Pool Filter Sand
I currently have a 50g fresh water tank. It has black and white gravel now but I am wanting to switch to a bright white sand. I am fairly new to the aquarium scene and am having trouble finding the right stuff. I heard about argonite but I dont know enough about it. Also someone said I could use pool filter sand but will this substrate be sucked up in the cleaning process? What can I use for fresh water?
I have PFS in both my 29 and my 10 gallon tanks. You just hold your python over the sand and it does a good job of cleaning. It's not hard and the PFS is beautiful to look at.
You could also use play sand from home depot. It's cheap, looks great, and is effective.
if you use play sand just make sure to rinse it very very well.
So can I stir the sand up and then use the hand filter over it also? and it wont get sucked up?
another question...how does it affect the bottom feeders (algae eaters and such)
you want to be careful using a gravel vac when you have sand. careful hover over the surface of the sand to suck detritus and not sand.
I need to make a sticky about sand substrates.
First off, do not use aragonite. Do not use any sand for marine aquariums in a freshwater aquarium. They all contain materials that will add significant buffering capacity to the water and raise the pH. If you keep african rift lake cichlids you might want to use aragonite but not in any other fresh water tanks.
If you want to use sand for your substrate I'd highly recommend white play sand from your local home improvement store. About $4 will get you 50 lbs of sand. Enough for most aquariums, two bags will get you enough to do up to a 75 gallon tank. Avoid buying sand from a pet store. Most of the time you'll go home with marine sand, and even if you don't you'll pay way WAY too much for it. Of course if you absolutely have to have an odd color you can go for it. I spent $20 on a 20lb bag of black sand for my betta tank. It's a hobby, people do weird things.
Your bottom feeders will love it. Its far easier on them than working through gravel.
It's easy to clean because unlike gravel everything stays on top of the sand. You have to exercise a bit more caution in vacuuming. You can't just jam the end of the hose in the sand. If you rinsed the sand well you can hover the hose just over the surface of the sand and you'll suck up all the crud and leave the sand intact.
I have regular playground sand such as one might find in childs sand box. Guppys,bristlenose ,and corys love it. It was a pain in the butt rinsing it but I'm pleased with it.
You may consider placing a pre-filter over the intake depending on type of filter to prevent sand from being pulled into the filter. I use circular motion just above the sand when vaccuming to create a small vortex which works well for me.
I think it looks great though, and I'm sure my cories are going to love it!
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