My Water Is Sandy Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Mike the fish keeper, Apr 22, 2017.

  1. Mike the fish keeper

    Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    So I rinsed out my sand numerous times. I thought it was ready but I was wrong. It's very cloudy in the tank and I dont know how long it will take for the dust to settle. I currently have my fish in a 1 gallon bucket with an airstone and a heater. Will they be ok to go into the tank or should I wait till the dust settles to add them back
  2. Al913

    Al913Fishlore VIPMember

    I would do a large water change, at least 70%. The main reason why its cloudy is due to the fact that there are tiny sand particles. If you leave these to set, anytime you mover the substrate they will just come up again. I would wait an hour and whatever doesn't settle I would suck up the water.

    Definitely don't want the fish in the 1 gallon for too long!
  3. OP
    Mike the fish keeper

    Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    I moved them to a 5 gallon bucket for the time being. The thing is I ran out of water conditioner. The only thing I have is a bottle of reptiesafe. Will that work it says that it detoxifies water.
  4. 2211Nighthawk

    2211NighthawkFishlore VIPMember

    Is that standard play sand? I had some and literally spent three hours filling a five gallon pail, sloshing it around, dumping it out, repeat. And this was for a 30g tank, about 30lbs of sand. And I STILL chewed up my filter it was sucking in so much floating sand.

    AI913 is right, massive water change and suck up that floating stuff as much as possible. He stuff that is already on the bottom of the tank is the good stuff, the rest you'll want to get rid of or yeah, every time you sneeze in the direction of the tank it's gonna look like that.
  5. OP
    Mike the fish keeper

    Mike the fish keeperValued MemberMember

    Yeah it was standard play sand because I didnt want to spend $50 for aquarium sand. Ill do the water change in an hour and suck up as much as I can. If I fill up the tank after will it still be cloudy?
  6. VioletSS

    VioletSSValued MemberMember

    I imagine it will still be cloudy, but not as bad. It might even take more than one water change. What you saved in $, you might pay for in time.
  7. 2211Nighthawk

    2211NighthawkFishlore VIPMember

    Might be. like I said, literally 3 hours and it still mauled my filter. It was a HOB and within a month the sand had ruined the impeller. Gave me an excuse to get a canister filter though. Paid an arm and a leg but it never even hiccuped :D The HOB did clean most of the loose partials up but it wrecked the filter... the canister got the rest and even dumping a 5g pail of water in there didn't cloud up my water at that point. It's the clay in the sand that needs to get rinsed/filtered out. The sand itself is to heavy and will sink while the clay and really tiny sand is what's clouding the water.

    And, for future reference, I just found out that pool filter sand works just as well, is still cheap, comes in natural colours AND doesn't take nearly as long to rinse out.
  8. hennmann

    hennmannNew MemberMember

    My adventure with natural fine sand started a year ago. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired of aquarium gravel and all of the normal fish waste, uneaten food, etc. settling into the gravel. I went to our nearby river valley where clean yellow sand is easy to get within the banks or hillsides of the valley. Having two large aquariums, a 150 and 55 gallon aquarium required a fair amount of sand requiring a number of large plastic trash containers to haul it. I used a large plastic recycle bin that had drain holes in the bottom and placed a piece of cloth on the bottom so the sand wouldn't wash out during the rinse cycle. I kept rinsing with a continuous flow of water until the water running out was fairly clear. After placing the wet sand into the aquariums and planting the live plants into the sand I carefully filled the tank and I also got silt in the water but because of all of my pre rinsing it wasn't as bad as what your picture shows but was still bad enough. I didn't do water changes because dealing with 205 gallons of water and it is soft water because these are tetra tanks and soft water is dificult to locate in my location!! My solution to this situation is I used diatom filters (with my regular canister filters), one is a lousy Vortex Innerspace filter and the other is a Magnum 350. I used the Vortex for the majority of the silt at first because it is expendable and hopefully will die and force me to do myself a favour and throw it out!! I aimed the discharge at the sand to continuously and gently stir up any silt that settled on the bottom and on the leaves of the plants. When the worst was over I used my Magnum 350 to clarify the slightly cloudy water occasionally flushing this filter when the flow was reduced to very little. When you are dealing with an aquarium that is 6 feet long and 28 inches deep, much of the silt would settle before the water would drain out as well. As for the gravel? NO, I won't go back to it! When I used to have Cories, it used to bother me watching them grinding away in the gravel to find food and the sand I find easier to keep clean. Any waste and sediment just sits on top and takes less effort to remove than vacuuming gravel. The Malaysian trumpet snails also agitate the sand quite well. Who knows, in the long run it is probably better for the plants as well. Mike (and anybody else in this situation or considering natural sand) as far as the one gallon container goes I was lucky and only did one aquarium at a time and kept everything in the 55 until I was satisfied with the 150. I also have a couple of 5's and 10's around so I would suggest picking up a 5 or a 10 for emergencies, major cleanups, or quarantine. Due to the small size of these, they are not worth much to begin with and finding used for free or next to nothing is common. Another alternative to a 1 gallon is using a plastic 17 gallon trash bin (new of course) and I use these for saving water for water changes as well. As for filtering the silt other than the diatom a canister temporarily totally packed with only polyester would also help reduce the silt to speed things up. Good luck with your adventure.
  9. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I have so been there done that. Only way to fix it is multiple water changes. I got the grinding in my filter too, and it broke within the month also. Personally I would use a python and siphon and refill several times to get the sand out. That way you aren't lugging buckets back and forth forever.
  10. RedLoredAmazon

    RedLoredAmazonWell Known MemberMember

    One thing if you do go the python route, be careful about how much sand is going into your plumbing! You could easily clog your pipes and that would be a really, really bad day! :eek: I've seen a few horror threads here about how expensive it is to clean those out.