Pool Filter Sand?

Northbamafish

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HI everyone ! I have a 55 gallon tank that I am planning to change the gravel to sand. The gravel has been in there for a good bit now and it’s time for some different scenery. I want to get my feet wet with live plants. I have read where you can use pool filter sand or some type of sand from the hardware store. It is definitely the cheaper option , but I’d like to hear opinions and experiences. Would I be better off to just buy some substrate from the local aquarium shop ? Switch to sand or keep the gravel ? Thanks !
 

Crispii

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You can use PFS in your aquarium. I've used PFS on all of my tanks with no ill effects whatsoever.
 

kallililly1973

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I have a 55 I started with gravel and changed to PFS with all the inhabitants still in the tank I took all the plants and hardscape out n put in a bucket of tank water drained it 50% kept heater n filter running had the PFS already prerinsed which is a breeze IME had a cooler and scooped the gravel out with a new dustpan slowly added the sand at the opposite side of the filter spread it out planted my plants added my DW filled the tank it was cloudy for a day or two but zero casualties
 

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CHJ

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I run PFS in most of my tanks. Just rinse it until the water runs clear/almost clear.
I have a 55 that I want to change from ecocomplete to PFS but that will be a nightmare so I keep putting it off.
I have playground sand in one tank and black sand in another tank or few but everything else tends to be PFS.
No issues. I do run prefilters on all my intakes after losing a HOB to fine silica as a kid.
 
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Northbamafish

Northbamafish

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Awesome !! Thanks everyone for the replies. So if I understand correctly to do the switch all I have to do is

1)take out all the hard scapes , plants , etc

2) drain the water around halfway down

3) scoop out gravel

4)pre rinse the PFS

5) add the PFS ?


I have 1 angel , 2 dwarf gouramis, 2 swordtails , and 2 more that I cannot remember the name
Of right now.

It wouldn’t hurt them to leave them in there as I do this stuff ?

What is the highest amount of water I can get away with leaving in there as I do the switch ? Thanks !
 

mrsP

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I would take fish out for this, they should be ok for a while in a bucket. However, my first ever aquarium (when I knew very little about anything) I had around 5cm (2 inch) gravel on bottom and plants grew well in it. I think that has to be because they use fish waste as fertilizer, nearly overstocked tank, and gravel also gives plenty of space for good bacteria to live on.

If I would now have gravel substrate, I would add some fertilizer capsules to give plants more nutrition, but as said, they did grow well without it too.
 

kallililly1973

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Northbamafish said:
Awesome !! Thanks everyone for the replies. So if I understand correctly to do the switch all I have to do is

1)take out all the hard scapes , plants , etc

2) drain the water around halfway down

3) scoop out gravel

4)pre rinse the PFS

5) add the PFS ?


I have 1 angel , 2 dwarf gouramis, 2 swordtails , and 2 more that I cannot remember the name
Of right now.

It wouldn’t hurt them to leave them in there as I do this stuff ?

What is the highest amount of water I can get away with leaving in there as I do the switch ? Thanks !
That's how I did it in my 55 about 2 years ago with everyone still in the tank and everything running with no losses. As long as your tank is cycled you could safely take 50% water out and remove the gravel. Just when you add the sand if you decide to leave the filter going is add all the sand to the opposite end and then slowly spread it across the tank. I posted pics of my 55 transformation above.
 

KinderScout

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maybe get some planting substrate and put a layer under your sand? Not sure if you can rinse it though so you might have a cloudy tank for a few days. To be honest, even adding just a jug of well rinsed top up sand made ours cloudy for a day or so - it soon cleared up.
 

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