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A Newbie Needing Plant Advice

This is a discussion on A Newbie Needing Plant Advice within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Bluewind You guys keep talking about Play Sand. Is that a special type? How many pounds for my tank? Can I ...

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A Newbie Needing Plant Advice
Old 11-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #11
 
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You guys keep talking about Play Sand. Is that a special type? How many pounds for my tank? Can I keep some gravel or remove it all?

How can I add the sand/remove the gravel without setting back my cycling? Will it cloud my tank when I put it in? What's the best way to go about doing it?

Thank you for answers and sorry for being such a newbie!

Edit: I saw the fish meal as an ingrediant on my Algea Waffers! Todo (the Julii) loves them and prefers them over ANYTHING else I have thrown in the tank! I hope that's not to bad for him long term. :-/
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Questions are never a problem; we all need to learn, and learning never stops.

Play sand is an inert sand intended for play areas for kids, so it is not sharp-edged [some sands like blasting or paver can be]. It is dirty (= contains fine dirt] and needs a good rinsing, but the end result in my view is worth the extra rinsing. I use Quikrete Play Sand which Home Depot and Lowe's carry, as far as I know. You can see it in the photos of some of my tanks [under "Aquariums" below my name on the left].

Don't mix substrates; the finer will end up on the bottom with the larger on top, due to gravity and normal water flow through the substrate. So remove all the gravel before adding sand. When changing substrates, I always move the fish to a temporary tank, a spare 10g or something. Set aside a day to do this so you are not rushed; start about half an hour after the tank lights come on (if fish are in the tank now). Over the past 2 years I have replaced my substrates with sand in 5 tanks, with a 6th waiting to be done.

For a 10g, one bag will more than do it; it comes in 50-pound (25 kg) bags for a few dollars. You want from 1 to no more than 2 inches depth overall; I think my 10g is 1 to 1.5 inches depth.

Sand can cloud the water the same as any new substrate [this is actually a bacterial issue, harmless]. It should not cloud with dirt if it is rinsed well. I have had some gravels even worse than sand for this.

Byron.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:46 PM   #12
 
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hummm... How does one go about washing dirt!?! It's not like I can swish it in my colendar like I did the gravel.

I was thinking of leaving some of the gravel around the base of the plants I'm going to add. It would be part pretty and part protection. I would also mix just a bit of it in their feeding bowl to make it easier for it's daily cleaning. Not in the whole tank. Just specific areas.

Any is play sand better than aquarium sand or just cheaper?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:44 AM   #13
 
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Aquarium sand is mostly just cheaper.

To wash the sand, I added some to a bucket and would swish water around in it, then pour it out and do it again... Repeat until water runs clear.
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:23 AM   #14
 
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Aquarium sand is mostly just cheaper.

To wash the sand, I added some to a bucket and would swish water around in it, then pour it out and do it again... Repeat until water runs clear.
Thanks!

Wait... do you mean play sand is cheaper or the aquarium sand they sell at the pet store?
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:58 AM   #15
 
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Thanks!

Wait... do you mean play sand is cheaper or the aquarium sand they sell at the pet store?
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Play sand is very much cheaper. A 50-pound bag of play sand at Home Depot here where I live (Canada) is $7. So I can do a 70g 4-foot tank with 2 bags and have some left over (always a good idea) for $14 compared to the $180 I spent for Flourite. And I have found "aquarium" sands to be priced much the same as this.

Think of all the wood for decor, or some fish, you could buy with that $166 wasted on aquarium sand.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #16
 
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Play sand is very much cheaper. A 50-pound bag of play sand at Home Depot here where I live (Canada) is $7. So I can do a 70g 4-foot tank with 2 bags and have some left over (always a good idea) for $14 compared to the $180 I spent for Flourite. And I have found "aquarium" sands to be priced much the same as this.

Think of all the wood for decor, or some fish, you could buy with that $166 wasted on aquarium sand.
... wow O_O
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:50 PM   #17
 
pool filter sand is even easier to clean and of comparable price. I got mine from lowes for like 6$ It was right next to thier pool stuff out in the garden area.

As for cleaning sand, think cleaning rice for sushi. fill bucket 1/3 full sand and stir with fingers and stuff fluffing it up and then poor off the water and do again. Probably take 5-10 times till you can stir the sand up and put your hand on top of the sand and see your hand clearly through the water.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:09 AM   #18
 
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pool filter sand is even easier to clean and of comparable price. I got mine from lowes for like 6$ It was right next to thier pool stuff out in the garden area.

As for cleaning sand, think cleaning rice for sushi. fill bucket 1/3 full sand and stir with fingers and stuff fluffing it up and then poor off the water and do again. Probably take 5-10 times till you can stir the sand up and put your hand on top of the sand and see your hand clearly through the water.
I did some googling and I have to say, I'm liking the filter sand! It's sand, but not crazy fine like many others. So, what's a good brand? Are there any that are bad for aquarium use?
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:58 AM   #19
 
I dont rmeber the brand I got, But I suspect brand is not so important. Pool filter sand is probably all very similiar.

It is a relatively clean sand and it is not super fine. It is also very rounded granules. Just make sure to clean it untill the water doesn't cloud up. Some videos on youtube.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:01 AM   #20
 
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Clean? HA! You're talkin to an Aspy hun! I spent 2 hours cleaning my gravel because I wasn't satisfied with how clean it was! Believe me, it will me OVER rinsed by the time I'm done with it! XD
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