Adding sand post-fish??? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Adding sand post-fish???

Hey everyone,

I'm a total newbie, so my apologies if this is a "dumb" question.

I have a 29 gallon partially planted tank with some fish. My substrate is Eco-complete under Estee's gravel, but I need to replace the gravel with sand in order to plant HC.

My problem is that I don't know what sand to use. I will be adding the sand without a water change because the tank is only 2 weeks old and needs to cycle. I am concerned about the effects that sand may have on my fish and plants. I am debating between the following sands:

- pool sand with flourish tabs
- flourite black sand

What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 06:07 AM
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i bought the roofing sand at home deopt get the 30 gritt it is only about 7 bucks for a 100 pound bag just wash it out in a bucket the tank might get cloudy but it will clear up in a couple of days.and it is so muck easier planting stuff like small plants like hc and it is a lot better for root systems i can post a pic of my 60 gal with the sand if you would like? and your fish and plants will be fine
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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If you could post a picture, it would be great! Thanks!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 07:17 AM
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here are the pics of my sand

that is my flour leaf clover shamrock taking off

Last edited by i love planted tanks; 07-21-2008 at 11:09 AM.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-06-2008, 09:25 AM
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If you are familiar with Estes white marine sand, I would go with that. It's nice and fine and stays very white. It is inert, and will say "safe for freshwater" right on the bag.It's what I use in all my tanks, and have for years. In order for it to sink properly, you have to work with it a bit first. I place it in a bucket, add a bit of water to cover it, and run my hand through it many times to get some oils onto it so it will sink. Once it is good and wet it will sink for the most part. Any floating particles will eventually settle.
Roofing sand may have silicates in it. I would remove the fish to a container while you are doing this, to be safe. Some water can be removed without any detrimental effect on the tank. Water does not hold the bulk of the bacteria in your tank. It is on the equipment, walls of the tank, substrate,etc.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks "I love planted tanks" and Waterfaller1. Awesome clovers btw!

So... my plan is somewhat complicated by an upcoming move I will be making 1/2 hr from where I currently live. I will be moving in 2.5 weeks. I have been thinking of the best way to make this all happen, and this is the plan I have conjured up so far for my substrate and fish:

1 - empty water at old place, and send fish to LFS for 2 weeks (stilll have to call the guy and see if he'll provide a "hotel" service)

2 - Throw paper towels and plastic wrap over plants and transport tank as such 1/2 hour to new home

3 - At new home rinse out flourite sand very very well, and replace old substrate with it. Uprooting involved here.

4 - Fill tank with water, treat with conditioner. Replant, including introduction of HC.

5 - Maintain old filter sponge and bags and allow to cycle for 2 weeks

6 - After two weeks test ammonia and nitrates, and if at zero (which I really hope will be the case) bring fish back home

Ok - I have to admitt, I am totally terrified to be doing all this as a newbie. Please please please.... tell me - is there anything I may have overlooked here??? Do you have any suggestions???
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Waterfaller1.

I choose flourite sand over the Estees, althoug I think the Estee's looks great, bc I need good fertilization in my new substrate setup. I know Estee's is inert - but I am assuming a fertilizer must be added with it, which probably isn't inert.

What fertilizer do you use, and what effect do you think it would have on my water chemical levels if I added it to the sand directly after I move in Step 3 above?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yassmeena View Post

6 - After two weeks test ammonia and nitrates, and if at zero (which I really hope will be the case) bring fish back home

Ok - I have to admitt, I am totally terrified to be doing all this as a newbie. Please please please.... tell me - is there anything I may have overlooked here??? Do you have any suggestions???
Don't forget that without fish you'll have to add ammonia to keep that cycle going.

Maybe if you leave the tank till last and have the new site set up ready to go you can just transport the tank partially drained with your fish in it. I've stuck mine in a bucket before to take them places but I've never travelled for 30 mins before so keep an eye on the temperature. You should be able to keep them in a bucket for a couple of days while you redo your tank though by just doing daily water changes. What fish have you got though?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 11:54 AM
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I wouldn't send them to the LFS... it isn't worth that hastle.

I would instead do as TLH suggests and use 5g buckets. I just moved 45 miles and did this, while changing my substrate completely.

