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Small Fry
Posts: 10
Kudos: 10
Votes: 0
Registered: 12-Aug-2011
male canada ca-ontario

I was looking around for gravel or sand or well anything for the bottom of my tank that would look nice. i decided on sand, i like watchin fish borrow lol. So i came up with this clever idea to get free sand.

First i went to a building store( i didnt cause i had the material but if u dont than you'll have to) and got screen for windows you can buy it in different sizes. than a i made a box or used some sort of holding device. I gathered sand from the beach or where ever and then poured it thru my screen. it filtered out all the crap that wasn't sand.

when u choose your screen make sure the holes are about the size of the gravel you want. i filtered it thru a few times unitll the grains were the size i wanted. BAM!!! cheap substrate and it didnt cost me a dime
Post InfoPosted 13-Aug-2011 02:43Profile PM Edit Report 
Posts: 5108
Kudos: 5263
Votes: 1690
Registered: 28-Dec-2002
male usa us-colorado
Hi Ben,
You may, or you may not, have lucked out in this
endeavor. Folks commonly assume that the water is fine,
that is potable (drinkable) and that is risky.
Bacteria, chemicals (toxic wastes), can come with the free
sand that can wind up sickening or killing your fish
and/or plants. The safest way to get the sand is to go
to a pool store or hardware store and purchase the
sand that they use in swimming pool filters.
If you want a lighter color, then purchase a bag
of playground sand for a sand box.

With any sand used in an aquarium, there are a couple
of potential problems that one has to watch out for.

One is mechanical.
Because the grain size is so small, it some of the sand
is easily lifted up into the water column. Either by
rigourous cleaning, or planting, or by adding water to the
tank during filling or by topping off for evaporation losses.
This water borne sand is then sucked into the filter where
it will, over time, grind away at the pump impeller and
destroy it. Or it can ruin the seals or bearings that the
impeller rests on.

Another potential problem is bacterial.
Again, because of the small grain size there is very
little space between grains. This minute area is easily
clogged with detritus such as food, fish droppings,
and bacteria. If the layer of sand is more than an a
half inch, the sand bed will compact itself and form
areas of anaerobic bacterial growth. These areas are
generally black in appearance and give off hydrogen
sulfide gas which is toxic to both plants and fish.

Keep your sand substrate clean.
This is very difficult to do because the grain size is
so small and vacuuming will easily suck it up and down the
drain, instead of swirling it around and letting it settle
back into the tank.

Keep you sand substrate thin.
Stay with a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick layer of sand in the
tank. This will help prevent the compaction problems.

Keep you sand substrate loose.
Use Corry catfish or kulie loaches and some MTS snails
to rummage around in the tank to keep the bed aerated
and loose.

Be prepared to replace it on a somewhat regular basis.
The sand always looks beautiful for a while, but over time
iron in the water will stain it as will the organics in
the fish waste. Also, nice white sand, shows off the fish
waste like a sore thumb.

Just some things to think about.


-->>> The Confidence of Amateurs, is the Envy of Professionals <<<--
Post InfoPosted 13-Aug-2011 14:19Profile PM Edit Delete Report 
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