..... the cory stirred it up! Put two more plants. Green Foxtail and rooted water sprite. The water is not as clear as it was in the morning. I guess a water change is in order. I will wait for a couple days more in case it is partially due to bacterial bloom.
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post #16 of 18 Old 06-09-2012, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Did a 40% water change. Water is kind of clearer.
The cory seem to have lightened up significantly. No signs of stress though. Breathing and behaving normally. They have started to go through the sand more now. But the water is not clouding up.
The oto and gourami are enjoying the extra plants. Everyone is eating well. I think I will stick with the smaller filter for now.
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post #17 of 18 Old 06-18-2012, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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All the plants seem to be doing good. Anacharis did not fare well in the diatom bloom. Most of the leaves on the main stem melted, but there is new growth. Some stems are branching, some are just growing on top.
All the stems of Foxtail are getting new growth.
Both amazon swords are getting new leaves.
A new shoot on the water sprite.
New growth on the red plant too! Even though it still has lot of furry stuff on its old leaves.
Brazilian Pennywort has lot of new growth. Still has a number of bad leaves. Slowly pruning them one by one every day.
New leaves on wide leaf sag too!
Did a water change and glass wipe down. There was a bit of algae on the glass, which came off easily. The filter sponge was filthy. Just rinsed it a bit.
Cory seem to have gotten their pattern back, but their basic colour is still lighter than before. The spots are nice and dark.
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-19-2012, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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I figure the red plant may be Alternanthera Reineckii.
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