Setting Up New 60 Gal With Bdbs

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Aada, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. AadaNew MemberMember

    I'm setting up a new 60 gallon with black diamond blasting sand and even after 2 hrs of washing, I am still having some issues... The tank sat overnight to let any remaining cloudiness settle, but this morning I noticed that the water is still.. gray looking?

    There's a fine residue on the walls of the tank, like dust particles that settled against the glass instead of going back down into the sand. Do I need to get a sponge and scrub it off, or will it eventually fall off on its own?

    I have also noticed there are several bits of sand still floating around in the water column (neither sinking nor floating to the surface). Should I just try to scoop these out with my net?

    There is a layer of sand still on the top which I plan to scoop out once the water level is a little higher and I'm not straining to get in there.

    I saw several suggestions about putting filter floss in the filter to help pick up these particles, but I am wondering if I do that if it's supposed to go around the intake like you would with a sponge, or if I should put it where my filter cartridges go? I have a penguin biowheel 350.
  2. Kay 240Valued MemberMember

    I'm just a beginner with blasting sand but I washed mine until the water settled clear in the bucket. I would do a water change, but I hope someone with more experience will answer soon. I would wipe the walls. Eventually the residue washed off the bucket. I think someone said bdbs has an oily coating. I don't know, my blasting sand is generic.
  3. AadaNew MemberMember

    Thanks! I went ahead and scrubbed the sides and drained the water. When I refilled it this time it was clear.

    There's still some particles floating around on the top of the water but I will skim those off later!
  4. treelover3New MemberMember

    I just posed a thread that is very similar to your thread and I am having the exact same issues.

    There was an oily "slick" on the surface of the tank and I had a ring of oily "gunk" all around the inside of the aquarium. I used paper towels to remove the ring around the tank and I used folded paper towel to get some of the stuff that was on the surface of the water out of the tank.

    I should have stirred the BDBS to get all of the air bubbles out before I did the above as it got even worse after I stirred up the gravel.

    I read somewhere in these forums that someone used Dawn dishwashing liquid to wash their BDBS to remove all of the contaminates, but after everything we've always been told about NOT using any soaps/detergents or any other type of "toxic" substance on any aquarium-bound items, I did not feel comfortable doing that.

    Now I'm questioning if I should have just gone ahead and used a few drops of Dawn to really clean it? The BDBS was not all that "dirty" but I was also washing small amounts of BDBS at a time (3 to 5 low-ball Solo cups of BDBS at a time in a shallow plastic pan). Everything that touched the BDBS is covered in a black oily residue.

    I searched the forums and I also searched Google to see if there was any information on cleaning BDBS before I started to clean but there is very little information anywhere on how to clean it to remove all of the oils, etc.

    p.s. I also had to take paper towels and wipe down every surface in the aquarium to get rid of the soot-like substance on the walls.
  5. AadaNew MemberMember

    Hey! I've seen out there somewhere (in the vast web of knowledge) that some bags of bdbs contain petroleum which would be why it's got an oily/greasy layer.

    I don't know about using dawn although it's the obvious choice for breaking up oil. I just don't know how it would affect the fish later on? I mean if you can use it and be confident that you've gotten rid of the trace amounts that could harm your fish, then why not? I am not that confident though.

    Mine left like a sandy type residue. It wiped off very easily with a wet sponge. I'll see if I can attach a picture of it.

    What I ended up doing was just draining the water out and refilling it. When I refilled it, it looked fine. I'll try to include after pictures below as well

    Attached Files:


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