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Old 10-02-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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Sand cleaning tricks??

So I'm gonna be starting a new 50 gallon tank with sand as my substrate. Does anybody have tips and tricks to clean sand? Where do you get your sand? What kind of sand do you like to use?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
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There's a few different choices.

PFS ... cheap and abundant at Pool supply stores. Gravel vacs are the best way, PFS is coarse enough to not get completely get sucked up a gravel vac. I stick the vac into the sand to stir it up then let it fall back down. Personally I'd say avoid playsand as tends to be finer and suspends easier than PFS.

Sand needs a thorough cleaning which means a lot of rinsing. I boil mine which I find releases more of the dust that just clings onto the sand particles.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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I first used play sand it and took FOREVER to get it clean and even after hours and hours of rinsing it it still clouded my tank a little. It was decent. But then I switched to black sand that I bought at petco (its a little more expensive) but I liked the look of it. I honestly am considering going back to gravel or at least fine gravel because I can never seem to get the sand clean no matter how hard I try or how often I clean it it and I am very picky so I always want it to look perfect! But thats just me I am sure others have better ideas on how to keep it clean!
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Do you think straining the PFS through some sort of cloth would be a good way to get it clean. After a good boil that is.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:02 AM   #5
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I have heard of a lot of people putting it in pillow cases and straining it that way. I havent tried it though. I just put it in a bucket and ran tons and tons of water through it.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:16 AM   #6
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PFS is the best to use. I've used play sand and will never use it again. PFS has much larger grains so it's a lot easier to get clean initially. We rinsed about 80lbs of it today prior to adding to the 120 and used 2 5 gallon bucks to do it. The rinsing took about 5 minutes each bucket and I just stuck the hose down in the bottom of the sand and stirred it up letting the water overflow. I also mixed the sand around with my hands a bit and eventually it came clear.

It needs to be cleaned, but it's not nearly as silty as playsand is.

Attached is a photo of the 120 just a few minutes after it was filled with sand and water.
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Old 10-04-2012, 04:19 AM   #7
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:26 AM   #8
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There is also a black sand u can buy at tractor supply company . If ur fish like water flow u could grt a powerhead in ur tank the constant water flow help keep debris off the sand.. It will require minimal cleaning .. Not all fish are good with water flow tho .. Mine do like it ... My brother keeps / powerheads in his reef tank and got new ones so i used one of his old ones
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