Anyone growing with Pool Filter Sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone growing with Pool Filter Sand?

I have a tank set up with PFS....anyone having luck with plants? Will it grow plants?? or do I need to change?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 03:07 AM
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I took out my fake plants and started to add real plants on 12/29. I have wisteria, onion plant, rotala, melon sword, red wendtii, bronze wendtii, and cabomba. I also have hornwort, java fern, and java moss...but needless to say they are not planted in the PFS.

Even though it has been a little less than a month they all seem to be doing great. The wisteria and crypts are really spreading out and the rotala that has looked dead in my other tank is really coming back now that it's been planted. It floated in my 29g with <1wpg for about 9 months. My aponogeton bulb has also just sprouted.

Of course, I added some Flourish Tabs but that was just three days ago...which is hardly enough time to make that kind of impact. I've been giving a few doses of Leaf Zone, too.

Give me a few months and I'll know if it's working out as good as I hope it will.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 03:18 AM
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I grow swords with no problem w/peat moss topped with PFS, low light, no ferts used.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 03:29 AM
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I started my 10 gallon 4-5 months ago with pool filter sand, Petsmart ludwigia and valisneria. The val melted and was still trying to fight for life until I finally removed the struggling shred of what was left a couple weeks ago. My ludwigia doubled within the first month, then I cut each stem in half and replanted. It went dormant for a while, but just decided to explode with new growth this week and is nearing the top of the tank again.
A few weeks after the petsmart plants, I added broad-leaf water sprite, needle-leaf java, windelov java, pellia and christmas moss. Those are all doing well, though none are really root feeders. I have the java fern roots in the sand, just for a place to hold on.
From a local pond I added recently: an unknown ludwigia, bacopa, and a small aquatic grass. The ludwigia is growing ok, the bacopa pretty well, and the grass surprisingly well.
I just added some amazon sword and hygro, both of which are growing pretty well, despite my spixies finding them to be a wonderful meal.
I added small Jobe's fertilizer sticks a while ago, but I didn't notice a huge difference. No water column ferts and no CO2 (most of the components are ordered, should be here next week).
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 09:02 AM
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My 75 gallon is just PFS no base under it. Its been a few months so there is a fair amount of shrimp and fish waste in it now but i've never had any problems with it. Its the only thing i've used since i still havent made the few hour drive to get SMS (which i might do this weekend so i can convert my 120 over ).

Anyhow its been working fine for me, the hardest part was finding the right grade, i hit up the pool place and they sold me stuff so fine it would have never sat still. I think the stuff i'm using us #20 if i recall correctly.

I've been growing swords, numerous stem plants, vals, sags.

Jason
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2008, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks....good to hear some people having luck. I have 3 bags of SMS in the garage and was beginning to wonder if I should have put that in the tank instead of sand. I guess I will hold tight to see what lives and what doesn't.

I have a 10 gallon with PFS and my java fern just seems to sit there....no growth...but I am beginning to see green algae. It's only 10 gallons with 15 watt full spectrum. Wouldn't have thought that to be enough to grow algae.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom91970 View Post
I took out my fake plants and started to add real plants on 12/29. I have wisteria, onion plant, rotala, melon sword, red wendtii, bronze wendtii, and cabomba. I also have hornwort, java fern, and java moss...but needless to say they are not planted in the PFS.
I want to see some pictures of the tank.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 06:17 AM
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I'm thinking of going with pool filter sand as well.

I'm new to the whole planted tank thing, and was thinking maybe this stuff mixed in with some dedicated plant substrate. I've never worked with anything, and I'm still gathering equipment to do so, but it won't be too long.

That said, this thread interests me, maybe there are others that have already answered this question in greater depth, so I'll keep looking
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 06:32 PM
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I'm assuming that PFS is the same as the play sand they sell at lowes/home depot? Its sterilized, cleaned and screened and it's much cheaper than buying sand at the LFS. I've got 100lbs of play sand in my planted 90 gallon w/ nothing underneath it. I've never had any issues with plant growth and actually have some plants growing out of the tank that need to be trimmed.

It is a bit of a pain when you first set up the tank b/c even though its cleaned and sterilized, it still turns the water brown at first. I just kept filling/draining until it was pretty clear. The longer it's in there, the more natural looking it gets.

At $3.59 for 50lbs, it was a lot cheaper than some alternatives and it really works great
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
I'm assuming that PFS is the same as the play sand they sell at lowes/home depot?
No they are different. The playsand is heavier, more compact and has more of an orange tint to it. I hated after a few weeks and replaced it with pool sand. Didn't give it a good rinse due to drought and had a white storm for a month in 10 gallon tank. Could have been due to the tank not being completely cycled for I didn't have a cloud in the 29 gallon tank. I use it to top dirt as El Natural style.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-18-2009, 09:42 PM
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I have tried both the pool sand and play sand, and vote for pool sand. Plants do quite well and I like the natural look of pool sand and one great thing, it does not mess with you pH.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 07:42 PM
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I used PFS in my 40g breeder and loved it. Everything did well (low light plants, crypts, Java Fern, etc). I will definitely use it again and again.

I got my bags *gasp* at the local pool place. They were on sale for like $4-$5 for a 50lb bag. Took a good bit of rinsing but in the end it was worth it. I'll be using it again on a pair of 90's I'm setting up.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 08:25 PM
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Have a look at this one.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...l-updated.html


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-21-2009, 04:45 PM
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Since we have a water shortage here I only rinse the sand 1x. Then I add and an HOB filter and add Hagen's Clear. I found with only sand in planted tank it was difficult to keep the mulm off of the sand. You have to vacumm some of the sand and replace it. Did this by putting some sand in a sock.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-24-2009, 07:00 AM
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PFS is nice stuff. i looked at it under magnification and the stuff that i acquired is of very even grain size and has no fines. the grains are smooth and round.

however, i still have a little bit of algae growth in the tank with the pool filter sand and i find that the sand in particular assumes a dirty brown coloration with just a little bit of algae. i wonder if anybody can suggest how to maintain it nice and white(?).
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