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Old 12-31-2004, 10:58 PM   #1
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Pleco's and Pool Filter Sand - Update - Added Sand Today! :)

Are plecos good ideas for pool filter sand?

Do I have to cover the intake of my filters?



-


I bought sand blasting material today for $29. It is pure white glass shards. Before you guys lynch me it is very smooth stuff. Regular sand has been more abrasive on my fingers than this stuff. I just put it in and waiting for the clouds to leave. 50 pound canister for 29 bucks. It is 80grit so the particles are a bit smaller than I like but i think it'll look beautiful. Hard to hide fish poop on solid white sand.


I'll update you asap. I wish I had a digital camera.
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Old 12-31-2004, 11:17 PM   #2
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I have a Pleco in my tank with a sand bottom. It hasn't caused any problems. Instead of eating off of the rocks the pleco's are now eating off the greenery. You shouldn't have a problem. For a while he may be testing out the sand to see if he can eat it, but eventually he'll stop.

Yes you should cover the intake tube of your filtration unit. Sand will get sucked into the unit and can burn the motor up. You can do this by putting filter floss or something along the same lines around your intake tube. Good Luck!
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Do I have to cover the intake of my filters?
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Old 12-31-2004, 11:51 PM   #3
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oh yes... plecos love to kick sand up.. but after they get used to it they seem to stop kicking it up... atleast in large amounts...
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Old 01-01-2005, 12:26 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'll need to find something to cover my intakes. Maybe the wife won't mind if I spend 15 bucks on 25lbs of sand.

My tank has been running for about 10 months so it is well established with bacteria. Should I try to save all the substrate or just fill up the baskets in my penguin/emperor type filter with the current substrate and lose the rest?

I know usually they take half and half.. would the two baskets full of gravel and the filter media be enough to maintain the nitrate?
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Old 01-01-2005, 12:46 AM   #5
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I changed over to sand by doing a small water change to get rid of the fish waste, then taking out all of the gravel, dumping in sand (obviously not just dumping it in), tossing back in the fish and waiting for the sand to settle. Depending on how delicate your fish are, you need not worry about the bacteria. Just make sure you use the same filter pads.

Most stores sell filter floss or something of the sorts for pretty cheap. We just bought this long flossy thing that normally goes inside of a canister filter. It works perfectly for about $2.50.
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Old 01-01-2005, 11:14 AM   #6
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I have pool filter sand in mine and have had good experiences. My plecos don't really mess with the sand, and pool filter sand is pretty coarse ... so even when it gets disturbed ... it doesn't float. So, personally, I haven't had any filter problems at all. (55g w/ aquaclear 300).
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Old 01-01-2005, 12:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help. I might just get play sand if they don't have pool filter sand. Everything is closed today so I can't get anything.

Another question...


How can I feed my pleco? I bought some algea wafers but all my platies and my mollie are eating the wafers. I've never seen my pleco eat (1 1/2 weeks home) He just glues himself upside down in a log. I set the wafer in the log but he just hangs above it while other fish come in and eat.
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Old 01-01-2005, 01:41 PM   #8
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Don't worry, your Pleco is eating.
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Old 01-01-2005, 03:27 PM   #9
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Most pleco's only eat at night, I assume this is a common pleco, so when you can see him, he's sleeping

Try tossing in an Algae disc just after lights out on the tank, but if the tank is established, then he's eating.

Also, the wood helps with thier digestion from what I've read, Mine didn't have any until recently, I don't think he knows what to do with it..
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Old 01-01-2005, 05:37 PM   #10
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My plecos really like fresh veggies. 1/2 in thick slices of zuchinni are good. I also feed canned or frozen peas. Microwave the frozen ones for a minute first. I just squeeze them to pop the inside out of the skins. Your mollies and platys will live'em to. With your sand, you can just shorten up the intake tube so that it is several inches off of the bottom. I have one pleco that turns on his back and slurps flake food with the rest of the fish.
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