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Old 06-02-2011, 12:57 AM   #1
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new setup for existing JD

I am going to be moving my Jack Dempsey from his current 45 to a 60 tank. I do not have sufficient gravel for the 60. Someone suggested I could buy pea gravel from the hardware store and after washing it thoroughly I could use that.
Any feedback?
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:00 AM   #2
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yeah if you like the look of it , go for it. River rocks work also, and lava rocks. I've used them all, they come in 50lb bags at the big box hardware store.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:05 AM   #3
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OR, since you are going to a new tank, go with PFS (pool filter sand). The JD will love it and it is cheap.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:39 AM   #4
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Large cichlids love to dig and redecorate tank decor, so IMO sand is a must have. Like Spoonman said pool filter sand is cheap and looks great but for a even more realistic look try play sand from your local Home Chepo or such. It looks great, very cheap, and it will give you something to do for a few hours...rinsing it throughly.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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My only concern with sand is I worry it will cloud the water. I found this gravel at home Depot will it work once properly cleaned?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1&ddkey=Search
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
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When sand is rinsed properly it will reduce the amount of cloudiness, plus it's only temporary and will last for a day or two.

But the pea gravel will work but like sand give it a good rinse to wash off the dust particles.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:19 AM   #7
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I'm not really a big fan of play sand because the stuff I've used seems to lack uniformity. Ended up washing half the bag away trying to get rid of the light stuff, and it seems to like to compact. Larger grain sands do a bit better but for the price of playsand its hard to beat. Pool filter sand is a viable option also.

Pea gravel is o.k., and I have it in 2 tanks, but it's really not that interesting to look at, and lots of gunk gets stuck in it.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
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I like the idea of sand but my two primary concerns are one what happens to any food not eaten and will it get stirred up bad when I do water changes? I thought about getting a pleco to help keep the tank clean. I have several pieces of PVC to provide hiding places. Will the JD kill it?
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:42 PM   #9
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I like the idea of sand but my two primary concerns are one what happens to any food not eaten and will it get stirred up bad when I do water changes? I thought about getting a pleco to help keep the tank clean. I have several pieces of PVC to provide hiding places. Will the JD kill it?
With sand the detritus will lay on top of the substrate, where in gravel it can fall down in between cause water quality issues. As far as the food if your seeming uneaten pieces then your overfeeding the fish. Once your sand is properly rinsed it won't cloud up after a water change. Just keep the filter intakes a few inches above the sand.

As far as the JD and plec I'm sure with enough places to hide he'll be fine.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #10
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I switched my 29g from gravel to pfs not long ago. One of the bes decisions I have made for the tank! The look/color of pfs tends to vary somewhat by where it comes from. I bought the Quikrete brand at the local Lowes, and it is a nice color that reminds me of the rocks and sand locally. Really a pretty natural look. It is also uniform, was fairly easy to rinse, and the cloudiness was short-lived. Prices was about $6 for 50lbs.

Tge local Lindsey's pool chain has pfs that is nearly white. Some like that, some don't.

Have no issues w/food getting trapped. I vacuum much like I did w/gravel, I am just not as aggressive. No issues at all. Play sand CAN be a problem, because of the lack of uniformity- it can develop dead pockets where stinky gas can accumulate (think rotten egg when disturbed).

In my experience, pfs doesn't get stirred up.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:21 PM   #11
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Another question I wanted to ask involves plants in the tank. From what I have read JD will shred just about any live plants and quickly relocate artificial ones. Those plastic plants are quite expensive to buy in large quantities at thw pet store. Could one purchase some less expensive plastic plants from a craft or hobby store. I am pretty sure they would cost less. I am only referring to the plastic ones not the silk kind
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:25 AM   #12
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Think I have decided to go with the pfs. Couple of questions will a pleco do okay with that? How do you rinse it properly without sending all the sand down the drain and how do you clean it once the tank is established. I have some tall plastic plants I can put in but from what I have read about jd's I think I will use some aquarium silicon and glue them to the bottom
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:34 AM   #13
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I use coral sand on my display tanks and krill sand in my others and my fish loves it specially my wild pair of jack dempsey and corrydoras. All I do is blast the sand with hose pipe in my big bucket and it's all fine. After a week doesnt matter how much you stir the sand in the tank it doesn't cloud the water.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:51 PM   #14
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I do not know what happened he was acting normal but I woke up one morning and he had died
I checked the water temperature was ok Ph levels were okay
Totally mystified as to what happened
I am still planning on pfs for the 60 gal just need to find decor
How much pfs do I need for a tank that size?
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:21 PM   #15
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I think I used 2- 50# bags in my 90 and 1-1/2 in my 55.... I used a pillowcase to rinse it... Sry about ur JD :-(
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:43 PM   #16
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Where did you find the pfs?
Also any hints or tricks for cheap realistic decor?
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Old 06-16-2011, 05:24 PM   #17
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Where did you find the pfs?
Also any hints or tricks for cheap realistic decor?
I only found it locally at pool supply stores. Cheap decor are rocks and driftwood which is free, just get out to local rivers am creeks and start looking.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:52 PM   #18
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Live in West Texas so rivers and streams hard to come by out here lol
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:06 PM   #19
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Well found a place when I can buy some pfs 50 lb for $10 but I still need to reinforce the stand for it.
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