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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok im pretty new to this forum and have not seen a topic on this.
right now i have regular aquarium gravel in have the tank and florida crushed coral i did it half and half because i am in a trial period trying to figure out exactly how i want to set it up.

anyhow i have read of a lot of people using the pool filter sand and i was told by a lfs whom is very reputable that it is not the best choice i believe he said because it doesnt have any clacium in it and is rich in something else that isnt good for the cichlids.

anyhow i want to redo my tank with the pool filter sand because i love the look so please help me out!

1. is it safe
2. how hard is it to clean
3. can i grow plants in it
4. is there any downside to sand

thanks a lot!
 

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#1 Yes its safe. It is just regular sand. What makes it different, is the grain size is very consistant.

#2 Because its made to go into a pool filter, it is much cleaner than regular construction sands. It still requires some rinsing. There is good artricle from the libarary section about cleaning pool filter sand. I used the same method, but only used one bucket.

#3 I haven't tried, but I have seen tanks on here that do have live plants in pool filter sand.

#4 The only things I can think of is it can get sucked up by the gravel vac (you kind of have to get the hang of it, then its easy) There is a video on CichlidTV about cleaning sand. Likewise you may want to adjust the heights of you filter intakes as fish can stir it up sometimes and it is more likely to get sucked in.

I have pool filter sand in 4 of my 5 main tanks and I love the stuff. So do the fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
awesome thanks a lot for both of your responses i really like the look of the pfs and am going to do it! especially for the price!

one more question for ya when i do take out all my gravel to change to sand should i remove my fish first? or jsut leave them in it?

thanks again for the help
 

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I have always remove the fish for a substrate change. I know others leave them in. I just feel bad haing them freaking out and breather the water withthe suspended sand and gunk. If you take them out, you can really drain the tank, get the old stuff out and be able to rinse to bottom before putting in the new stuff. Even with really good vacuuming habits, gravel holds lots of gunk under it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
cool. thanks i agreee with you i dont my fish to be freaked out and i dont want to pinch/crush any of them. i think im gonna build myself a new stand and completly redo my tank setup since im draining it. man i just made my self a lot of work!

thanks a lot
 

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MalawiLover said:
I have always remove the fish for a substrate change. I know others leave them in. I just feel bad haing them freaking out and breather the water withthe suspended sand and gunk. If you take them out, you can really drain the tank, get the old stuff out and be able to rinse to bottom before putting in the new stuff. Even with really good vacuuming habits, gravel holds lots of gunk under it.
what do you put then it while you do it?
 

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I used a large rubbermaid container. I drained some tank water into the tub, moved over a heater and one of the canister filters (I was doing a huge revamp with some plumbing changes so they needed to stay in the tub overnight). I did a partial water change in the tub first thing i the morning of the second day just to be safe. Once the sand and water were in and mostly settled (I let it sit with no water movement for about an hour) I put the fish and filter back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
man i didnt even think about that, i have a big rubbermaid bin that will work perfect i definitly need a whole saturday for this project though! my fish are gonna miss there 90gallon while in there i bet!
im gonna start building a new stand for my tank first and then hopefully next saturday( ill be out of town this one) i will do the tank.
ill get some new pics when im done, even though i jsut redid my tank a couple weeks ago!
thanks again
 

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I switched over a 125 from gravel to PFS about a year ago. I have a large rubbermaid, and planned on doing it the way described. Once I started to drain the water and remove the rocks, planning on removing 50% before trying to net the fish, I just kept going. Once everything was out, and the tank clean, the fish were still in the tank.

I made sure the PFS was very clean, and scooped it out of 5 gal. buckets and into the tank with a pint container. Once I refilled the tank, the water was a little cloudy, but not to bad. I covered all the filter intakes with nylon stocking held in place with a rubber band. It only took a couple of hours to clear the water up. I did cut the intakes for a couple of Emperor 400's by about 3-4" to lift them above the sand, but had no losses and did the whole thing over a Saturday morining.

I think the trick is to get the sand as clean as possible, have all the needed supplies laid out close at hand, and keep going till the job is done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
all right so i ended up doing the sand yesterday.
i read the sticky that someone had made about cleaning the sand that malawilover linked for me it was really easy! i didnt clean it quite good enough so my tank this morning is still a little bit cloudy but im hoping that today when i get home it will be clear. i used one five gallon bucket, and rinsed about 1/3 of the bag(50lb bag) at a time. then used a small clay pot(it was the first thing i saw) to scoop it into the tank. the fish 2 cichlids and 2 plecos seemed really happy about the sand and the new setup of caves(broken clay pots) if ou read my other post you'll know what happened to all my other fish.

ill put pics up later this week

should i put a nyloncover on my filter?
 
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