1) remove fish to half full bucket of tank water. (2.5 gallons--ish) I also kept the bio media from my AC50's in the bucket with the fish. Keep the bio media wet. This is essential.
2) Drain tank completely--don't move half full tanks, this is how they fail in a catostrophic way.
3) removed substrate. Removed all equipment. Put plants in plastic bags with wet paper towels.
4) Scrubbed out tank. Got rid of residual algae.
5) Packed all in car.
6) drove to destination. Unloaded car. Put fish bucket in house and hooked up air pump.
7) Rinsed new sand. Took 1 hour.
8) Placed driftwood, plants, rocks
9) Set heater back up. Set up filters. Lights, Got wiring set. Let temp in tank adjust.
10) Replaced fish after tank temp and bucket temp matched. (74 degrees, as bucket had cooled some. fish then adjusted quickly).
11) Rejoice.

My tank was cloudy for a day or so because I didn't rinse the play sand perfectly, but it is doing great now at 1.5 weeks later. I did all of this in a matter of about 3.5 hours, including driving time, and rinsing sand. You could rinse your sand before the move and save that time.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
I wouldn't send them to the LFS... it isn't worth that hastle.

I would instead do as TLH suggests and use 5g buckets. I just moved 45 miles and did this, while changing my substrate completely.

1) remove fish to half full bucket of tank water. (2.5 gallons--ish) I also kept the bio media from my AC50's in the bucket with the fish. Keep the bio media wet. This is essential.
2) Drain tank completely--don't move half full tanks, this is how they fail in a catostrophic way.
3) removed substrate. Removed all equipment. Put plants in plastic bags with wet paper towels.
4) Scrubbed out tank. Got rid of residual algae.
5) Packed all in car.
6) drove to destination. Unloaded car. Put fish bucket in house and hooked up air pump.
7) Rinsed new sand. Took 1 hour.
8) Placed driftwood, plants, rocks
9) Set heater back up. Set up filters. Lights, Got wiring set. Let temp in tank adjust.
10) Replaced fish after tank temp and bucket temp matched. (74 degrees, as bucket had cooled some. fish then adjusted quickly).
11) Rejoice.

My tank was cloudy for a day or so because I didn't rinse the play sand perfectly, but it is doing great now at 1.5 weeks later. I did all of this in a matter of about 3.5 hours, including driving time, and rinsing sand. You could rinse your sand before the move and save that time.
Okay - I'll do this then! Definately better than sending my fish off to an LFS.

Thanks
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-07-2008, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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What fish have you got though?
I have 5 Corys, 1 pleco, 4 zebra danios, and 10 amano shrimp.

I',m working this up slowly into a discus tank, slowwwwwwly!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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I have 5 Corys, 1 pleco, 4 zebra danios, and 10 amano shrimp.

I',m working this up slowly into a discus tank, slowwwwwwly!
Upon further thinking, I am worried that adding a flourite sand substrate with few water changes, conditioner, and old bio media, then throwing in fish may harm my fish. What do you all think?

Yes - I will be using Flourite sand, not plain sand.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 01:48 AM
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Flourite should be fine, just rinse it before you fill the tank and pour the new water onto a plate placed on the gravel to save disturbing it too much. Store your media in water while you transport it and you can leave it for a couple of days without too much worry about bacteria die off.

You will need to acclimatize your fish to your new water conditions before placing them in the newly positioned tank. Equalize temperatures and pH slowly and you can put them straight in once the tank has settled for a day or two. It's not a good idea to put them in straight after you filled the tank though, you need to let the water bubbles disappear from the glass surfaces first otherwise you stand a chance of seeing gasbubble disease.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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It's not a good idea to put them in straight after you filled the tank though, you need to let the water bubbles disappear from the glass surfaces first otherwise you stand a chance of seeing gasbubble disease.
Wow - I had no idea that even existed!

I am liking the idea of sending them to an LFS for a couple days more and more now.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yassmeena View Post
Hi Waterfaller1.
What fertilizer do you use, and what effect do you think it would have on my water chemical levels if I added it to the sand directly after I move in Step 3 above?
Is the whole tank going to be sand? Why do you feel you must have sand for HC? I use N,P,&K and CSM&B on alternating days, wc on 7th day. I use excel in my nanos, and press. CO2 in the 20L. Two of my nanos have a generic peat & compost soil under the gravel & sand.
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