Need emergency help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Need emergency help

Was unfortunately gifted with 4 geophagus surinamensis a few minutes ago they're barely an inch and a half and was not prepared for new fish so I need to setup an uncycled tank, but my question is can I use a half inch of home Depot play sand? Or is there an equally fine sand I can use that is reasonably priced in stores

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 07:28 PM
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HD play sand is the white sugar stuff, right? It's probably quartzite, very low reactivity and OK for now if you wash it really well. I've looked at what HD sells as builder's sand in OC and it looked acceptable, too, though some of the particles were pretty big. First use tap water, then water from an established tank. Usually people recommend against mixing water between tanks but your are in a bind. The risk to the shrimp from this is probably less than the risk of putting them into an uncycled new tank with new water.

Use the biggest temporary container you can manage so there is as much water as possible for the wastes to diffuse into while your permanent tank is cycling without the shrimp. Test frequently and replace/replenish sooner rather than later. Set up the permanent shrimp tank and let it cycle before adding your new shrimp.


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75, 55, 2 & 1 inside / 2154 gallons outside
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 07:32 PM
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can I use a half inch of home Depot play sand? Or is there an equally fine sand I can use that is reasonably priced in stores
yes you can just be ready to wash it really good - this kind of sand is very dusty
look at pool filter sand - in HomeDepot/Lowes - its cleaner
currently im using silica sand from Menards - very clean, doesn't require washing at all and very nice white color

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HD play sand is the white sugar stuff, right?
im not OP but i just know that it looks like regular yellow sand )

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Set up the permanent shrimp tank and let it cycle before adding your new shrimp
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4 geophagus surinamensis
he got fish, very nice fish )

anyway you gave OP good advice )

Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-20-2015 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 07:57 PM
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I am no help, but those are very nice looking fish! I wish I could keep them, but they get too big
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 08:00 PM
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he got fish, very nice fish
OOps! I saw his nickname and that was that.
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75, 55, 2 & 1 inside / 2154 gallons outside
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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yes you can just be ready to wash it really good - this kind of sand is very dusty
look at pool filter sand - in HomeDepot/Lowes - its cleaner
currently im using silica sand from Menards - very clean, doesn't require washing at all and very nice white color
Wish I had a menards, I love white sand and that's what I'll need for their eventual tank, I ran and got number 20 pfs to play it safe, I'll put a filter in from my beta tank and just change water daily till I'm done building their display tank and stand I aprreciate the quick responses

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I am no help, but those are very nice looking fish! I wish I could keep them, but they get too big
They're maxed out around 6 and a quarter in aquariums some people report larger but it's a rarity not the norm. So basically any angel sized tank is good for a pair I'd go minimum 75 or 55 with a large sump.

And yeah my name is misleading I was a newbie years ago=) these are my first Surinams but I had altifrons which were much bigger, this is only my second fresh tank in over 2 years the other being a 7 gallon beta biotope

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If anyone is interested I'll take some photos of them when they're in the tank, they were given to me in a bucket so no photos till the water is warmed up

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-20-2015 at 02:16 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 11:49 PM
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i would go with pool filter sand, from lowes or HD, my opinion is based on a few hours of research on the internet.
I am currently using it in my tank, so far so good.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up using pfs and a section is turface proleague I'll take pics tomorrow the water is still very cloudy but they are happy, they have a sponge filter and a power head for now.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 05:44 AM
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Go with pool filter sand if you can. Cost a little bit more, but actually cheaper considering the less amount of cleaning you have to do in comparison to the dirty play sand. PFS better for not compacting, creating anaerobic pockets as well. The play sand tends to have a bunch of random debris in it and the PFS is cleaner so I would prefer the Geophagus, being a eartheater, to sift through clean PFS rather than play sand. But with that said, I am sure both are usable. Check your LFS for other options and to see their prices.

EDIT: Oh just read your latest post. Good choice. Haven't had Turface personally so can't speak of the grain size or shape/roughness, but I hear it's a great inert substrate with a high CEC, so that's great for planted tanks!

How big is the tank? Being uncycled, is it at all possible to use seeded biomedia from your other tanks? If you can, I would highly suggest doing so. If not, then staying on top of water changes and vacuuming may be wise.
Fry can be sensitive to water parameters since after all, they aren't fully developed.




Great fish though!
Heard many reports of them being able to be kept with small fish (1-2" tetras, etc), which is really near given the dramatic size differences. But I have also read of many Geophagus species devouring the small fish. Need to do more research on what Geophagus species is most feasible when it comes to housing them with small fish. I suppose if "swimming" fish might be safe, small bottom dwellers might get sucked up when the Geos are scavenging/sifting around?

Hey, since you are raising them from fry, maybe you have the best chance by growing them up with small community fish and they might become accustomed to the other tankmates, so they won't consider them as food? (If you were thinking of stocking in that manner)
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Go with pool filter sand if you can. Cost a little bit more, but actually cheaper considering the less amount of cleaning you have to do in comparison to the dirty play sand. PFS better for not compacting, creating anaerobic pockets as well. The play sand tends to have a bunch of random debris in it and the PFS is cleaner so I would prefer the Geophagus, being a eartheater, to sift through clean PFS rather than play sand. But with that said, I am sure both are usable. Check your LFS for other options and to see their prices.

