Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

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Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby RichardsA4 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 4:26 pm

I read up on switching from gravel to sand for quiet awhile before taking the plunge. One thing I noticed was the mention of power filters becoming damaged.

Well three days ago I put in Caribsea Supernaturals Moonlight white sand. I waited several hours before turning on my Fx5 filter. Most of the sand had settled and the tank had just a slight cloudiness. The FX5 has cleared up the tank extremely well within 2-4 hours so I turned on my power filters. Within 8 hours they were grinding away. I tried to clean the impellers but the damage was too much. Luckily I had my receipts so I swapped them out for new ones. At this time I cut the intake tube 1.5-2" shorter and added a Prefilter sponge. This put the intake 10+" above the sand level. I came home from work today I have one filter grinding bad the other had a little noise and a good cleaning fixed it up.

I do like to use power filters just because of their simplicity so I'm hoping to find something a little more "sand proof" Is there anything I can do to my current Aquatech 60g filters to help them last ? Is the caribsea super natural just too fine grain to use with power filters ? Does my sand just need more time to settle ?

I'm left several questions and after a few hours of searching the answers vary so much I dont know what to believe.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby rp-photo » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:07 pm

the ideal to do sand is u make sure u wash it before u put it in the tank to make sure all the light stuff has been washed off... also to reduce cloudiness....

u can get aquarium sponge and put in the intake pipes to help prevent the suction of sand, however I've never heard of anyone having issues with the Caribsea products, its usually the Play Sand that offers issues... i'd give i about a day if u just put the sand into a already established tank if u did not wash before hand...
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby GTZ » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:51 pm

That's a very fine sand, I have it in a 20g long, originally with an Aquaclear 70. Same problem, the sand stirs very easily and doesn't settle quickly. I ended up replacing the AC70 with a Rena XP2 that I had sitting idle. Even with the more spread out outflow of the spraybar, I still had to place a line of shells along the bottom of the front glass to keep the sand from blowing towards the rear of the tank.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby RichardsA4 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:52 am

rp-photo wrote:the ideal to do sand is u make sure u wash it before u put it in the tank to make sure all the light stuff has been washed off... also to reduce cloudiness....

u can get aquarium sponge and put in the intake pipes to help prevent the suction of sand, however I've never heard of anyone having issues with the Caribsea products, its usually the Play Sand that offers issues... i'd give i about a day if u just put the sand into a already established tank if u did not wash before hand...


Well I let my wife rinse the sand according to the directions on the packaging. Which was to cut both corners off the bag and rinse thoroughly, with one corner as an intake and one corner as the out. My best guess thus far is that her idea of thorough is not what Caribsea had in mind when those directions where printed.

Cloudiness was gone within 24hrs and IMO was only caused by the sand settling. Caribsea Super Natural Moonlight White is different from all of their other sand substrate offerings that I have seen first hand. It is a much finer grain, almost a powder texture with a very bright white coloration. Unfortunately I failed to read up much on the type of sands to use because I had already picked this out and assumed as an actual aquarium product from a reputable company it would be good.

As stated in my Op I did add the prefilter sponges. I used the Fluval edge prefilter sponges since they fit my intake almost perfectly. When I purchased new filters I only swapped the impellers and motors from the new ones in order to keep my bacteria up.

I do have another couple of inches available to remove from the intake tubes, so I intend to try that. I also think that I will need to replace the impellers and motors one more time, as the first swap I did let them run for a short period before I could get my hands on the prefilters.
As of today the filter I cleaned up has stayed quiet. The other filter I could not clean up enough to silence, and it has since gotten worse.

Would it be possible to have residual sand inside the filters ? I have been only cleaning the impellers and motors, not the filter boxes themselves. I don't believe they are ingesting anymore sand since the one filter has kept its current quiet condition. I don't want to replace my impellers again until I'm confident I can provide them an environment to function properly in.
With the substrate change I want to preserve my biological bacteria as best as possible.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:42 am

Yes, the sand could be throughout the filter. I don't know how more could get through the prefilter sponge. Honestly, I'd change the substrate, it sounds too fine to be practical.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby AulonoKarl » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:51 am

With very fine sand, it's a constant battle to keep your filters from being destroyed. I've been there and switched to pool filter sand. Haven't had a single problem since. I don't even have to use pre filter sponges anymore. Cleaning those out every day or two was a pain.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby BrendanMc » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:48 pm

I'm using play sand and have yet to have any problems with it. I can even stir it up and within a few seconds all the sand settles on the bottom again. You just have to be very patient with thoroughly rinsing the sand out until water runs out clear.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby RichardsA4 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:56 pm

I really do love the look of this sand so far.
If indeed my issues arose from not rinsing the sand properly, will water changes eventually solve the problem ? Since my filters are basically toasted should I remove the pre filter sponges and let them suck out as much sand as they can to solve the problem quicker ?
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby DJRansome » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:10 pm

:o

If it was a washing problem, you can remove the sand and wash it. If that IS the problem, it could continue for the life of your tank.

If you prefer not do remove the sand, then the next best thing is to disturb the tank as little as possible and hope it stays down.

Do you have too much filtration? Might want to go on the low side of GPH (not more than 7X...maybe even 4X) to minimize agitation.

Vacuuming could eventually solve the problem, but I still think removing it and washing it would be less trouble.
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Re: Caribsea Super Natual Moonlight ???

Postby RichardsA4 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:23 am

Well like I said we did rinse and wash it. I'm just thinking that maybe we should have done it for longer and got more of the finer stuff out. My water is very clear now and it looks as tho most of it has settled. I would just hate to replace my filters and have them go bad again.

I have an FX5 canister and two Aquatech 60's on a 155 bowfront.
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