Help How To Take Care Of Sand

Caroline J

Valued Member
Messages
247
Reaction score
55
Points
38
Experience
Just started
Hello! I ordered a bag of sand as the substrate for my 20 gallon and it arrived today. Before I wash it and put it in, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on taking care of sand, and any past mistakes you’ve made. Yes, I have read articles and watching videos already but I wanted to see if anyone else had anything else to offer for advice. Thank you in advance! -Caroline
 

NavyChief20

Well Known Member
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,007
Points
358
Experience
More than 10 years
Caroline J said:
Hello! I ordered a bag of sand as the substrate for my 20 gallon and it arrived today. Before I wash it and put it in, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on taking care of sand, and any past mistakes you’ve made. Yes, I have read articles and watching videos already but I wanted to see if anyone else had anything else to offer for advice. Thank you in advance! -Caroline
If its pool filter sand it wont need much rinsing. Otherwise, rinse repeat rinse repeat. During water changes skim the sand surface and then stir it with a plastic stick. Helps turn it over abit.
 

Bryangar

Fishlore VIP
Messages
4,005
Reaction score
2,505
Points
308
Experience
2 years
Try not to overfeed it, it tends to get bloated easily. I believe it likes to be in groups of 100k+ so 3” or more is recommended. Pretty easy to care for tbh
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #4

Caroline J

Valued Member
Messages
247
Reaction score
55
Points
38
Experience
Just started
NavyChief20 said:
If its pool filter sand it wont need much rinsing. Otherwise, rinse repeat rinse repeat. During water changes skim the sand surface and then stir it with a plastic stick. Helps turn it over abit.
I don’t believe it’s pool filter sand, it’s from the brand CaribSea! Yes absolutely, thank you so much for the advice! How often would you recommend stirring it?

bryangar said:
Try not to overfeed it, it tends to get bloated easily. I believe it likes to be in groups of 100k+ so 3” or more is recommended. Pretty easy to care for tbh
Sorry I believe you might have posted this on the wrong question! Mine was wondering about any experience with sand for freshwater aquariums.
 

JamieLu

Well Known Member
Messages
724
Reaction score
395
Points
73
Experience
2 years
Caroline J said:
Sorry I believe you might have posted this on the wrong question! Mine was wondering about any experience with sand for freshwater aquariums.
It was a joke, bryangar was talking about taking care of the sand as if it were a fish lol
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #7

Caroline J

Valued Member
Messages
247
Reaction score
55
Points
38
Experience
Just started
JamieLu said:
It was a joke, bryangar was talking about taking care of the sand as if it were a fish lol
Oh! Man that was a good joke and I didn’t even get to appreciate it lol. I didn’t see the 100k part. Thanks for the laugh, I needed it

NavyChief20 said:
I do my sand with every water change. So its all day sundays for me.
Ah ok that’s a good idea, thank you so much!

NavyChief20 said:
If its pool filter sand it wont need much rinsing. Otherwise, rinse repeat rinse repeat. During water changes skim the sand surface and then stir it with a plastic stick. Helps turn it over abit.
Oh hey if you don’t mind I had one more question- would I be ok rinsing the sand with tap water? I’m assuming so, but I wanted to make sure. Should I douse it with tank water after I’m done?
 

FishMommer

Valued Member
Messages
394
Reaction score
110
Points
63
Hi, I already made my first mistake with it? Not sure maybe or maybe not. On the bag it actually recommends cutting a whole in one end (and the other) putting a hose in to rinse and letting it leak out the other end. Then you have it all contained already when it is time to put it in the tank? Instead I did the bucket method, not sure that was the best method for This sand? Also wondering if I might prefer pool send next go around.

Anyway, as I was rinsing it I felt like I was really just losing the sand I purchased. Water was not so dirty and seemed to clear up as the sand settled? So I put it in the tank this evening and will see. Just scooped it out of the bucket with an old large mcD's cup I have been using. Only filled half with water and will finish tomorrow. As the time passes it is settling and cloudiness is going away. Filter is not on yet. Tomorrow for that too. Did it all with tap water. Not conditioned yet either.

Hope that is somewhat helpful? Or someone can tell you how wrong I was and help even more maybe? Live & learn.
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #9

Caroline J

Valued Member
Messages
247
Reaction score
55
Points
38
Experience
Just started
FishMommer said:
Hi, I already made my first mistake with it? Not sure maybe or maybe not. On the bag it actually recommends cutting a whole in one end (and the other) putting a hose in to rinse and letting it leak out the other end. Then you have it all contained already when it is time to put it in the tank? Instead I did the bucket method, not sure that was the best method for This sand? Also wondering if I might prefer pool send next go around.

Anyway, as I was rinsing it I felt like I was really just losing the sand I purchased. Water was not so dirty and seemed to clear up as the sand settled? So I put it in the tank this evening and will see. Just scooped it out of the bucket with an old large mcD's cup I have been using. Only filled half with water and will finish tomorrow. As the time passes it is settling and cloudiness is going away. Filter is not on yet. Tomorrow for that too. Did it all with tap water. Not conditioned yet either.

