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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have been neglecting my freshwater tank for a while now. ever since i got my saltwater. over the time, the lights have broken(yes, the whole fixture. not just the bulb.) and i didn't do anything. does anybody have a light fixture they can spare? i feel bad and am hoping to restock my tank, and upgrade it to a planted tank. my first order of bussiness is to convert to sand. i have 3" of gravel right now, and was wondering how i could go about changing it into sand. i am planning on using play sand because i am low on money. would this be a good idea? i have 2 species of plant right now, they are low light plants because my light fixture broke. it am only using the lid right now. how do i go about rinsing the sand? will plants do good in sand? second off is the cleanup crew. what can i get for cheap? i know the $1 snails and the 33 cent ghost shrimp. what other cleanup crew are there around the palatine area for cheap? does somebody have them to help me out? i have a catfish and 2 black kuhli loaches that i think will like the sand a lot. does anybody have any cleanup crew they can spare? fish, snails, shrimp, anything will be accepted as long as is will not eat small fish. i am sorry but am only 14 and am broke at the moment. my next order of business is the stocking. what fish would be a good idea for a planted tank? i know i should pick fish that i like, but what are some fish people have in their planted tank now? does anyone have any fish in the palatine area they can change? all donations will be gratefully accepted. next, what plants do i add? i have those wall mart seeds that people are supposed to jsut put in the tank and they are growing beautifully. that is what makes me want to start a planted tank. i am broke right now, so if anybody has anything they no longer need i will gratefully take it, as long as it can live in a planted tank of course. please don't think i am just trying to get things for free. i may be able to even pay you if your prices are really low. all donations are gratefully accepted. around the palatine area please. thank you for at least reading this far.
 

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My best advice would be to SLOW DOWN. You will get the most out of this fresh water planted Aquarium if you spend maybe a month doing NOTHING but research. Each night after you get your homework done go to the main forum page and find the specific topic sub-forums. Start with the equpitment forum and read every thread. If you don't understand something post a question and tell them your are 14 and what to learn.

Go through each forum down to the DIY read that too.

Over the next few weeks, take apart your fresh water tank and clean every thing. On the weekends look around your neighborhood and see if you can find a construction site. This is IMPORTANT ask the workers if you can have a bucket of sand for your fish tank. Never just take anything.

If your are willing to do that, I think the older members might be interested in helping you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ok. thanks. where do i put the fish while i clean out the tank? and if i do won't the benificial bacteria whipe out?
 

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I prefer regular pool filter sand to construction grade sand (assuming it's pavers sand, play sand, etc) since it doesn't pack as tight as other sands do. Your bacteria will be fine as long as you leave your filter alone while you're cleaning out the main part of the tank. Keep your fish in a bucket with an airstone or even better if you have a spare tank run your current filter on it with your fish in there. Good luck with your project.
 

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freph - Good tips.

You're missing the point on the sand in this case. The OP is 14 with very little money to spend. We live in a Kettle Moraine area here. We have several quarries. Sand is around $11 a ton. It's pretty much free if one asks in a respectful manner.

MTS(snails) will solve the packing issue. Even better would be to use a sand cap on MTS(soil).

fishyfish22 - Startt going around your neibrhood on the night before garbage day. Look for Aquariums & Equip in the trash. A little bleach ( 1 cup bleach + 19 Cups hot water) will disinfect old equipment and vinegar with take off the white lime/cal. build up.

I found a pretty new 10 gl. 3 wks ago. I'm using as a qurantine tank.

There are lots of ways to have a hobby on a very little money. The two best places to look are apartment & condos (they move more often) and expencive homes (they throw out vs. resell)
 

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Ok so if you are going to use play sand (don't feel bad I'm broke too and I'm thirty!) I used play sand in my tank but before you put it anywhere near your tank you have to rinse and rinse well. Quartz sand (play sand) has a large amount of clay in it (the bonding agent) that is what allows it to mold and shape. I used one bag of play sand in my 75 gal. But before I did I put a 2.5 inch layer of white gravel (crushed coral). This will provide a buffer zone for your plant to develop their roots better. But I cannot stress this enough. RINSE THE EVER LOVING CRAP OUT OF THAT SAND!!!!! Put it in a plastic tub and rinse a little at a time til you see clear water. Then put it aside and move on to the next load. I used a water hose outside due to the fact that I ended up losing a lil sand when dumping water.


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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
my tank is a 20 gallon. thank you for all of the information. i am going to go with play sand. will the fish do good in a 5 gallon bucket? i can't set up a quarentine tank because i usually use if for saltwater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i am not allowed to order things that cost things online because i don't have a credit card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
one more thing, where would i find a construction site in/very near palatine for sand? do i just go in there and ask for sand politely?
 
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