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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I finally made it out to the Lake and got great piece of wood for my tank. My son actually found it it was completely submerged and just rolling back and forth in the waves It might not look that big in the pic but its just about 4' long and about 7" in diameter. I also found another piece that has just a bit that breaks the water surface but I'll attach a nice piece of rock to it to make it sink.


Full Tank shot


My two O's I've had since about 2" now 7"-8"

I've also made the decision to remove the gravel and replace it with sand. At first I liked the look of the gravel but the more and more I sat in front of the tank the more and more I started to not like it so much. There is also way to much area to try and gravel vac (4'x8'). I tried on Sunday and WOW there is a lot of debris in there, the crud that gets vacuumed out stinks bad! The large gravel lets to much fish waste and food from the 2 slobs in there settel and not get picked up by the filters. Now the Decision Quikrete All purpose construction sand or Kolorscape leveling sand for setting pavers both at Lowes. I'm leaning towards the Leveling sand because its darker but the Construction sand has more variation in grain sizes which looks more natural IMO but isn't as dark. Now I just have to con a friend or two into coming over and helping me take the boulders, log and fish out. I have enough empty tanks to put the fish in just not the muscle to do it. I'd ask the wife but at 5 1/2 mo Prego not a good idea. You think beer and steak is a good bribe? If I had a pic of the two choices I'd put a poll up but hopefully I'll get some experienced suggestions from current sand users here.
 

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Nice tank! Is that a pacu or a piranha in that pic? And sand is great, the only problem is water changes are hard (if the water flow is too strong the sand gets disturbed into the water), unless you use a python attatched to a hose to refill that really it is an awsome substrate, just make sure you wash the $#@!* out of it lol. And buy a little bit extra so if you suck up some while gravel vacing you can always replace it... Good Luck! :thumb:
 

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I used quikrete all purpose sand and I am very happy with it. Check out my tank to see... it's only a full tank shot but will still give you a good idea.

It's the only sand I've ever used... so I can't compare from personal experience... but I am very happy.

but yeah... wash it... a lot... and that's true for any sand that you go with.
 

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Nice tank!

As far as the substrate goes, the brown gravel conceals the crud better than white sand. You may end using the vac more often.
 

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Sounds good.....be sure and post some pictures when you get it switched.

Oh yeah, I grew up outside of Cleveland. Whre did you find the driftwood? Edgewater or Huntington Beach???
 

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A friends brother has a tank he built in his garage and then knocked out the wall in the family room for viewing. He gets his driftwood from the lake also, but not sure exactly where, maybe around Avon Lake or Huntington since he lives in Lorain County.
 

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Considering the amount of sand that tank will need, I strongly recommend paying the few extra $ per bag for Pool Filter Sand from Home Depot - it is MUCH easier to wash. They are $5/50#

Seriously, washing 10 bags of play or leveling sand would be an all day project.

Also, you don't really need to take fish out to change substrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I thought about the PFS but It's not quite the look I want in there. I'm going for as close to natural as possible including color. I had also thought about leaving the fish in but with the amount of crud in the gravel I'd have to do a huge water change anyways and I think the fish would get way to stressed leaving them in there while I scoop out 400 lbs of gravel. I'll fill the spare temporary holding tanks with the water out of the Big tank while I change everything over. I did however decide to leave the really big rocks in there and the log.
 

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CHBGator said:
I'm going for as close to natural as possible including color.
Ah, the good old "natural" claim. ;)
I've seen gravel like you have in rivers in nature,
I've seen pure white sand like PFS sand in rivers,
I've seen mud, like in the Amazon.

Point being: they're all natural, and there is something else going on, aesthetic wise, than what's "natural" or "most natural." :fish:

Good choice on leaving the rocks in. Nothing against taking the fish out, just more work.
Have a fun sand washing party - make sure you get at least a 24 pack o' suds! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sands in! Did it last night got up this morning and it was cleared up nicely. The water temperature was good so I started adding the fish I left the Arowana and Ripsaw cat for last. The Jurupari were in heaven sifting through the sand as soon and they got to the bottom but unfortunately when I dropped the Ripsaw in there he started rooting through it like a PIG! hes made it cloudy again so pics would be worthless atm. I have 3 filters going packed with mostly Filter floss the get the water cleared and as soon as I can I'll take pics and post them.
 

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do you not have a lid on there, since it looks like that one large piece floats around? i tried this but the floating wood wasnt happening with my glass lids. how do yuo make it work?

great tank by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the compliments.

HONDO said:
do you not have a lid on there, since it looks like that one large piece floats around? i tried this but the floating wood wasnt happening with my glass lids. how do yuo make it work?

great tank by the way.
Yes I have a lid I made it from aluminum flat and angle stock, stainless screws and plexiglass. not sure how long thats going to last though as I'm sure I'll have some corrosion issues witht he mix of the two metals down the road. First things first tho, getting mud on the drywall and then some primer and paint. Overall I think the sand looks a thousand times better than the gravel did. Yeah I have to deal with a cloudy tank for a bit but I can deal with that. I have the option for a FW ray now but I'm not sure how the Aro and Oscars would behave, not so much the oscars but the aro is turning out to be a mean SOB. When he swims past the Oscars they move I've seen him take swipes at them and come right at them with mouth open and they don't even try fight back. Guess I didn't hug him enough and a fry :x
 
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