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jentralala 12-29-2012 04:06 PM

Adventures of the 35G
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I started this tank- my first tank, back in October, if I remember correctly. It's come a long way since then, and I've definitely developed new skills and taste. So it finally came to the point of me being completely sick of the Flourite Red gravel I had in the tank, and making the switch to Flourite Black Sand.

Let's have an adventure.

This is what the tank looked like right before making the switch.

Nilet699 12-29-2012 04:13 PM

OOOH, looking forward to this.

And i see your point, i bet that looked dead nice at first in red, but i could definitely see myself tiring of that very soon and switching as you have done! Still not as bad as someones clown puke tank though, ay C.F :) (i kid)

jentralala 12-29-2012 04:27 PM

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Then came emptying out some of the water into buckets (or, in this case, a bucket and a tub container), the pearl gourami going into the fluorescent orange bucket and the Harlequin Rasboras/Kuhli Loaches going into the blue tub.

I had dropped in some Aponogeton bulbs a few weeks ago, two of them shot off like rockets. Apparently one rooted itself to my driftwood. I was fascinated by this, haha :shock:. It was kind of a bummer when it fell off when I was putting the driftwood back.

I pulled out the plants and the driftwood and placed the large piece in the bucket and the smaller piece in the tub, while the containers were getting filled with tank water. After everything was filled I then started to drain the water out of my window, while trying to catch the fish. The rasboras were surprisingly easy to catch. The gourami put up a huge fight, especially the male. Thank goodness the water was low, he was jumping right and left :roll: And then, of course, came the Kuhlis. I think I lost about 5 years of my life span with the stress of trying to catch those four.

After all the fish were removed and while the water was still draining, I started removing some of the gravel. This probably would have been easier if the tank wasn't half filled with water, still, but I have no patience. :oops:
I'm not sure what this is all from, but this is the result of digging through all that gravel. Bleeehhhhh.

jentralala 12-29-2012 04:30 PM

Yeah, I think I regretted the red about a day after, haha. It was just so chunky! The only really good thing was that it was super easy to clean because it was so heavy. It cost me $60 just for the two bags of red Flourite, not to mention the Eco Complete layer underneath all that. Now it's all sitting outside in a 5gal bucket.

What a bummer.
Oh well.
More to come! If I don't fall asleep.

Nilet699 12-29-2012 04:38 PM

No no! I'm enjpying the story and cant wait for the next chapter. But i had a few red bulls earlier so im PUMPED!

$60 seems a fortune for that! Why oh why is it so expensive?!?!

jentralala 12-29-2012 04:50 PM

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After scooping out as much water as possible, the siphon wasn't able to get out the really gross slimey gunk that coated the bottom. So, I cheated. Since my tank is an itty bitty 35 gallon and not a monster of an 80+, my mom and I hauled it outside where I gave it a light rinsing to get the crud out. Almost like starting from a clean slate. Which actually is terrifying me, that I might have another cycle. But, I used the same filter, driftwood, and added a whole slew of new plants. So hopefully I will be okay.

And I totally forgot to take pictures of THE MOST IMPORTANT PART, the bags of Flourite and the process of dumping it in.
I did a lot of research on whether or not to rise the flourite, and I made the decision to not outright rinse it. I was terrified of rinsing it too much and getting rid of all the lovely iron it's supposed to be full of. So i just dumped it right in and spread it around. I also forgot to take pictures of the driftwood as I got it all set up, which was a bit of a pain. It kept all wanting to fall.

Anyways, I brought the hose in and started to fill the tank, with the water pouring into a bowl laying on the substrate. I added some dechlorinator, just a bit, because I had a crazy idea.

The harlequins were not happy being in that tub.

jentralala 12-29-2012 04:53 PM

Because I bought them from my LFS, he charges $30 a bag, which I had no idea he would do when I asked if he could order some in for me. I assumed it would be around the normal of $20 a bag. I probably could have refused to buy it once it came in but then I would have felt like a jerk :/ Ugh.

jentralala 12-29-2012 04:54 PM

Okay, I totally need a nap, before I just fall over. I will definitely keep this updated though, I promise!

Nilet699 12-29-2012 05:16 PM

Haha good nap jen- i'll have something to read in the morning then- though i'll be up late tonight so hopefully....

shame you missed a few pics.......but the rest are looking really good and a nice overview of the whole process.

How long were the fish out? did you have to put the heater in the buckets with the fish etc?

jentralala 12-29-2012 05:27 PM

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If I take a nap now I'll feel like crap, so I'm just gonna truck on through this!

While I was filling the tank with water from the garden hose I noticed that the sand, whenever it was disrupted, would 'ooze' a fog, inside of the already cloudy tank. It's really hard to explain. It was just a thick, opaque white cloud. So I grabbed the airline tubing and sucked out the heavier cloudy junk, while simultaneously adding water from the hose. I did this when the water was about 3in high. It actually worked pretty well for cleaning the sand and keeping cloudiness down.

So then I began to plant in earnest. I seriously just cannot believe the difference sand makes! It just like grabs onto the roots so easily, they sink right in. I felt like I had to fight my gravel to get anything planted. I had everything planted in about ten minutes.

Oh, I don't think I mentioned this. I used 2 bags of 15.4lb Flourite Black sand. I kind of just dumped it in and sloped it a bit to where the back is higher. I'd say the highest point is 2 inches, the lowest about 1 inch.

Another weird thing that I probably should have expected was that the sand seriously compacts. It just like folds in on itself. It's pretty darn cool.

I really like this substrate for the most part but when I would put plants in it would 'ooze' that white cloudiness.

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