YEAAAAAAAA!!!! I'm getting a 29 g.

ayelie

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Ok now that I have my little tank cycled I'm ready to take on a 29 gallon and will be getting sometime with in the next week. I think I got a good deal on it. It's a kit and everything in it, heater and all for $120.00.

This time I will be doing a fish less cycle using ammonia. I am sure I will have a bunch of questions about that when the time comes, but right now I have a couple about setting the thing up.

I am thinking about going sand not rock so could someone tell me the differences when it comes to cleaning the tank?

I have a gravel washer, will I still be able to use that or will I need something different?

(last one for now I promise)
What kind of sand it best and how much will I need?
 

jetajockey

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Congrats! What kind of filter is on it? My rule of thumb with tanks is to spend about $1/gallon for the tank itself and then guesstimate up the cost of the accessories.
 

BennyB

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Congrats on getting a new tank!

Running a fishless cycle with pure ammonia is good, just be sure it is pure ammonia and doesn't have any addition chemicals added to it.

Sand and gravel are little different. For starters, you can't use undergravel filters, or airstones(unless you keep them above the sand) Also, strong currents can move it around, as well as fish playing in it. It won't look the same after a few days of keeping fish in the tank.
Sand can be a little easier to clean than gravel, until it get all mixed together. **** can sink through gravel to the bottom where it just sits and rots, with sand, it usually just lands on the top and stays there until you can suck it up with a gravel vac. When you have sand, you don't stick the vac into the sand, you just skim the top of the sand sucking up waste, because it usually does just sit on the top. That's how my experiences with sand have gone.

It really all depends on what kind of fish you are getting. Bottom dwellers will appreciate sand over gravel, burrowers such as eels or loaches will appreciate sand over gravel, and larger fish who like to rest on the bottom will appreciate sand over gravel. They don't like being scratched up by rough gravel. Either way, any fish can appreciate sand over gravel, you just can't do quite as much with it.


EDIT:
Congrats! What kind of filter is on it? My rule of thumb with tanks is to spend about $1/gallon for the tank itself and then guesstimate up the cost of the accessories.
I think I know what kind of kit she is getting. At Petsmart there is a 29 gallon TopFin kit that comes with a TopFin 30 power filter and a 100 watt TopFin heater.

Is that the one you are getting?
 
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jetajockey

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EDIT:


I think I know what kind of kit she is getting. At Petsmart there is a 29 gallon TopFin kit that comes with a TopFin 30 power filter and a 100 watt TopFin heater.

Is that the one you are getting?
ohhhh.. duh, i didnt even think about the new kits, i keep thinking used, lol.

Walmart has great prices on their kits as well, i recall seeing up to 55g tanks there! they dont list them on their site for some reason though ._.
 

BennyB

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That can be an annoyance...I was thinking the whole time reading that "I'm gonna' go look on the site after I finish reading this! Aww..."
I think I'll look anyway.

I forgot to mention though, the 29 TopFin kit from Petsmart is $130 not $120.
 

Kunsthure

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I switched the 37g from gravel to sand and I definitely prefer it, both aesthetically and maintenance-wise. I bought a bag of pool filter sand at Home Depot for a little under $7 compared to the ridiculous prices you'd pay at a LFS. Pool filter sand is easier to use than play sand because it's already pretty dust-free and doesn't need much pre-rinsing. I believe it was Nutter that told me play sand grains are rougher while the pool sand grains are rounder and therefore nicer on bottomdweller tummies.

Cleaning is easier with sand. Just sort of hover the gravel vac over the sand and it will pick up most of the schmuck. The only problem with sand is that anaerobic pockets can build up so you need to stir the sand or buy some malaysian trumpet snails to sift through it for you.

Do you want real plants? Play sand and pool filter sand aren't great substrates for plants because there are no nutrients, but it's still definitely doable. But of course you can have plenty of plants that don't need to go into the substrate at all.

-Lisa
 

BennyB

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I switched the 37g from gravel to sand and I definitely prefer it, both aesthetically and maintenance-wise. I bought a bag of pool filter sand at Home Depot for a little under $7 compared to the ridiculous prices you'd pay at a LFS. Pool filter sand is easier to use than play sand because it's already pretty dust-free and doesn't need much pre-rinsing. I believe it was Nutter that told me play sand grains are rougher while the pool sand grains are rounder and therefore nicer on bottomdweller tummies.

Cleaning is easier with sand. Just sort of hover the gravel vac over the sand and it will pick up most of the schmuck. The only problem with sand is that anaerobic pockets can build up so you need to stir the sand or buy some malaysian trumpet snails to sift through it for you.

Do you want real plants? Play sand and pool filter sand aren't great substrates for plants because there are no nutrients, but it's still definitely doable. But of course you can have plenty of plants that don't need to go into the substrate at all.

-Lisa
Would pool filter sand really be that much better? What is it used for in pools? I have a pool and I have no idea what we're talking about!

What I'm doing is I'm getting a bunch of Kuhli Loaches(like in my avatar) and they are pretty good burrowers so they will sift the sand up good for me.

I think if you had co2 injection and used a plant feeding nutrient supplement you would be okay. Sand can be better for roots to grow in.
Also true about the floating plants.
 

jetajockey

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i think the issue with plants and sand is that fine sand doesn't allow for much water flow to the roots of plants. pool filter sand is exactly that, its sand that goes in the pool filter.
 

Kunsthure

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I've got no clue what, exactly, the pool filter sand does in a pool, but since it's made to go directly into the filter without rinsing, it's really low-dust. It took me probably under two minutes of rinsing to get the water clear.

And yeah, CO2 injection and ferts will compensate, but compared to something like ADA soil or the other really popular substrate whose name escapes me, sand isn't all that great.

-Lisa
 

BennyB

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Lol, I wanted to add some of that really nice soil for plants under my main layer of sand, but I was worried the loaches would get under it and mix everything up and make it look dirty.
Darn...
 

BennyB

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Howstuffworks.com is pretty amazing. With that said, pool filter sand seems like a very good idea. It says here it is square shaped so that makes me think it is rough and course, might be a bad idea, I wanted something kind of fine, but easy to move around for the loaches to play in. Not play sand, I've used play sand and that stuff is impossible to deal with! It is so fine that it basically hardened to the bottom of my tank and I had to spray it out with a high pressure garden hose to remove it. It was that kind of sand you put the tank on it's side and stick a knife into and it still doesn't fall off!
 

jetajockey

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my bowfront tank came with 3m colorquartz sand (white/black/brown mix). Apparently they don't make this stuff anymore but it is ceramic coated quartz crystals. The tank doesn't cloud even when im stirring and moving things around, I don't have any bottom feeders so I can't say how it does on them but if its coated in ceramic i'd think that it would be smooth.
 

Kunsthure

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Ahh, yes, Ecocomplete. You'd think I was 40 years older than I really am based on my memory some days.

The grains on the pool sand are bigger than play sand but rubbing a bit between the fingers, the pool sand is smoother. And visually my pool sand grains are round. I got lucky because my sand is a nice khaki tan color; some people here have white sand.

-Lisa
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

Here is a video that might come in handy. It shows vacuuming a sand substrate. Give it a minute to load and then hit play:


Best of luck with your new tank! Glad to see you're doing to do a fishless cycle!

Ken
 

Kunsthure

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As far as I can tell by reading here and some other sites, pool sand doesn't come in black.

-Lisa
 
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