Cleaning Sand Etc.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by sylviepld, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. sylviepld

    sylviepld Valued Member Member

    I am thinking of using sand as a substrate for my new 75 gal. tank. I have read MANY of the threads in this site and have learned a lot but I am still left with a few questions.
    1. Which sand would have the biggest particles and still be considered 'sandy' enough for Corys?
    2. I prefer darker sand or mixed color. I read that play sand has more silicates than other sands and
    could cause problems with diatoms. Is this really true?
    3. I also read that 'Black Diamond' sand can be rough and sharp. Will it damage the barbels on the
    4. Are there different particle sizes for pool sand or does it just come in fine?
    5. Is aquarium grade sand the better way to go even though it is much more expensive?
    6. What is the easiest way to prep/clean the sand before use?
    Sorry I have so many questions. Any advice/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. el337

    el337 Fishlore Legend Member

    1. PFS or BDBS will be just fine for corys. Play sand compacts much more and has finer grains.

    2. I'd go for BDBS then. You can't beat the price - $8 for a 50lb bag. I'd think you may have diatoms in any new setup.

    3. BDBS isn't sharp and is fine for corys. It's what I have in my tank. I have the 20/40 (medium) grade and I love it.

    4. I believe there are different sizes for PFS though I believe that really depends on the brand you get.

    5. I don't think aquarium sand is any better than the others. Just more expensive. I don't think it's worth it.

    6. I washed my sand at least 5 or 6 times in buckets. Some sands might require more/less washing.
  3. OP

    sylviepld Valued Member Member

    Thanks so much for your thorough answer. I might sound uninformed but is PFS another way to say Aquarium store sand
  4. AllieSten

    AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    PFS is pool filter sand. It is bought at swimming pool stores. It is different than play sand or aquarium sand, but used just as often in fishtanks.

    I use bdbs and absolutely love it. Planning on getting a school of cories myself in the next couple of weeks. It isn't sharp at all. You can get the medium grit which is just heavier but not sharper. It doesn't cause as much cloudiness when cleaning. Or you can get the fine grit, which makes a bigger mess because it is so light in weight. So each time you vacuum it floats around for awhile before it sinks back down. It is up to you. The bdbs is a really deep black color, which is exactly what I wanted. And it is $8 for 50lbs which is an amazing price.
  5. B

    Betrayer Well Known Member Member

    Allie-Thanks for the feedback on the bdbs! How many lbs of the sand did you use in your tank and what size is your tank? If you had a lot leftover, was it easy to close up the bag and store it somewhere? Is the medium grit the 20/40?
  6. OP

    sylviepld Valued Member Member

    I'd like to say thanks as well. I'm also wondering how much I would use in a 75 gallon tank. Finally, what does the 20/40 stand for?
  7. AllieSten

    AllieSten Fishlore VIP Member

    I have a 29 gallon tank and I used just over half the 50lb bag. The bag is a cloth bag, so it was very easy to close the bag and store in my garage. Although now that I think about it I haven't seen the bag in a few days. Hope hubby didn't throw it out when he went to the dump on Sunday. Usually you plan for 1lb of sand for every 1 gallon. I got a good 2" layer with my 30lbs or so.

    The medium grit is the 20/40. Not sure what it stands for. At least that's the markings on the bag I have.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  8. max h

    max h Well Known Member Member

    The 20/40 grit is what they use as a reference to sand paper grit.

    I would just get 100 lbs for a 75 gallon. For a 5' 110 gallon tank 150lbs gave me 2-3" of substrate for planting.

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