Pool Filter Sand and.... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Pool Filter Sand and....

I'm setting up a 29 gallon low-tech planted tank - no CO2 and only low-light plants. I made a big mistake and bought play sand from home depot the other day. I washed and washed until it looked clean. I put it in my tank and filled the tank with water, and it's a huge mess. 3 days and it's still cloudy - plus the sand itself looks like mud.

So I found a Leslie's pool supply store and am going to replace the play sand with pool filter sand. I'm not too keen on a bright white substrate, though. I've been debating mixing the pool filter sand with black sand. Has anyone done this? Any pictures?

Also, what can I do for fertilization? Should I plan on using root tabs?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 06:58 PM
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I used to have a 75 gal. African tank and I got stuff made by 3M that was called Colorquartz.I actually found a place near you in Conshohocken ( cant remeber the name of the place)It was right off of the Schuylkill Exp. at the bend.They had all kinds of colors to mix and it was cheap.Heres the link to 3M's site and maybe u can contact them and they can get the name of the place for you.Look under pool supplies too in the phone book. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...ucts/Crystals/

***** Update on the above info,I think I found the place and the phone #.Its called Concrete Service Materials Co. 630 East Elm St.
Conshohocken, PA 19428 and the phone # is 610-825-4541 ****
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 07:14 PM
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I'm also using a Colorquartz blend in my tank.

You'll definitely need to use ferts. Root tabs are an option, plus you can read up on all the nutrients plants need at www.RexGrigg.com He also sells dry ferts for cheap.





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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I actually have a colorquartz mix in my 120 SA cichlid tank (unplanted). I actually bought it from the place in Conshohocken. Colorquartz is great*, but I would have to buy another 50 lb bag/$25 - it's cheaper to get the pool filter sand, $9/bag.

Anyone tried mixing the pool filter sand with something else?

Thanks again!


*One thing I have noticed about colorquartz is that the colors can be a bit strong. The red is VERY red, and right now I have a "tan" and brown mixture in my tank - the tan is actually a fairly vivid orange. Still looks good with the brown, though.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:10 PM
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I am considering replicating Seachems Cichlid Sahara sand with a mix of the fine grade black & white colorquartz since the sahara sand buffers. We will see how it goes.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 10:22 PM
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The stuff I get at Home depot is mix colored. White and tan with small amount of darker stuff. Sold as coarse sand 20 grit $7 for 100lbs.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 11:41 PM
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Hi,

I have kept fish tank in the past, about 10 years ago. Both fresh and salt water. I am starting again with a 40 gallon.

I have never kept live plants before so I want to give it a try now. I bought pool filter sand to use as substrate. I really wanted to get Eco-Complete but for now it is out of my budget. Thatpetplace has each bag for $12.99 but there is an additional $8 charge per bag for shipping, plus the regular shipping charge. It comes out to the same price really. If you are closer to them the $8 drops, since I am in CA I am the farthest from them.

So I am thinking on using the sand and just fortify it with some root tabs for nutrients. Should I mix the sand with any other material? What kind of plants will do better in that substrate?

For lighting I am using a 36" Flora Sun light bulb. It says it is 30W and 5,000 k. Is that enough?

Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you,

Luis

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Last edited by Luis138; 03-16-2008 at 07:27 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 11:55 PM
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You're going to need to upgrade your lighting to be able to grow much in that tank. Right now you have less than 1 watt per gallon. If you can up that to just under 2 watts per gallon (or around 80 watts for a 40gal tank) then you will have more options in regards to plants to try. Anything under 2 watts per gallon is considered a "low light" tank. Low light tanks are the cheapest and lowest maintenance, and a good way to learn the basics of planted tanks.

If you upgrade to 3-4 watts per gallon you should be able to grow just about any plant you'd like, but you will also need to learn all about fertilization and dosing CO2. www.RexGrigg.com is a good place to begin learning about high light and fertilization.

Right now you could try java moss and java ferns, perhaps a small sword plant with your current lighting and see how they do? If you use good high-iron root tabs under the sword plant your sand substrate should be fine. Java moss and java ferns both should not be planted in the substrate but rather tied to rocks or driftwood.





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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 12:05 AM
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Thank you for your advice. So, I should buy maybe another light bulb or two more and then just change the hood in my aquarium? I want to try that moss that covers the ground (don't know the name yet). Will that spread on sand?

Luis

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 12:19 AM
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You will have to change out your light fixture in order to increase the wattage; just changing out the bulbs won't help. Depending on what type of setup you have, there are retrofit kits that might you where you want to be.

Mosses won't root in the substrate at all, so I'm not quite sure what plant you're referring to? Some mosses can be made into a sort of carpet, but they have to be tied onto something for them to grow.

Most other forms of carpeting plants usually prefer substrates that will provide nutrients, such as AquaSoil, Eco Complete, or Fluorite, and most carpeting plants also need high light and CO2 in order to grow into a carpet instead of getting too tall and lanky looking. I've personally had success with Echinodorus tenellus 'narrow' in my low light tank, it makes a loose grassy type of carpet; I have it planted in about 3" of Fluorite.





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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 07:26 PM
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Ok, so this is what I did.

1) I bought three bags of Eco-complete after all. Can I put the sand on top or scratch the sand idea? Is Eco-Complete safe for loaches?

2 I bought a new light fixture, this one is from Aqualight, it uses compact fluorescent and it is 96W, 6,700 K. Will this be enough? The actual light bulb is 34" while my tank is 36" long.

3) I also have a bubble wand, will that affect the plants in any way?

I need to learn about CO2. The DIY projects I have been reading on says that it could explode on you making a big, stinky mess. Is that true?

Now, the "moss" I was referring to is something like this: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/myTanks/7-KyleT.html that kind of carpeting.

Thank you so much for all your help Laura.

Luis

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 09:16 PM
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I personally don't care for sand. Just personal preference. You could add it if you need to increase the depth of your substrate, otherwise it's useless as sand won't provide any nutrients at all to the plants, whereas Eco is a great plant substrate in of itself. The sand and the Eco will mix, so don't do it unless you want the mixed look.

That carpet in Kyle's tank is not moss, it is Glossoistigma. Glosso requires high light (which you have) good substrate (which you have), good ferts, plus good CO2. Some people have good luck and results with DIY CO2. Pressurized CO2 is much more expensive at the onset, but very low maintenance and more consistent in the long run. Again, www.RexGrigg.com is where you should start your research on ferts and CO2.

I don't use CO2 at all on any of my tanks- I prefer low-light setups, so you might want to ask more advice about CO2 by starting a new thread in the Equipment forum?





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