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FAQ: Can I use SAND as substrate? How to convert?
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Skysong
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: MB, Canada

PostPosted: 2003.06.12(Thu)13:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm from Canada too.....at least that's what my location says Wink Very Happy
I'd just run to home depot and grab a bag of playsand if you don't need to change water chem. and it's for a FW tank. Just make sure you wash it out well!
I spent about $10 for 110 lbs, so that's about as cheap as you can get it.
Take an old pillowcase, fill 'er up and stick the hose in until it runs clear. That's what I'll be doing this weekend.....and studying for the rest of my finals

*sigh*
Rolling Eyes

Edit: As for filling the tank.........after rinsing and baking the sand (low temp, long time)

1. Take out, SAVE, about 50-75% water, depending on tank size. You should take Mr. Fishy Fishy out too, to stop the stress of the world coming down on him...

2. If you already have a substrate with established bacteria, only remove about half of it, depending on the tank again. Wink I'm actually having a pebble and sand substrate, it's going to look great! Very Happy

3. Pour water back in slowly onto a plate or something to disperse it and not completely cloud the tank. Be sure to keep the filter off for a while while the sand settles...

4. Pour in that cleaned sand!

5. Add Mr. Fishy Fishy back in, your plants and decorations too, stand back, and enjoy! Laughing

6. Be careful your filter intake is not too close to the substrate or doesn't suck up the sand.
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moricollins
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Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Location: canada

PostPosted: 2003.06.12(Thu)19:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the advice, I just used play sand that I had at home for my lizards... and washed it about 20 times, to get the cludiness to a minimum
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toyman
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Joined: 20 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.23(Mon)4:50    Post subject: sand substrate and rugf Reply with quote

hey all, I was wondering if there is any way I can use sand as a substrate with a reverse ugf going? I read on this forum to nix ugf if you're using sand but is it the same with the reverse? I have a 40g stretch hex and am filtering w/ emperor 280 (soon to be the 400) and a penguin 550 powerhead w/ rev kit. BTW the tenants inside are 8 lemon tetras, 1 f betta, 6 asstd cory, 2 thomasi plecos. is sand okay for them? thanks in advance for any help! Mr. Green
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.06.23(Mon)8:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sand is equally bad for a UGF and a RUGF. Grain size is critical for these flow through substrate filters. Any compaction will result in dead areas of the filter bed. Unless you used a very coarse grain sand the sand would pass through the silts/holes in the filter plates before it was even turned on.
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Leipo
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Holland

PostPosted: 2003.06.23(Mon)8:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

not to mention what would happen when you get a small power failure: no waterflow so all the sand will fall down into your rugf and clog it
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toyman
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Joined: 20 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.23(Mon)14:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay if I nix the rugf, will I still get the proper filtration with just the hob? also are there any other important facts I should know about using sand as a substrate? should I be adding anything (eqpt,chems) to the tank if I am going to use sand? thanks again in advance.
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dan
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.23(Mon)17:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

You wouldnt have a problem with one filter unless it stops working. You could attach a sponge to the powerhead and kind of hide it as your backup incase one filter fails. If you plan on having plants I'd go with a larger sand or even mix it with a small gravel otherwise it can be hard to hold the plants down.
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TetraKeeper808
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: 2003.06.30(Mon)16:41    Post subject: Sand and Plants Reply with quote

I know this subject comes up a lot, but there must be a way, takashi amano uses fine sand in all of his tanks and look at them, there must be a secret. any ideas?
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zaphod beeblebrox
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Joined: 28 Jun 2003
Location: Brooksville, Florida

PostPosted: 2003.07.01(Tue)10:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm not Takashi Amano, but I have used sand in my tanks for years and have never had any problems. I grow mostly easy plants like anubias, cryptocorynes, echinodorus, anacharis.

I like sand also because my loaches seem much happier with a soft substrate.

Make sure when you get sand that it is pure silica. Some bags of "play sand" have limestone (CaCO3) in them which will make the water too alkaline.
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TetraKeeper808
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: 2003.07.01(Tue)11:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a type of Marine Sand or that is what it is called in the shop. it is for freshwater and saltwater and it is black in color. the shop people said that it is great for fw tanks and plants, but I heard that sand condenses and kills the roots of plants. but all my tanks have live plants except this one and I would like some amazon swords and dwarf sag. or thats the plan.
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