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FishFanatic88 07-15-2012 10:01 PM

Sand!!!! Need Help!!!!
I need some help with putting sand in my tank! I need to know if i can switch gravel for sand in an already established FW tank? I really want to make it a better environment for my loaches.

If i can i also need to know how to clean it before i put it in? How to clean it when it is in the tank? and, Do i need a special filter?

Any help and answers are appreciated. Thanks!!

bud29 07-15-2012 10:12 PM

You can switch to sand, I would do it 50% at a time though, as substrate can house a decent amount of nitrifying bacteria and you really don't want to start a mini-cycle.

How to clean it:
Get a clean 5 gallon bucket. Pour the sand into it until it is 1/3-1/2 full. Then put a hose into the bucket, turn it on, and churn the sand. Churn, churn, churn. If you think it might be clean, turn off the hose, and allow 30 sec.-1 min. to see if it will settle. If you can clearly see the sand clean it again for about 5 more min. If it doesn't settle you have to clean a lot more.

In the aquarium:
Instead of digging the siphon head into the substrate like you do with gravel, hold the siphon about 1/2-1 inch above the sand and it should pick up the fish waste and other stuff from the sand. If you have a weak siphon like me, you can let it virtually touch the sand and it won't suck any sand up. Some people churn the sand every month in the aquarium to make sure no poisonous gas pockets are developing, but others say this is unnecessary.

As for the filter, look at the filter instruction manual. I know in the tetra whisper filter manual it says specifically, "Do not use in aquariums with sand." You'll just have to look, although most filters are sand-friendly.

FishFanatic88 07-15-2012 10:21 PM

So would i dump the dirty water from the bucket with the sand? can you eleborate alittle more? Thanks for the help! and yes my filter says no sand :(.

brennae 07-15-2012 10:27 PM

Yes you can dump the dirty water out of the bucket. I agree you need to rinse very well. It took me forever to rinse my playsand but in the end it was worth it! Not sure what to tell you about the filter. I use Aquaclear with no issues but I have long since lost the manuals. I guess I could find it online.

bud29 07-15-2012 10:29 PM

Oh, sorry! Yes, after seeing if it will settle out, dump out the dirty water. I catch the majority of the sand by putting my hand in front of the water being poured out. Mainly, though, you just need to let it sit for a minute, pour slowly, and not that much sand should be poured out. IME it mostly just clumped up and stuck to the bucket when I poured the dirty water out.

As for the filter, that's too bad. I would research some good filters that are sand compatible. I hear Fluval and AquaClear make good filters, although I believe they are also expensive.

jlk 07-15-2012 10:30 PM

Use an old pillow case & 5 g bucket. Only fill 1/3 pillow case with sand. Wet sand is heavy! Stick hose to bottom & let dirty water run over top. Let it run while swirling the water for 5 mins, pick case up & dump out water in bucket. Keep doing this till water runs clear. Drain water well before adding. If tank has water in it, add an extra dose of conditioner to tank before adding sand (full of chlorinated water). :)

FishFanatic88 07-15-2012 10:44 PM

Thanks soo much for the help!! Looks like with cost of sand and new filter i wont be able to do it for awhile, i just got a new job and i need to pay for new truck tires, and a blown subwoofer. Hope i will be able to do it soon though. Thanks again for all of the help!!! :)

FishFanatic88 07-15-2012 10:47 PM

Should i only take out half of the gravel, let it set for a week or so and then take out the rest?

bud29 07-15-2012 11:13 PM

yeah probably. Like I said, don't want to start a mini cycle.

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