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Old 04-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #1
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Also switch the substrate

Ok, after seeing all these people with sand bottoms and how GREAT those tanks looked I took the plung myself.

I went to Lowes and grabbed 2 50lb bags of the Quikcrete Play sand. I then spent about 2 hours cleaning, then cleaning and once I thought it was clean, cleaned it some more. As there very little clouding I'm pretty sure I did a good job.

My tank has always been a center-piece that can be seen on 3 sides, and is continuing to be so. I have a couple shots of each side.

So, here are the photos!
Before:


Emptied about 1/2 the water into a bin for the fish. Put all the plants in there and took out my driftwood:


Here is the temp tank. I kept my filter going just in case. I eventually covered it with a blanket to keep little noses out!


Here it is at the start with my driftwood and sand:


Here it is 1/2 way full with the plants added back. I have a front and back view. Well, there is no front or back... I can only show one side so here it is:


I had the other view but could only have 8 pictures so I will do a front and back with the finished ones below...

And FINALLY full with the fish! I put all the water back in that was keeping the fish so it was like a 50% water change. Hopefully that (plus not changing the filter) will keep any cycling down to a minimum. I'll check the numbers in the morning. Yea, I know the tank needs to be wiped down but I'm wiped out!


And the other side. I had my thermo on the end next to the wall but I don't think it was doing a good job so I did move it to the middle even if it does block the view a bit...


Thanks for looking!
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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Thanks for showing us your switchover's progression.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:54 AM   #3
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Looks very nice, good work! I absolutely love that driftwood.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:02 AM   #4
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Thats a nice.


I love how the sand looks, I went with aquarium white sand( MUCH finer then playsand) in mine.

Dont worry I got my heater in the middle, Mine is a showcase tank too. Figure eh, they need it and its gotta be in there, I tried to hide it low by the sand but that didnt work well, upper temps were only at 70 while the two bottom inches of water were at 78
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments. I think it looks better in person but I'm not much of a photographer to give that impression. I'm really glad I did it because it looks so much more natural.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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is it crystal clear now?

I love taking pics from above, I got a waterproof camera bag im going to pick up from work to get some in tank shots.

I might be able to get in-tank video if I can find my EPIC cam and make sure its case is 200% waterproof.

Its nothing fancy but with sand on the bottom it it looks even better from in the water.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:50 AM   #7
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I was pretty much crystal clear in about 1 hour or so. Looks great so far.

One drawback: much easier to see the fish poo! Will need to clean more often, then is for sure.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:19 PM   #8
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I just got catfish for that, its usually poop free in there after they get done feeding. Kinda gross but what are you gonna do.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:21 PM   #9
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Good idea. I think I'll go to the LFS today!
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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Your tank is established right? or nearing the final week or so?

Cats are down in the thick of it, Tell them you want the hardest pair to catch, not only do they school but they do a much better job of cleaning the tank.

I wont use gravel again, even the 10g is going to sand.
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:06 PM   #11
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This tank has been going for 6-7 months or so, but just switched to the sand. I agree I'll never use gravel again as well.

I have 3 Cory cats now but plan on getting more (it is a 55g tank). The LFS was out right now but a new shipment is coming in today. I was thinking 3-4 more?
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Old 04-07-2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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You guys convinced me.. My 110 will be sand and then I'll convert my 55 to sand as well.

Have any experience with black sand?
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Here's my 110 build .. .
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
This tank has been going for 6-7 months or so, but just switched to the sand. I agree I'll never use gravel again as well.

I have 3 Cory cats now but plan on getting more (it is a 55g tank). The LFS was out right now but a new shipment is coming in today. I was thinking 3-4 more?
55g and only 3 fish so far? why dont you get some hearty starters like tetras and stuff, dont be like me and get fragile fish for starters( even though I have great luck with em) just get some tetras they (LFS) might trade you fish too, sell you starters now then when its established they will take em back for fancier fish, atleast my LFS does.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:23 PM   #14
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Totally awsome.
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2 fish are in a tank and one says"Hey, do you know how to drive this thing?"
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:55 PM   #15
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Only 3 Cory Cats (well 4, but one isn't doing so well I think). I've also got 6 tiger barbs, 4 tinfoil barbs, 4 rainbow fish, 6-8 otto, 1 siamese algae eater and two plecos.

I just bought 3 more Cory cats and 4 large shrimp.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #16
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id stop and let it be for now, let the cycle get over with and you will be fine.

I cycled my tank with gouramis and kuhli's, lost 2 out of 3 gouramis and nothing else besides a frog and a chinese algae eater in the first 2-3 weeks havnt lost anything since, I used CYCLE to get the tank established a little better. It really helps with sand since there is no gravel or UGF to help the biological process along.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:31 PM   #17
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anyone know anything about black beauty screwing with my fish's health and physical appearence. what will it do to my ph. i think ima get some, i have play sand in right now and dont like it
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:16 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by asudavew View Post
You guys convinced me.. My 110 will be sand and then I'll convert my 55 to sand as well.

Have any experience with black sand?
I've heard some rumors that the Black Tahitian Moon sand is oily. I've asked here and some say they had no problems, some say it was really dirty and oily. I decided to go with play sand, no additives and no oils.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:10 AM   #19
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Try Aqua-Terra Black Sand! http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/242915/product.web or http://www.purewaterpebbles.com/aquaterra.html

I have Tahitian Moon Sand and Aqua-Terra Black Sand my A-T Sand (Acrylic Coated)does not seem to try to compact as easy as the T.M.S. and I can not tell that one grows plants any better than the other the A-T was cheaper as well as cleaner.
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