Switching to sand, questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Switching to sand, questions

Ok so I am very tired of the choice I made when setting up my 40b. I used the red clay type substrate however the bag I purchased said to not wash it however since then they changed this recommendation. I used a medium smooth natural looking gravel over it. Regardless of how much I vacuum and do water changes my water is always somewhat cloudy and more so after the Cory cats root around all night.

I like the corys and I like the plants so want to treat both to a good environment. I understand with the sand Ive got to do root tabs and what not.

Having done some research the PFS and BDBS seem to be pretty popular. The BDBS although it has been used with Corys seems in my mind to be a little sharp. The PFS is a little bright if you will for what I would like. Usually prefer the natural tans for the substrate althgouh the black also looks nice.

Was looking at these two sand types
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Quikrete...6201/100318538

https://www.lowes.com/pd/100-lbs-Silica-Sand/50037046

Both are screened and should be somewhat uniform and the color I like. Just curious if anyone has used these particular types and what your experience was.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 07:34 PM
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Those 2 sands are slated specifically for use as paver and stone bases in construction and may contain undesirable additives which could leach, precluding their use as an aquarium substrate - I wouldn't take the risk.

I'm assuming you would have a reputable pool & spa supply store located somewhere in your general area, which would carry inert silica sand that would be completely safe for aquarium use. Most pool supply stores carry PFS @ #20 or #30 density in a tan or beige coloration, some having it in more than one shade of tan/brown. Check it out.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 08:08 PM
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I have used quikrete pool filter sand with great success. It has pretty large grains for a sand, so it doesn’t get stirred up by the fish, and it has a very natural looking tan color. You will need to rinse it well, but that should be done for pretty much every substrate. It’s pretty affordable as well in my opinion. If you want a natural tan colored larger grained sand I would definitely recommend it.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Quikrete...5350/202314677
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ben, I saw that and wanted to try it out but not in stock or available within 100miles of where I am at. WA state is not the king of pools if you will. Not very many private pools here in the PNW I guess.

I will look around some more and do some more research.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 09:26 PM
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BDBS all day if there’s a Tractor Supply near you. I get your concern about it being “too sharp” but it’s not. I’ve kept cories in it for years and they have never had any issues with their barbels. Keep it mind that all sand is sharp.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 10:17 PM
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If you have a Home Depot near you they should be able to order in you some if you can’t find any easier options. It is the best sand I have ever tried, but obviously my experience is limited to only a few different types of sand. If do want cheap, inert natural colored sand that won’t be as lightweight as playsand, the quickrete pool filter sand is pretty perfect though.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-26-2019, 10:29 PM
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Actually I looked at those links and at least one is not avail from HD in my area, not even ship to store. They last one was avail 30 miles up the road.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 12:21 AM
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I have BDBS in my tank, I did a lot of research before doing this which is all based in other people's experiences on here. Honeslty the biggest concern I see with BDBS is that people think it is sharp because it wears fingernails and skin down when washing it out for dust reduction. The stuff is very hard and abrasive which is why it is used for blasting sand, realistically to the fish I've read no instance of adverse effects. I'm an electrician and worked at one of the places that they process this stuff and honestly if you look into what it is naturally is just very very hard. It may look sharp when you look at the very small particle sizes but I don't think it is a factor.
Don't use ypur hand like I did when washing it out, you wont realize until you are done that your fingernails are getting thinner and thinner. Other than that it is great. Definitely rinse it.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input. I do have a tractor supply on way home so will stop in and grab a couple of bags of BDBS, cant go wrong with 20 bucks right. Got home from work and the tank was cloudier then yesterday and I did a 50% change on both the 40b and 10g yesterday evening.

The 2 green corys are doing great with nice long barbs and all, ecspecially the female (think she is). She is a big ol girl. The false jullies are the ones that concern me generally. Some do ok but others not so much.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2019, 12:15 PM
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I couldn't find BDBS within an hour and half drive and pool filter sand was out of season so I ended up with more expensive Top Fin fine black aquarium sand for my 45 gallon.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 04:06 AM
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I couldn't find BDBS within an hour and half drive and pool filter sand was out of season so I ended up with more expensive Top Fin fine black aquarium sand for my 45 gallon.
That's good --better option.

Will save money later on by not having to treat for secondary bacterial infections.

