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Old 01-05-2011, 08:41 PM   #1
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Talking sand

i am going to swich my gravel tank to sand... but! i have no idea how to clean it or where to get it from.im pathetic i know but i don't wish to be on the computer all the time to look up every qustion i have so i look to you...:p are there benifits sand give you that gravel doesn't? either way i want sand....
melani ( thanks a ton!!!)
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Old 01-05-2011, 08:52 PM   #2
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Pool filter sand (PFS) from Lowe's. put about four cups in a large bowl, let water run over while stirring slowing, put it in your tank, repeat until you have about an inch or so on the bottom of your tank.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:03 PM   #3
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thanks! now how do you clean it. i know gravel you use (srry i forgot the name!) a gravel cleaner but sand? do you have to do that every time?
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:09 PM   #4
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Sand is more natural and much cleaner. Either you will have enough flow and the debris will keep moving until trapped by the filter, or you will get a few small piles of debris that will easily come out by placing the gravel vacuum OVER them.

I only use and recommend Estes' Ultra Reef Sand (safe for freshwater). It is cleaner and much more uniform than any other sand I have ever seen. It runs about the cost of gravel and requires no cleaning before going into the tank. It also comes in multiple colors so you can get what you want.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:39 PM   #5
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I like the look of sand over gravel in my tanks. It's really a personal preference though. My cories like sand better than gravel, but sand can also go anaerobic and build up toxic gas pockets. An occasional stirring or getting burrowing snails like MTS will take care of this though.

I'm cheap. I've used play sand (tan & $3 for 50lb), Quickrete Medium Sand (white and $4 for 50lb), and Black Blast (black and $8 for 50lb) in five tanks with a variety of fish.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:45 AM   #6
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I have never had any of the problems usual problems with sand while using the sand mentioned above. It is really a matter of the type of sand, not just sand in general.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:46 AM   #7
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yeah it looks nicer and doesnt seem to trap and the gunk and nasties that gravel does, just dont stick the gravel vac into the sand, just wave it over if you have to, i dont even clean mine anymore, just start the suction and let it run
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Old 01-06-2011, 11:26 AM   #8
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I used Carib-Sea Instant Aquarium black sand. It is more of a finely ground quartz. I love it. It is expensive ($25 for 20lbs) but it instantly cycles your tank and is easy to keep clean and comes in a lot of different colors.

*Forgot to mention this is for freshwater
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jasurf21 View Post
I used Carib-Sea Instant Aquarium black sand. It is more of a finely ground quartz. I love it. It is expensive ($25 for 20lbs) but it instantly cycles your tank and is easy to keep clean and comes in a lot of different colors.

*Forgot to mention this is for freshwater

instantly cycles? is it live sand? if so it's all a gimmick, its not live and doesnt cycle your tank at all, it may help start it with the dead bacteria (they claim to be 'live') but that's about it, you overpayed unfortunately, i did the same when i started and my cycle was still 4-5 weeks
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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instantly cycles? is it live sand? if so it's all a gimmick, its not live and doesnt cycle your tank at all, it may help start it with the dead bacteria (they claim to be 'live') but that's about it, you overpayed unfortunately, i did the same when i started and my cycle was still 4-5 weeks
Sorry to hear it didn't work for you. My water parameters were ready for live fish 3 days after putting in the instant aquarium sand. Also, I did not have to rinse the sand and after putting tap water in there was no clouding whatsoever. That to me is worth the price alone.

I have been adding fish to the tank every since day 3 along with plants. I have also been doing weekly water changes. It has been 2 months now and the tank is running great and any debris gets whisked right off the bottom from the filter. My bottom-dwellers love resting and burrowing into the "sand" (quartz)

*wanted to mention also that it is not "live" but comes packaged with beneficial bacteria as well as packets for water conditioning and clouding
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #11
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+1 with Jasurf I got the same sand for my 20 just to start experimenting. It really is nice to have sand.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:44 PM   #12
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wanted to mention also that it is not "live" but comes packaged with beneficial bacteria as well as packets for water conditioning and clouding
I'm glad you're happy with the end result. But basically, you're paying a hefty premium on the price of your substrate just to get some bioculture and water conditioner. You could buy one of Carib-Sea's other lines of substrate (like the "Super Natural" -- same substrate as in the "Instant Aquarium") for $6 less per bag and then pick up a bottle of Prime and a package of Biozyme (or your culture of choice).
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:03 PM   #13
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If it works it works. Almost none of the cycling products work nearly as well as they are marketed, live sands are nothing special to get worked up about.

The same bacteria that are needed in an aquarium are in the air, so no product is really needed to cycle a tank, or seed the cycle.

It was mentioned that the tank was planted, that alone could explain why it 'instantly' cycled. Slowly stocking a planted tank can create a 'silent' cycle.

Bacteria do not have to be alive and replicating to seed populations. With spores and vegetative states they can be simply sitting in wait to be in the right conditions, at which point they will begin growing, replicating, etc. and start new populations. I do not know if the bacteria in aquariums do this, but I would guess this to be the case.
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:47 AM   #14
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okay sounds cool thanks for all your advice guys!
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