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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm very cautious when it comes to putting things in my tank that aren't MADE for fishtanks.....truth be told I'd rather spend 25 bucks on a bag of "aquarium sand" than risk killing everything with some 5 dollar home depot sand....but today, I'm stepping out of my box. I'm having trouble with plants staying planted (mainly microsword) so I'm adding sand to my substrate. Went to home depot, and bought a bag of pool filter sand....rinsed it to death, water runs clear. Is there ANYTHING else I should do to this stuff before I start putting it in my tank? Is there ANY chance that its going to do something funky to the water and kill all my fish?
 

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I'm very cautious when it comes to putting things in my tank that aren't MADE for fishtanks.....truth be told I'd rather spend 25 bucks on a bag of "aquarium sand" than risk killing everything with some 5 dollar home depot sand....but today, I'm stepping out of my box. I'm having trouble with plants staying planted (mainly microsword) so I'm adding sand to my substrate. Went to home depot, and bought a bag of pool filter sand....rinsed it to death, water runs clear. Is there ANYTHING else I should do to this stuff before I start putting it in my tank? Is there ANY chance that its going to do something funky to the water and kill all my fish?
whats wrong with PFS? none , just rinsed it a few time and you good to go , play sand at HD is OK too , but play sand you need to rinsed a lil more than PFS ,
 

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Pool filter sand can be the 2nd best substrate you will use.
It is perfect, and I mean really perfect for stems.
My only beef is I can get only beige where some people are able to get gray or almost black. It depends on where in the country it comes from. Our suppliers get beige.
 

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Pool filter sand can be the 2nd best substrate you will use.
It is perfect, and I mean really perfect for stems.
My only beef is I can get only beige where some people are able to get gray or almost black. It depends on where in the country it comes from. Our suppliers get beige.

Agree. Pool filter sand is very good substrate for aquarium use, and quite cheap too. I used a white variety in my multis tank and I paid $11 for a 50lb bag. The good thing with it is that it's already pre-rinsed, so you don't need to rinse it many times. It looks great as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
awesome. sand is rinsed and ready to go. here's my next question :) should I mix it with my plant substrate or do a layer on top? Does it matter? For vanity purposes I'd rather mix...Functional as it may be, its still uniform in color and beige.
 

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awesome. sand is rinsed and ready to go. here's my next question :) should I mix it with my plant substrate or do a layer on top? Does it matter? For vanity purposes I'd rather mix...Functional as it may be, its still uniform in color and beige.
It's gonna mix after some time anyway, so I would suggest mixing it before adding to the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
other substrates already in there, tanks 8 months old, but I'll do my best! Thinking my siphen would be a good way to blend it together....pushing it all the way to the bottom and letting the suction swirl it together. need to do a water change anyway.
 

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What plant specific substrate are you mixing with the pool filter sand? Curious because I want to do the opposite (find a plant specific substrate to mix with my sand).
 

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I can get only beige where some people are able to get gray or almost black. It depends on where in the country it comes from. Our suppliers get beige.
this's something totally new to me .. i thought PFS basically just a silica sand which will turn white under the light ..i had never heard/see any PFS thats gray or black..may be 3M color quazt but not PFS , most often people and myself used to mix PFS with play sand for better nature color cause play sand is beige color to off set the white color of the PFS .
 

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Pool filter sand can be almost any color, just as quartz or quartzite can be almost any color. The black PFS that was reported here was apparently made from black granite. Mine has a mix of colors from almost white thru beige to dark brown. To me it looks very good. PFS has to have particle sizes such that water will flow relatively freely through it without it packing down, and it has to not change the hardness of the swimming pool water, which means no carbonate sands. Those are almost exactly what we need for a good inert substrate.
 

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Right now I have Activ Flora. Petco sells it.
Does Activ Flora need a lot of rinsing?

When I use pool filter sand I put it on top. I separated it from the other dirt using metal flashing. Thus in the front sand and back fluorite. It didn't mix with dirt underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does Activ Flora need a lot of rinsing?

When I use pool filter sand I put it on top. I separated it from the other dirt using metal flashing. Thus in the front sand and back fluorite. It didn't mix with dirt underneath.

I drained the excess water from the bag but thats it. its "bioactive" so rinsing wouldn't be a good thing.
 

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Pool filter sand can be almost any color, just as quartz or quartzite can be almost any color. The black PFS that was reported here was apparently made from black granite. Mine has a mix of colors from almost white thru beige to dark brown. To me it looks very good. PFS has to have particle sizes such that water will flow relatively freely through it without it packing down, and it has to not change the hardness of the swimming pool water, which means no carbonate sands. Those are almost exactly what we need for a good inert substrate.
learning some new every days ....should had know this sooner . better than paid 18$/bag for 3M , and washing 3M black is os PITA
 

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I picked up a bag of white (mostly-white, actually), silica sand, ~$8 for a 100# bag. It's intended for use in sandblasting, and this particular source is 99.4% silica, in other words completely inert.

As happens often with some health-related issues, there's alot of hype and BS on the internet. Bags of silica sand sold in California, whether they be marked "play sand", "sandblasting sand", etc., have a Proposition 65 health warning on it. This is due to workers getting very sick from breathing in silica dust that is produced in sandblasting operations.

So now there's a few companies hyping this all up, and scaring parents that their kids are going to get gravely ill from normal play sand. Of course all the parents need to do is wash the dust out of the sand first, and don't let their kids use it in sandblasting equipment. ;) But these companies try to make money with scary web pages about the dangers of "free silica" (which often implies that silica itself is dangerous), and by selling very expensive bags of pre-washed sand. One result of this is that I often see posts from aquarists on the forums who was afraid to put (completely inert) silica sand into their tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
All done and its beautiful :) (I think...... I've been changing things/moving things around for the past few weeks with almost zero visiblity in the water, should be interesting to see what I've actually done once the water clears up...)
 

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Pool filter sand is an awesome substrate. $8 for 50lbs...come on! I've used it in numerous tanks and never had an issue. Just give it a good rinse and you're set. Cloudiness is only a problem until the bacteria grows on the sand and that keeps it from shifting so much.

I went with Oil-Dri on this new tank. It's nice, but doesn't hold a candle, in my opinion, to PFS. Only problem is....it's getting the time of year PFS is hard to find around here! Going to go buy 3-4 bags today just in case I get that 125-180g I've been wanting. :proud:
 

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:icon_rollHi all, I just put PFS in my 26 bowfront, its a new setup. I rinsed it outside about 5 times but my tank is very cloudy.:icon_redf I did a small WC today it helped a little, the filter seems to be doing nothing, should I do larger WC until it clears ? Im going to use seachems stablity for good bactieria should I wait until the tank is clear ? :frown:
 

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The trick is to keep the little particles in the water column and out of the substrate. I like to put a small power head at it's lowest volume near the bottom about three inches from the substrate and point it up towards the middle and then run a canister with purigen to suck the particles out of the water column that helps to clear it fast.

I just got done doing that on a new tank last weekend with SMS. I washed it twice dumped it in and just pored the conditioned water in straight from the bucket then setup my canisters and powerhead and went to bed. It was crystal clear the next morning.

- Brad
 

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The trick is to keep the little particles in the water column and out of the substrate. I like to put a small power head at it's lowest volume near the bottom about three inches from the substrate and point it up towards the middle and then run a canister with purigen to suck the particles out of the water column that helps to clear it fast.

I just got done doing that on a new tank last weekend with SMS. I washed it twice dumped it in and just pored the conditioned water in straight from the bucket then setup my canisters and powerhead and went to bed. It was crystal clear the next morning.

- Brad
Cool idea!
 
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