EDIT: Oh just read your latest post. Good choice. Haven't had Turface personally so can't speak of the grain size or shape/roughness, but I hear it's a great inert substrate with a high CEC, so that's great for planted tanks!

How big is the tank? Being uncycled, is it at all possible to use seeded biomedia from your other tanks? If you can, I would highly suggest doing so. If not, then staying on top of water changes and vacuuming may be wise.
Fry can be sensitive to water parameters since after all, they aren't fully developed.




Great fish though!
Heard many reports of them being able to be kept with small fish (1-2" tetras, etc), which is really near given the dramatic size differences. But I have also read of many Geophagus species devouring the small fish. Need to do more research on what Geophagus species is most feasible when it comes to housing them with small fish. I suppose if "swimming" fish might be safe, small bottom dwellers might get sucked up when the Geos are scavenging/sifting around?

Hey, since you are raising them from fry, maybe you have the best chance by growing them up with small community fish and they might become accustomed to the other tankmates, so they won't consider them as food? (If you were thinking of stocking in that manner)
As long as they are fed they have zero aggression towards even the smallest of tank mates, this anecdote is based on my previous experience with altifrons though. I full intend on having them with a group of rummy nose and a nice group of corydoras and possibly a few bn plecos depending on how big a tank my wife let's me get away with next summer.

They're temporarily in a 10 gallon with a seeded tetra whisper 30i and a sponge filter+power head. I'm in the middle of building a 40 breeder which will be their grow out till we move in june, by then they'll reach around 3 or 4 inches long. I plan to overfilter that sump and feed a lot.

So far a sump and fuildized sand filter are planned for that tank, I imagine the same for their forever tank just larger scale.

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Water cleared up today, I have a kitten so they tend to hide from the front glass, they uprooted the sponge filter lolClick image for larger version

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I'm going to make a temporary fluidized bed for them since the sponge filter is too easy for them to move, they provide far better filtration anyway

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-21-2015 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 05:28 PM
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Sounds like a good plan!

It appears though that the success at keeping Geophagus with smaller fish does depend on the species of Geos. Researched it quite a bit, plenty of threads out there with people's experiences that had them coexist peacefully while some species would gobble some up occasionally and some would devour all the little torpedo-shaped fish with a few days time. And I think G. surinamensis was one species that many had experienced them eating rummy nose tetra and the like. But since you are starting them out as fry, you might have more chance of successfully keeping them together if you raise them alongside when young...potentially...

Large enough corys should be fine though. Plecos also.

Power head in a 10 gallon a bit much current?

How are the fluidized sand bed filters in comparison to fluidized/moving bed filters using biomedia such as k1 kaldness (was actually wanting to use the newer improved versions of k1, can't remember the names though - was 2 better ones, something with "hex" in the name?) or other plastic media or even round ceramic/sintered glass biomedia?
Was going to set one up like Joey (King of DIY on youtube) has.

I honestly haven't look much into using actual sand. I would think it would be able to support more surface area for more aerobic nitrifying bacteria, volume-wise in comparison to other media, however from videos I have saw of it, the sand seems heavier and more likely to get weight down with enough build up. But I suppose with the proper design and strong enough flow, the sand should be able to stay clean enough to remain buoyant enough,
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2015, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a good plan!

It appears though that the success at keeping Geophagus with smaller fish does depend on the species of Geos. Researched it quite a bit, plenty of threads out there with people's experiences that had them coexist peacefully while some species would gobble some up occasionally and some would devour all the little torpedo-shaped fish with a few days time. And I think G. surinamensis was one species that many had experienced them eating rummy nose tetra and the like. But since you are starting them out as fry, you might have more chance of successfully keeping them together if you raise them alongside when young...potentially...

Large enough corys should be fine though. Plecos also.

Power head in a 10 gallon a bit much current?

How are the fluidized sand bed filters in comparison to fluidized/moving bed filters using biomedia such as k1 kaldness (was actually wanting to use the newer improved versions of k1, can't remember the names though - was 2 better ones, something with "hex" in the name?) or other plastic media or even round ceramic/sintered glass biomedia?
Was going to set one up like Joey (King of DIY on youtube) has.

I honestly haven't look much into using actual sand. I would think it would be able to support more surface area for more aerobic nitrifying bacteria, volume-wise in comparison to other media, however from videos I have saw of it, the sand seems heavier and more likely to get weight down with enough build up. But I suppose with the proper design and strong enough flow, the sand should be able to stay clean enough to remain buoyant enough,
The sand allows a much smaller container while having an incredibly large increase in surface area, a single liter of sand could easily handle a heavily stocked 100g tank. That won't be the only filtration but definitely all the bio needed

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Oh and should they pick off their tank mates I won't hesitate to trade them in as adults for young tapajos

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-21-2015 at 01:50 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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