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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Im getting a used 55 gallon tank with a few fish already in it. It currently has gravel in it kinda like small stones. I would like to switch it over to sand. So my question is .... How much sand do I need to use ?
Is there a formula to it ? 55 gallon tank = so many pounds ?



I know I put this into the planted section, and the reason for is that I plan on putting live plants in as well.
 

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welp! i used one 50lb bag in my 55 of pool filter sand. you want like 1.5-3 inches to be safe. most slop the sand to the front. if you dont plan on having life plants this isnt nessesary. 50lbs was enough for me for 1.5-2 inches. i have live plants an i wish i would of went a lil deeper. so really thats more then you asked so ill simplify it for ya!

1 pound of sand for each gallon of water this is a really good starting point!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ty for the quick reply. Ok so since you said you wished you had used more. I'm thinking about 60-70 lbs. I've read alot here and many say play sand works fine but its a pain to clean. Is there a sand that is easier to clean than others ?
 

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yeah the pool filter sand is easier to clean. still needs washing tho just not as bad. there also is the expensive sand that you can get from pet stores which needs little cleaning but for how much sand youll be using the price will be very high. so its up to you really if you want to wash alot and pay about 5-12 dollars a for 50lbs of sand or 15-20 dollars per 20lbs of sand for less work. i used pool filter sand in one tank and i paid 13 dollars and it was about an hour of work for washing. i also used play sand an paid 3 dollars for 50lbs and that took 3 hrs to clean. 60 -70lbs would work as long as you dont go over 4 inches in depth.
 

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Now you don't have to go that deep with sand when planting. My 55 is a sand tank with lots of nice plants and I decided to just do 1inch(maybe 1 1/2). I put the washed sand in till I was happy with the look then had sand leftover. You can always use plant anchors to get them to stay until they've rooted into the sand well. I'd say 1 inch is the minimum then up to 3 or whatever you think looks nice to suit you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ty much. I will shoot for a happy medium of 2 in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yep I read about that around here somewhere haha. I think I am going all sand(never done sand) this time. Gonna do some plants as well(again never done) this time. She is supposed to drop the tank off tomorrow sometime. It comes with 2 Bala sharks about 4 inches both, a pleco which looked bigger than the Bala's. A couple of other fish. Gonna probably remove the large fish and go with smaller, I would rather have a big tank with several small fish than a big tank with only a couple. :) It comes with a HOB filter, though I think I want a canister(another never done) of some sort. Any Ideals would be great.
 
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If your sand is too deep it will become anaerobic at deep levels and breed bacteria that produce harmfull gas and bad odor
 

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Discussion Starter #11
rsskylight04 are you thinking that 2 in. might be to much ?
 

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Substrate BacteriaThe greatest population of bacteria in a healthy balanced aquarium occurs in the substrate, not the filter. The floc or humic compost that collects in the substrate is the host for the biofilms; this is why the substrate in planted tanks should never be disturbed, and many aquarists apply this to non-planted tanks as well.In very general terms, aerobic nitrification takes place in the top 1-2 inches of the substrate; anaerobic de-nitrification takes place approximately 2-4 inches down, and anaerobic bacteria producing hydrogen sulfide occurs in substrates deeper than 3-4 inches. In all three cases, it will be deeper in coarse substrates (like pea gravel) and more shallow in finer substrates such as sand. These generalities will also vary with the presence of live plant roots and substrate “diggers” such as snails and worms, since these factors result in more oxygen being made available in the substrate, reducing anaerobic bacteria activity. An oxygen level in the substrate of as little as 1 ppm promotes nitrogen reduction rather than sulfur reduction (hydrogen sulfide). [6]Maintaining a substrate of fine gravel or sand no deeper than 4 inches, having live plants rooted in the substrate, and keeping Malaysian Livebearing snails are the best and safest methods of providing a healthy biological system for aerobic and denitrifying anaerobic bacteria.Read more:*http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/...ria-freshwater-aquarium-185721/#ixzz2kF4cYIKE

2" is fine just dont go more then 4"
 

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if you keep your sand moved about,(i use a long stick) then unless there
is large rocks on top of the sand,or wood,you should be ok about the pockets.
one thing i will say about sand is wash it until your brain freezes over
with boredom !!!
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Boredomb thank you for your very informative post. Though it might be a little much for me this early in the morning :crazy: haha none the less your post helped me understand the whole depth thing much better.



willow I know, I know, you would think I would have started by now :doh!: Gotta get to Lowes and soon for some sand. I dont know how she is transporting this tank and fish. I used to move the tank with the fish in it and all set up. I just removed alot of the water. I will try to post before and after pics if possible.
 
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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok folks the tank is and what a mess it was. All cleaned up and ready to go. As far as the sand haha it might have been cheaper to buy the good stuff than to pay my 15 year old daughter money for cleaning it lol . Sorry no before pics. The tank is completely bare. Just sand in it atm. So here in time I will get something to dress it up and then take some pics.

I did buy a couple of little Java Ferns to put in there still pretty plain though.
 
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Your welcome! But I didn't write that article. A former member had wrote it. It is now in the reference section along with other helpful articles. Have a look there sometime.
 

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Glad you went for sand in the end, but late for a reply as its been cover, looking forward to seeing the pictures, get a water polisher in there because that cloudy look your left with sand will last a couple of days maybe longer depending on filtration.
It was touch on by boredom, a health planted tank with sand must have a army of mts doing all the underground work, these alone siv throug your sand releaseing gas build ups and eating dead roots and what ever else they get up to in the cover of darkness, there favoured part of the day.

Filling tank



Full tank



24hours later



Pics pics pics

Barry
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thnx Barry all is good so far. Cloudy yes, not as bad as I expected. It came with a Aqua-Tech 30-60 (hob) Power Filter. I asked them to leave the old and dirty cartridges in it for the bacteria (hope that was a good ideal) then I changed the one side to help with the filtering which Ive rinsed out 4 times already. I kept the other old cartridge and am soaking it in the little water they had left in the tank.

Now for my first question on plants..... I have the 2 in place (Java Fern) and was wondering if I needed to add a root tab right away or not ?
Might even take a pic yet tonight. It would be a good way to document my progress haha.
 
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