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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently... I am running 2, 20g tanks. Both with gravel... i thought about changing the gravel to sand in one of them.

However Im curious about cleaning... To clean the gravel I have this plastic thing with a hose on it and it sucks the fecies/agae/dirt etc etc etc. up and into the bucket for the water change... to keep the gravel clean... hwo do u do this with sand?

*n1
 
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With sand you can you a gravel vac but you have to hover it over the sand or you'll suck it all up. If you wanted to, you could just suck up the sand and debris, wash the sand out, and then pour it back in.

Beware, sand can also get clogged up in filters and other equipment. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have black gravel in there now... ide probably go with black sand... It looks more... Professional? Classy? Nice? i dunno cant think of the word
 

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Depending on what sand you choose. I use pool filter sand in my sand tanks, and the require minimal rinsing to start with. The grains are heavier than regular play sand, so they sink and do not clog your filters. To wash the sand prior to using, make sure you rinse well, use a bucket, pour sand in, fill it with water and let the water run, while constantly churning thoroughly but gently. After about 6 good rinses, you should be good to go (that is with pool filter sand). After you put the sand in your tank, wait 2 - 3 hours, then run your filter(s) for 24 hours. Everything should clear up then.

For black sand, depending on what fish you have, I'd recommend 3M colorquartz or Tahitian Moon sand. Just my preference :)
 

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Sand provides for a nice clean look. Certain fishies like sand better. Matter of fact .... 9 out 10 cories and loaches preffer it to the next leading brand. :)

The best way to clean it is by removing the tube from the gravel vac and just using the hose. Hover that about 1/4 to 1/2" above the bed and it'll do it's thing. I like to use the tip of my finger like a valve. I can manuever the hose right next to the plants and get all the goodies out from under them without disturbing the plants. Place your finger over the opening to pause the flow and move to the next area. Allows for more cleaning time as it drains less water.
 

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*i/a*
 
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now whats the trick to keep the water from getting all over your floor, carpet, etc??? lol.
 

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The only fish you cannot use sand with are bettas...they will eat it as it looks like the betta pellets and they are not wise enough to know the difference until they are full of it and it is too late. I like the gravel better personally but the sand is a nice tank for some fish.

Rose
 

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I use pool filter sand with a betta with no issues as well. I swapped out his tank for Flourite to test it out though. I have two tanks currently up and running with pool filter sand (no bettas). My 20l is using a regular (brown) looking sand and a 10g with white sand. The white will pop when you add live plants to it. The greens and reds of the plants really come out.
 

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Currently... I am running 2, 20g tanks. Both with gravel... i thought about changing the gravel to sand in one of them.

However Im curious about cleaning... To clean the gravel I have this plastic thing with a hose on it and it sucks the fecies/agae/dirt etc etc etc. up and into the bucket for the water change... to keep the gravel clean... hwo do u do this with sand?

*n1

I prefer sand and simply don't clean it. Have a tank that has been running since 2002 and have never cleaned the sand.

But it does have some "crud" which I could siphon off if I wanted. None of the gravel cleaning tube type things needed.

FWIW I use a three layer substrate now. 1" of peat moss ($10 for a 3/4 yard bale), 1" of play sand ($3/50 pounds), and 1" of pc select (50#/$8). You could also use gravel for the final layer also.

what I do is put in the peat moss and add water just to the top of the moss. then level the moss and clean up the tank sides.

then add 1" of the sand and add water to the top or the sand. level and clean again.

Then add the pc select (or gravel), add water and again level and clean.

I then add all the plants.

Then with a dish fill the tank to the top.

I have found that method results in very clear water. Each layer seems to "trap" the previous layer and prevent the "floaties". The peat moss seems to keep KH and gh constant. And fish such as neon tetras that did not do well with just sand have lived for years.


Oh yea, I use no mechanical filter, no circulation, tap water, and no water changes.

just my .02
 

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No. I consider the filtration to be the live plants.

I think I'm pretty close to the walsted planted aquaria method. I actually started this back in '69 from some FAMA articles which called it the natural, balanced, dutch, or leiden method. The first tank I setup I did use peat moss but in later tanks I just used sand.
I never measured anything.

But a couple of years back I experimented with peat moss and discovered the kh,gh thing. On the sand only tank kh and gh had risen over time. My 7 year old sand tank had a dkh of 20 and dgh of over 30 with a tds that pegged the tester at 1000. Even with that I still have 15-20 guppies in the 10g from the original cycle trio. But neon tetras only last a few weeks.

With the peat in the substrate I have one neon in a 1g test jar that is now over 2 years old. Kh is 4 degrees and gh is 9 degrees and they have been at the level during the entire 2 years test. As usual no water changes just replace evaporative water. And not mechanical filter or circualtion. Just the jar, substrate, light, and fish.

One measurement that was surprising on these tanks is pH. Even with peat moss, after a few weeks pH measures 8.4-8.8 on the api high range test kit. Indicating that carbon dioxide is extremly low on these tanks.


my .02
 

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Next time I set up a tank I'll have to try out this method. No water changes sound like something I could get used to
 

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Next time I set up a tank I'll have to try out this method. No water changes sound like something I could get used to
Actually it is the balancing out the tank with live plants that is the key IMHO. Reduced or no water changes just a side effect. But a definate plus if you have to go on vacation. I just leave for up to three weeks and come back to a tankfull of fish happy to see me. Not something I would do with my reef tanks with pumps, sumps and the like.

FWIW even the reef tank nitrates and phosphates are unmeasureable.

my .02
 
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