Hope that is somewhat helpful? Or someone can tell you how wrong I was and help even more maybe? Live & learn.
Ahh ok I’m actually using the bucket method right now! I wouldn’t exactly be completely inconvenienced if I had to purchase another bag from loosing some sand, but I would be rather frustrated. Thank you so much for your experiences, I really appreciate it!! Let me know how it goes, goodluck!
 

kallililly1973

Fishlore VIP
Messages
6,610
Reaction score
4,880
Points
423
Experience
3 years
also during your WC's if your using a water changer ( Python or the like ) you can take a turkey baster in one hand an the WC apparatus in the other and that will stir the waste around as it will sit on the surface more so than in crevices like gravel at least how it is with pool filter sand.. And when i do it i usually work the turkey baster towards my filter intakes to help it get sucked up if any is missed by my water changer
 
  • Thread starter
  • Thread Starter
  • #12

Caroline J

Valued Member
Messages
247
Reaction score
55
Points
38
Experience
Just started
kallililly1973 said:
also during your WC's if your using a water changer ( Python or the like ) you can take a turkey baster in one hand an the WC apparatus in the other and that will stir the waste around as it will sit on the surface more so than in crevices like gravel at least how it is with pool filter sand.. And when i do it i usually work the turkey baster towards my filter intakes to help it get sucked up if any is missed by my water changer
Ooh that’s a good idea! Thank you so much, I’ll definitely keep that in mind. I appreciate it!
 

FishMommer

Valued Member
Messages
394
Reaction score
110
Points
63
How did it go? I am curious.

Go figure things did settle over night but still much cloudiness this morning. So I emptied the cloudy water but at least the sand was not in the water (or little compared to when I rinsed with the bucket. Will work on it later. Still need to set up filter etc. too.
 

tfreema

Fishlore VIP
Messages
5,378
Reaction score
5,218
Points
598
Experience
5 to 10 years
I have added sand (pool filter and black diamond blasting) to many many tanks. The trick is to rinse, rinse, rinse in a bucket with a hose that has a sprayer to really churn it up. As the bucket fills up, pour off the excess to get the smaller particles dumped out. You will lose some sand this way, but it is worth it to not have that clouding up your tank. Keep that up until the water is running clear.

I do not stir my sand after initially adding it, but I have sand sifters in most tanks and I keep the depth to 2.5" or below. It is deeper sand beds that really have a potential to trap and produce anaerobic gases which can be fatal to fish once released. I do initially use a rake to stir up all areas releasing air bubbles trapped when adding the sand. Once that is done, I leave it to settle on its own.

During weekly water changes, I stir up the very top layer a little bit by getting the vacuum as close as possible while not sticking it down into the sand. Most debris will sit on top, but smaller particles do settle into the very top layer, especially if you do not have something like cories to keep it fresh (my ADF and rabbit snail tank is the worst so I actually move the top layer around a little bit and some sand gets sucked up into the python).
 

Mary_Selix

New Member
Messages
13
Reaction score
9
Points
3
I disconnected the siphone chamber from the hose for cleaning gravel and used a rubber band and attached a plastic fork to it. Just the forks prongs about 1/2" stuck out past the hose (to shuffle the sand surface) like a rake. I used the ball to start syphone action and clean up food and waste then syphone the remainder of the water for your WC. I am considering buying another entire syphone system and using a hot glue gun to heavily use the glue to attach the fork end to just the hose itself for sand surface lol. I'm a believer in redneck ingenuity lol. But that's what I use. Works great AND makes the sand look so clean with the fork marks. Best of luck.
 

Mirplayer

New Member
Messages
14
Reaction score
5
Points
1
I don't touch my sand. I repeatedly read over at the saltwater forums not to touch it, and even seen them mocking us freshwater people for stirring it up and vacuuming it. I haven't touched it in over half a year except to even it out as it tends to move with the current. It helps home extra denitrifying anaerobic bacteria, and is a pretty good medium to stick some plants in.

*Just to add, my sand also still has it's nice yellow colour and looks clean. Either stuff breaks down and gets buried in the sand and eaten by bacteria and plants, or it just dissolves and becomes mulm in the bottom of my filter. Probably a process of both.
 

Fanatic

Fishlore VIP
Messages
9,143
Reaction score
6,105
Points
758
Experience
3 years
Sharkaroid said:
How thick must be the sand layer so that bad anaerobic gases dont accumulate?
I typically don't recommend exceeding an inch for a non-planted tank, or about 2-2 1/2 for a planted tank, but if you are really diligent with vacuuming then you may be able to go deeper depending on the plants you have.
 

mgm53

New Member
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Points
28
To help with the cleaning of sand and not have it siphoned out, what I do is to get a powerhead (doesn't need to be expensive) designed to go on a lift tube. The end on the powerhead should be tapered so it can fit into a number of different sized openings. Get a small disposable bottle used for drinking water and cut the bottom off. Put some filter floss into the bottom and insert the powerhead tapered end into the top of the bottle. If the bottle openig is too large wrap some electrical tape onto the tapered end. When powered on you can pass the bottle bottom over and into the sand in your tank. Any sand will get trapped in the floss and not enter your pump. After some use you'll be able to use the pump without pulling up any sand up. When dirty remove the plastic bottle and rinse the floss for reuse.
 

radar

Valued Member
Messages
160
Reaction score
75
Points
113
Experience
4 years
I only use thin layer of sand 1" or so. Still use yard stick to stir sand up. I really don't worry about picking sand up while skimming sand. When I dump old water I use sprayer to clean sand and reuse it. Pool filter sand is inexpensive but "waste not,want not" I was told as a youngster.
 
Toggle Sidebar

Aquarium Calculator

Follow FishLore!





Top Bottom