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Old 07-26-2009, 12:15 AM   #1
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Made the change from gravel to PFS today!

Well, It took me about 6 hours today but I made the change from brown gravel/rocks to Pool Filter Sand! Took the fish out and completely drained and cleaned the tank and replaced the substrate. What a job! So worth it though. I think the fish are happier and the tank looks so much brighter with the lighter substrate. I am soaking the plants right now but they will go back in when they are done soaking. I also removed the undergravel filter and shortened the long intake for the HOB. Next is the canister filter! Probably in the next month or so. Here is a before and after! Let me know what you think.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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Are there snails and other freshwater sand sifters that I could put in with the Mbuna to keep the sand turned over or will I have to do it myself?
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:20 AM   #3
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That is an awesome switch!! See, PFS is so much nicer in tanks then gravel. You could get fish like dojo loaches or some other types of loaches. I heard they fiddle with the sand.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:22 AM   #4
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Are there snails and other freshwater sand sifters that I could put in with the Mbuna to keep the sand turned over or will I have to do it myself?
Looks great Spoon! Glad you were able to find the sand without paying out the arse. I would go with the MTS I have some in with my convicts and in my main tank they never seem to be bothered by the fish and they definitely burrow.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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What a difference.

Yep, Malaysian Trumpet Snails. Freshwater Clams and mussles. Eels, Try looking into FIRE EELS, they burrow in anything.
You shouldnt have an issue with that sand, as you can tell it wasnt really "sand" and more like granuals that allow water to flow thru them and not get dead spots, I do suggest using a Hair Pik on the end of the gravel vac to clean the sand, set it at sand depth, then add 3/4"-1" of gap and fasten it to the gravel vac, it will stir and you jsut suck up anything that pops up including gas bubbles.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:26 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. I will see if I can find the MTS or fire eels. Yep, I rinsed it about 3 or 4 times in a big tub and dumped it in the tank. I didnt have any clouding at all! It was awesome! So glad I went with that and not the play sand. I definitely will spread the word about PFS!
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:28 AM   #7
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First off, how many gallons is your tank. If its anything under 50 Gallons then dont get the fire eel because it will stunt the growth of the eel and cause it discomfort. They need big tanks because they get fairly large. Also, having PFS is the same as having any other sand. It isnt like gravel which lets things get through it because its more rigid, so harmful gases can still get trapped in the PFS. Getting sand sifters for ANY type of sand you have is a good idea unless you plan to sift it yourself.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:31 AM   #8
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This tank is 115G.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:34 AM   #9
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That is an awesome switch!! See, PFS is so much nicer in tanks then gravel. You could get fish like dojo loaches or some other types of loaches. I heard they fiddle with the sand.
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What a difference.

Yep, Malaysian Trumpet Snails. Freshwater Clams and mussles. Eels, Try looking into FIRE EELS, they burrow in anything.
You shouldnt have an issue with that sand, as you can tell it wasnt really "sand" and more like granuals that allow water to flow thru them and not get dead spots, I do suggest using a Hair Pik on the end of the gravel vac to clean the sand, set it at sand depth, then add 3/4"-1" of gap and fasten it to the gravel vac, it will stir and you jsut suck up anything that pops up including gas bubbles.
IMO these really aren't suitable options for an Mbuna tank. The Mbuna dig enough that the sand will probably stay pretty stirred up, but MTS might work too. Honestly, gas pockets in PFS are a really overrated phenomenon IMO. I've been using it for years and have never had that issue, and never known anyone else that has.
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Old 07-26-2009, 12:37 AM   #10
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You wont need anything to sift the sand. As the Mbuna get bigger they will all spend all day digging in the sand. Making caves, looking for food, etc. I have never had to run my fingers thru the sand in my Mbuna tank the way I do the planted tank because all my fish take care of that for me. You will notice too, if you start off with a flat sand bed after a water change, by a couple days you will have hills and valleys LOL. Mbuna are diggers, they move it around, will take a huge mouthful and sift it thru their gills looking for food. That is one reason to lift the uptake of the filter up higher because the sand flies all day. That is what makes them so fun!! They may not do it as much yet because they are still real small, but the bigger they get the more they will dig.

I like that idea of the hair pic on the vacuum!
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