Regardless of the glowing reviews on this forum of using BDBS in aquarium with fish like corydoras, there is just as much personal experience of it leading to RED Splotch disease.



It wears down nails and cuts hands but doesn't have any ill effects on fish who spend the majority of their time foraging on the substrate. The logic of that.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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That's good --better option.

Will save money later on by not having to treat for secondary bacterial infections.

Regardless of the glowing reviews on this forum of using BDBS in aquarium with fish like corydoras, there is just as much personal experience of it leading to RED Splotch disease.



It wears down nails and cuts hands but doesn't have any ill effects on fish who spend the majority of their time foraging on the substrate. The logic of that.
See that would make sense to myself as well.

Have you had any experience with it by chance? Ive tried searching and havnt found anything (besides all the positive) with a few exceptions of ones that complained about the dusty nature of it and issues washing it out.

I changed out the 10gal last night to BDBS, washed it a couple of times before putting it in, everything looks good right now. This tank is primarily going to be betta, shrimps, and plants. Maybe a couple Otos if I can find some that havnt been given death sentences yet.

Thanks for your input.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2019, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Discusluv View Post
That's good --better option.

Will save money later on by not having to treat for secondary bacterial infections.

Regardless of the glowing reviews on this forum of using BDBS in aquarium with fish like corydoras, there is just as much personal experience of it leading to RED Splotch disease.



It wears down nails and cuts hands but doesn't have any ill effects on fish who spend the majority of their time foraging on the substrate. The logic of that.
From personal experience, I can second this. I've lost 2 cory to this over the last year and a half. (Edit: Had a similar issue to Eco-Complete)

Some people also think plants have a harder time growing in sand because it's more difficult for the roots to penetrate.

For sand, I really like the look and feel of Caribsea Sunset gold. For plant substrate, I really like fluval stratum right now.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2019, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Well as I mentioned went with the BDBS for the 10g betta and shrimp tank.

Went with the medium commercial sand for the 40B community type with the corys. I went by petco and petsmart (only places in my area that have supplies). I checked out the topfin sand/gravel and one other brand I cant remember of the larger sand types and they felt exactly the same as the medium commercial sand. The top fin was a little whiter but they were the same size/shape/feel except the stuff from home depot was $10 for 100lb bag. I didnt want to use the real fine stuff personally.

Rinsed it in a bucket with hose for about long enough to get two bucket fulls of water thru it. Very little dust. Re did the tank and very little to no cloudiness. I imagine its about the same as the pool filter sand people pick up which I couldnt find anywhere locally.

Will post a couple pics of my amatuer setups once I get back from the weekend. Hopefully everyone handles the time spent in the bucket while I cleaned the tank out. Not to mention one of the amanos that was hiding in one of the plants that I noticed right before I dumped the left overs in the trash.

Anyhow thanks to everyone for there input. Appreciate all the opinions and points of view on the subject.

Oh and also upgraded to a AC 110, thing is a beast. I dont have a under counter cabinet to do the hidden under tank filters and to be honest the simplicity of cleaning/setting up the HOB is appealing. Used the foam insert, a layer of the blue/white foam I cut to shape, the bio media that came with it and the bag of bio media from my 70. May run the charcoal bag down the road a little.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2019, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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So had a rough time this weekend. I did the swap over friday afternoon. Took alot longer then I originally planned due to having issues with my youngsters midway thru. Then I wasnt able to watch it this weekend since I was gone and looks like my fish got way stressed out. Lost both mollys, both green corys, one of the false jullies. The MIL took one fish out Saturday but didnt notice the others so they were in there probably all day sunday.

The betta is doing fine (as usual), the 6 neons also did fine which I thought those would be the first to go but they are doing fine. The last 3 false jullies are also doing ok for now. Had to move the narite snails to the betta/shrimp house because the nitrates spiked up. Went and did a 50% water change. Will do another today after work.

Water parameters were Ammonia-0, nitrites-0, nitrates-80, PH-7.4, KH-4, GH-3 (atleast according to my API test kits). The GH is more at 2.5, didnt get the full color change over till the 3rd drop but it kind of started to change on the 2nd.

Anyhow hoping I can get it back to normal. WOrd of advice be careful and as quick as possible when changing substrate on a established tank. Or better yet have another aquarium to house the little guys in until your finished.

The swap over on the 10g (betta and shrimps) had no losses however that went much much quicker.
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