Found A Deal At A Garage Sale!!

Goldfishfreak

Member
I found a 20 gallon 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.
 

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danhutchins

Member
Goldfishfreak said:
I found a 20 gallon 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.
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.
 

Mazeus

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

Member
danhutchins said:
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.
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.
 

Fishgirl71

Member
Goldfishfreak said:
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.
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.
 

TexasDomer

Member
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...)
 

BlackOsprey

Member
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.
 
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Goldfishfreak

Member
TexasDomer said:
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...)
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.

BlackOsprey said:
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.
I think I will. I've heard good things about it thanks!
 

TexasDomer

Member
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!
 
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Goldfishfreak

Member
TexasDomer said:
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!
I will definitely think about sand!!
 

JLeeM

Member
Good job on a great deal! Have fun with it.
 
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Goldfishfreak

Member
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Goldfishfreak

Member
TexasDomer

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?
 

King o´ Angelfish

Member
W
TexasDomer said:
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!
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.
 

BlackOsprey

Member
King o´ Angelfish said:
W

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.
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
 
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Goldfishfreak

Member
BlackOsprey said:
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

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
 

King o´ Angelfish

Member
BlackOsprey said:
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
YEah that is what makes sand more workful to have. You wouldnt have to have an intake cover with gravel. Gravel also won't 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.
 

BlackOsprey

Member
King o´ Angelfish said:
YEah that is what makes sand more workful to have. You wouldnt have to have an intake cover with gravel. Gravel also won't 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.
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.
 

TexasDomer

Member
Goldfishfreak said:
TexasDomer

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?
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.

King o´ Angelfish said:
W

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.
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).
 

ValerieAdams

Member
danhutchins said:
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.
I was going to say the same thing!
 

Cardeater

Member
TexasDomer said:
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.
I did a little research on sand but I guess I never got to actual prices as I didn't know it was that cheap!
 

TexasDomer

Member
It's not at the pet store (per usually, they really hike up prices), but you can find cheaper alternatives at places like garden and hardware stores.
 

King o´ Angelfish

Member
TexasDomer said:
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).
I never got sand in my filter. I HAD to use a spong cover on the intake for that not to happen. I seen several videos, and forums with picture of sand in their filter media. Cleaning the poop that gets stuck under gravel is never a problem if you are doing wkly w/c. It actually helps if you have a planted tank like I do. Gravel does a good job hiding the waste until you remove it during a water change. I don't think there should be anything "rotting" when good wkly maintenance is done and when you are over filtering.
 

Cardeater

Member
I was reading some threads. Apparently this is the sand if you happen to have one of these stores near you

 

TexasDomer

Member
See, I never use filter sponges over my intakes, and I have never had an issue with sand in my filters.
 

Cardeater

Member
TexasDomer said:
See, I never use filter sponges over my intakes, and I have never had an issue with sand in my filters.
I'm curious why you chose not to use them. Is it for asthetic reasons? I admit they don't look great and I understand why people choose not to use them or regular sponge filters for that reason, especially in display tanks.

I don't mind them, though I do want to hide mine a but more with fake plants.

I like the extra bio surface area, though I don't really need it. I think their best utility for me ad that I find it easier to service them than the actual HOB. Cleaning the Aquaclear 110 sponge is annoying as is opening my old HOT Magnum. I don't use any canister filters but I hear those are really annoying to clean.

The prefilter sponges in my tanks noticably reduce how much gunk gets into the filters and I find I don't have to service them as often.

I clean my filter sponges as I'm empyting water out with the python.
 

TexasDomer

Member
I don't use them because I don't need them. I have plenty of media in my canisters and I still don't have to service them often. Healthy fish shouldn't get sucked into intakes, so that's not a concern for me. Just ugly and unnecessary for me, that's all.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
I switched from gravel to BDBS (med-coarse) and Pool filter sand and love it. I have very high GPH and never have issues with it getting in the filters. I use the supplemental bacteria in Seachem Pristine and have no issues at all with waste with the PFS

1. This Madagascar lace was a bulb 2 months ago. 55 gallon. 700 GPH filtration.


2. From the 150 with BDBS. 1,420 GPH filtration.


3. From the 44. 700 GPH filtration.
 

Cardeater

Member
Those would be the sands I'd probably choose from in a future tank. I'm just curious if you find that the maintenance is the same with them.
Is one harder to clean with a gravel vac in terms of sand getting sucked up?

I'd probably lean towards the black sand as it's supposed to contrast the colors of the fish I'm interested in. I guess one issue is it might be easy to get lazy on maintenance when I have a harder time seeing the waste.
 

Thunder_o_b

Member
Cardeater said:
Those would be the sands I'd probably choose from in a future tank. I'm just curious if you find that the maintenance is the same with them.
Is one harder to clean with a gravel vac in terms of sand getting sucked up?

I'd probably lean towards the black sand as it's supposed to contrast the colors of the fish I'm interested in. I guess one issue is it might be easy to get lazy on maintenance when I have a harder time seeing the waste.
With Seachem Pristine I really do not need to do much vacuuming. But keep in mind I have great filtration that I service weekly to keep it in top form. Along with live plants and a close eye on the amount of food fed.
 

Redguppy67

Member
If you don't have a dirted Aquarium, you can stir the sand up a bit before you do your syphoning
and whatever has gotten into the sand will end up on top to be easily syphoned off.
You will no remove much sand if any.
 
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Goldfishfreak

Member
Redguppy67 said:
If you don't have a dirted Aquarium, you can stir the sand up a bit before you do your syphoning
and whatever has gotten into the sand will end up on top to be easily syphoned off.
You will no remove much sand if any.
Thanks for the tip! I will definitely try this
 

Renee717

Member
I love black substrate too. Right now I have black gravel in my 55, but I am putting a new used 135 gallon tank together, and I bought black sand because it was a lot cheaper. Not sure if I'm going to like cleaning it though! If you decide you would like to try black sand, you can get it at Tractor Supply for 8.00 for 50 pounds! It is called black diamond sand blast ing sand. I got the medium grit. Have fun with your new tank!
 
  • Thread Starter

Goldfishfreak

Member
Renee717 said:
I love black substrate too. Right now I have black gravel in my 55, but I am putting a new used 135 gallon tank together, and I bought black sand because it was a lot cheaper. Not sure if I'm going to like cleaning it though! If you decide you would like to try black sand, you can get it at Tractor Supply for 8.00 for 50 pounds! It is called black diamond sand blast ing sand. I got the medium grit. Have fun with your new tank!
Thanks I will! I live in Canada and have been trying to find black diamond blasting sand but haven't had luck yet. I will keep looking. I think I may be able to order it online and get it shipped here.
 

Hunterhusker

Member
Goldfishfreak said:
Thanks I will! I live in Canada and have been trying to find black diamond blasting sand but haven't had luck yet. I will keep looking. I think I may be able to order it online and get it shipped here.
I'm not in canada but I bought mine at menards so if you are gonna order it in try their site. Its really good stuff, but it made my tank smell weird.
 

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