How to add sand to established tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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How to add sand to established tank?

Hey guys I have a 55 gallon planted tank. I purchased it used and it came with fish and a couple plants. After setting it back up I dove right in and started filling it up with new plants. Now I am realising that I probably don't have enough sand in there as it is a pain to plant anything with a larger root system. (Plus my large bristle nose pleco occasionally uproot stuff)

Can I just buy new sand, wash it well and carefully add it? Will I have a huge dusty mess on my hands? Is black fluorite sand ok?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 06:07 AM
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J can?t gjve any feedback on the substrate because I have never used it but I can on how to add it. If draining the tank isn?t a possibility I would say the easiest way to add the new substrate is with a cup. Get a large cup after you?ve washed your substrate put it into the cup (not full leave some space at the top) gently tilt the cup into the tank so that it fills up but make sure it doesn?t fill up too fast when ethe speed of the water will knock out all the sand from the cup. Now that it?s full lower the cup to where you want to add the sand, tilt the cup and gently wiggle/shake the cup so that the sand falls out and into the bottom of the tank. Whenever you?re adding or moving around the substrate the tank is gonna get cloudy by it?ll go away. I hear that seachem flourite is a messy substrate but I?m sure a good thorough clean will help minimize the mess.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 07:08 AM
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I saw a video before in youtube and they are using a long neck funnel and it's quite effective. I can't find the link, sorry.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 10:01 AM
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I have used a large funnel with a large diameter pipe attached and it works just fine. I find the best way to clean sand is to fill a 5 gallon bucket till half full and run a garden hose into the size and swirl it around until your hand gets tired. Have a rest, drink a glass of water (or whatever is your preference). Then rinse and repeat until the water runs clear.

I have added sand using this method. Play sand from Home Depot around $3:15 a sack, and Black Blasting sand from Tractor Supply, 50 pound sacks around $6:99. Of course there may be small variations in price from different state taxes.

Have fun and keep us posted as to your progress

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 11:13 AM
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I added a 2kg bag of ADA Colorado sand to one of my tanks after I had planted it and realized the sand in the back wasn't deep enough to securely hold the plants. Just give it a rinse and then use some sort of scoop to carefully put it in. Water may be a bit cloudy at first but it usually clears up within 24 hours.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 12:25 PM
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Can rinse the sand and place some in freezer bag to disperse near the substrate unless plant mass would prevent it?
Funnel method would work well in tanks where plant mass might be too dense for shaking it out of freezer bag.
Could get in tight ,right next to plants with the funnel which might not need anything but some handheld vacuum tubing attached to the funnel.
Would be long process for large tank if much more sand is needed.Me thinks
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I am going to buy some flourite and wash it till my hand turns blue. I like the idea of the funnel. Now where can I buy a funnel haha. Or maybe an upside down siphon...
Thanks guys!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyk View Post
Ok, I am going to buy some flourite and wash it till my hand turns blue. I like the idea of the funnel. Now where can I buy a funnel haha. Or maybe an upside down siphon...
Thanks guys!
Why itís clay, itíll never come clean.

Just a noob


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Because I thought it was sand? It says sand on the bag. I believe you though. I guess I'll try something more generic.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 04:14 PM
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funnel idea is good. I have filled cups with sand and gently lowered them to the bottom to add before. I would go with the funnel idea


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 04:47 PM
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I fid a funnel has faults as once the funnel is wet inside, the sand sticks to that. I use a DIY soda bottle.
I cut the bottom out of a 2 liter if it is for a big area or smaller for small tanks. Leave the cap loosely in place, fill with sand and gently push the bottle , neck down, into the water. Make sure to go slow as the water runs over into the overturned bottle, so that it doesn't stir the sand too much. When you have the cap nearly down into the existing sub, use a couple fingers to remove the cap. I find my cap floats up and away so that it is easy to find later. With the top open, I can release the sand as fast or slow as needed by moving the top higher or lower as I move around among the plants. With the new sand fully in the water, it doesn't stick to the sides.
Lowering the tank water is also helpful in deep tanks.
One note of caution when removing the empty bottle, pull it up slowly to avoid the rush of water out the top from blowing sand around.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2017, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyk View Post
Because I thought it was sand? It says sand on the bag. I believe you though. I guess I'll try something more generic.
It doesn't break down in water so it will come clean. It's inert. It's basically little rocks. Sand is referring to the grain size.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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I like the soda bottle idea!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2017, 12:35 PM
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These sound like nice ideas, but I'm not sure that they are necessary. Fill a cup 3/4 of the way full with sand, then fill the rest of the cup with water. Lower the cup into your tank and pour it over the area you want to cover. Works great! Heck, I've just dumped sand in from the water's surface, no problem.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-24-2017, 01:16 PM
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I use the soda bottles as it lets me change things as each situation requires. If it is a very small amount to be added a small bottle fits better but if I want to cover the bottom of a 75 gallon tank, I don't want to do it a cup at a time so the two liter fits better. The bottle lets the sand fallout in a very limited area so that I can work it in between and around plants , wood, and rocks rather than trying to fight it out of the cracks later.
Once fully in a tank and arms wet, I don't like coming out until I'm done!
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