Found A Deal At A Garage Sale!!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by Goldfishfreak, May 17, 2018.

  1. Goldfishfreak

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember

    I found a 20g tank with stand gravel heater filter and decor for $50!

    The only thing is the filter is old and the gravel may affect ph so I think I'm going to replace those things but I will see.

    It also came with a VHS on how to set up your aquarium! I was laughing so hard when I saw that. I think I might just watch it to see what its like!

    Here are some pictures.
    I plan on posting more when it is all set up.

    Not sure what to put in it. Thinking maybe I'll be adventurous with some shrimp. Or my lfs sells blue lobsters and Ive always thought those were cool looking. I will give it some more thought.

    If you a have any suggestions of what colour of gravel to buy please share!
    I'm not very good at matching colours.

    Attached Files:

  2. danhutchins

    danhutchinsValued MemberMember

    Personally I like black substrates. Are you planning to plant the tank or just have fish? I find that black substrate and a black background make fish color and green plants pop.
  3. Mazeus

    MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    Woop, Woop! Good find. I love a deal.

  4. OP

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember

    It came with some really nice fake plants but I would like to add a a few love ones..

    Thanks for the suggestion! I was thinking about black but I have never done all black gravel so I didn't know how it would look. It sounds like it would look good.
  5. Fishgirl71

    Fishgirl71Valued MemberMember

    I just bought used black Flourite gravel from a guy with a 90 gallon tank to set up a couple of planted tanks in my basement. I'll post pics when I get this project completed.

  6. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    What makes you think that gravel will change the pH? I don't think it will (but go with sand, because it's much better...)
  7. BlackOspreyValued MemberMember

    Oooh, nice find!
    I'd urge you to try black gravel. I've had everything from brown pebbles to white fine sand and I find I like the look of black gravel the most.
  8. OP

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember

    I found the gravel on the top fin website and it said it did. I was thinking maybe sand and small gravel mixed or like half and half.

    I think I will. I've heard good things about it thanks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2018
  9. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    The sand will go below the gravel, so don't bother mixing it :(

    Really, sand is so much better than gravel :) And you can get black sand too!
  10. OP

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember

    I will definitely think about sand!!
  11. JLeeM

    JLeeMWell Known MemberMember

    Good job on a great deal! Have fun with it.
  12. OP

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember

    I will!!
  13. OP

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember


    I think I'm going to go with black fine sand. I've never dove a full sand tank before, any brand you recommend? I know some can raise Ph but I think it says usually if it does right?
  14. King o´ Angelfish

    King o´ AngelfishWell Known MemberMember

    Why is sand better than gravel? It gets clogged in filter, you always pull some out when vacuming, poop and waste stands out in it, and it causes anaerobic problems when not properly attended. Personally, i enjoy the looks and user friendly river-looking gravel.
  15. BlackOspreyValued MemberMember

    If you cover the filter intake with a sponge, sand won't clog it up. You do suck some out while vacuuming but not too much unless you just shove your siphon down in there. Poop and detritus only really stand out on white sand; black sand hides it rather well. Most aquariums don't have enough sand to cause anaerobic bacteria problems, and if that's a concern, just keep MTS's or other sand-sifting bottom feeders that stir it up a lot.

    I think the main advantage of sand is that it keeps all the waste on top, unlike gravel, which allows a lot of waste to crumble and fall between the pebbles. That buildup can make the water really nasty unless you regularly vacuum it, which kicks up waste and is generally a pain. With sand, you just sweep over the surface for any poop or crud.

    Also @OP no matter what kind of sand you use, RINSE IT WELL. My brother used black sand for his axie tank and didn't rinse it that well... and the water was still cloudy a month later. e-e
  16. OP

    GoldfishfreakValued MemberMember

    I will rinse it well. I found a video on how to wash it in a bucket. I have a small gravel vac that I can use and I like to cover the filter intake anyways. I want to move my loaches to the tank to they will stir things up a bit. The tank they are in gave smooth gravel but I think they will like the sand more
  17. King o´ Angelfish

    King o´ AngelfishWell Known MemberMember

    YEah that is what makes sand more workful to have. You wouldnt have to have an intake cover with gravel. Gravel also wont need an MTS. I agree with the main advantage, but adding up all the work to keep it, i find gravel more easy and delightful to the eyes.
  18. BlackOspreyValued MemberMember

    Eh, I think it's a matter of preference. My biggest issue was how the really fine white sand would get everywhere and cover decor like dust. Covering the intake isn't difficult (sponges are cheap) and MTS's are so hardy that they're difficult to get rid of even on purpose.

    Aside from preference, sometimes sand is just good for the particular species you're keeping. Fine white sand was kind of a pain, but watching my loaches' enthusiastic burrowing made it worth it.
  19. TexasDomer

    TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    For black sand, Black Diamond Blasting Sand (or another coal slag blasting sand) is a cheap option - around $8 for 50 lbs. It should not raise pH.

    Sounds like you're doing something wrong :)

    I never get it in my filter - it's heavy enough to not have this happen, even with my sand-burrowing fish.

    When vacuuming, stir the siphon tube above the sand so you'll get the waste but not the sand, no need to stick it into the sand.

    Yes, waste stays on top, but I think that is much preferable than it getting stuck below the gravel where it rots away and can be more difficult to clean up.

    Keep it under 2" and you don't have to worry about anaerobic pockets, or add something like Malaysian trumpet snails if you want to go deeper/you're paranoid (or use a chopstick to stir during gravel vacs - and no, this will not stir up the sand and make it go into your filter).
  20. ValerieAdams

    ValerieAdamsWell Known MemberMember

    I was going to say the same thing!

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