Sand substrate washing question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-13-2011, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Sand substrate washing question


Okay, I've read you need to rinse and rinse and rinse playsand. I've been doing that in small increments (around 5 lbs). OMG, this is a project. I just want to ask for those of you who have done this - when you say rinse till the water is clear, you mean without stirring it? It seems like it's clear, but if I stir it up it's not. I'm trying to understand when I've rinsed enough. Any help is appreciated. I just don't want to add water to my tank and realize I didn't rinse enough. Give me some idea in minutes perhaps, if using a 5 gal bucket, and 5 lbs of sand at a time, is approximately 25 minutes of rinsing about what it would take?

I'm so excited. Have a 43 gal tank, which just looks so big to me, can't wait to get my dwarf rainbows in it, and add more!! I'll keep my 23 gal as a QT.

I put lots of work into refinishing a wood stand I found at a thrift store, and with real plants and fish it will be gorgeous!

Gwen

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post #2 of 8 Old 03-13-2011, 05:57 PM
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I have used sand before, not play sand, and I never rinsed that long - WOW! I usually put about 1/2 of a 5-gallon bucket full (as much as I can easily lift), then rinse while stirring with my hand. Once my hand gets irritated from that, I'll just start sticking the hose end down through the sand to the bucket bottom. If your sand is really fine-grained, a gentle water flow is needed, or you will always have suspended particles! Best time estimate, for me anyway, is 10 minutes at most.

Sand wedged under the fingernails is no fun at all...
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-13-2011, 06:23 PM
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I have play sand in 4 of my tanks and yes, it takes a lot of rinsing but will be worth it in the end. Stir the sand up with your hand, wait about 3 seconds, then pour the rinse water off and if it runs clear then you have rinsed enough. I never timed myself but I believe I probably spent about 20 minutes or so on each 5 gallon batch.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-13-2011, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeaninel View Post
I have play sand in 4 of my tanks and yes, it takes a lot of rinsing but will be worth it in the end. Stir the sand up with your hand, wait about 3 seconds, then pour the rinse water off and if it runs clear then you have rinsed enough. I never timed myself but I believe I probably spent about 20 minutes or so on each 5 gallon batch.
LOL. I didn't time myself either, but it felt like it was at least 20 minutes, probably a bit more of rinsing. Thanks for the 3 second thing, pour water and see if it runs clear. That sounds like a good measure.

Thanks all!

Gwen

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post #5 of 8 Old 03-13-2011, 06:32 PM
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I defer to those who have used the play sand!
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-14-2011, 12:34 PM
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I agree. I used dark gray playsand in my 10g, and am about to set up a biotope 20g with this same sand. It is tiring, but necessary. My process is to use a large bucket in the laundry room sink [sand down the kitchen sink can clog easily], fill the bucket with water, use my hand to agitate the sand, let it sit and pour off the water. I stop when the water from the tap fills the bucket and |I can see the sand through it easily, i.e., the running tap water does not stir up too much.

Once in the tank, arrange the hardscaping (wood, rock, etc), before any water is added. This will avoid stirring up a lot of dirt still in the sand. Then add water slowly, using a hose directed against a rock or wood piece, or a dish set on the substrate--anything to avoid disturbing the sand bed. Planting will obviously stir up some, but that will settle. If using a sponge filter as I do in small tanks, turn it on; it is easily rinsed out. Other filters with motors will suck in any sand in the water, so make sure it settled well before switch those on.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-14-2011, 10:19 PM
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If you're not sure if your sand is clear enough... It probably isn't. ;) I spent about an hour cleaning up sand for a 20 gallons aquarium, and it wasn't quite enough: it took 2-3 days for the water in the tank to clear up. You might as well give it a bit more time right now, it's easier to clear before than after!

- Doctacosa
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-15-2011, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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sand

Got it! I agree with you on that. I do want to make sure I do it right. My new plan is this.

I've spent a lot of time washing sand which will be the initial rinse. From here I'm going to get a smaller bucket, and rinse, in small amounts sand, then put it into tank, once I've really, really rinsed it in smaller amounts.

Can't wait to see the final results.

Gwen

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