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Thread: Getting rid of gravel and moving to sand!!!

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Meeker, Oklahoma
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    Excellent, I hope you like the sand, and you're right washing it is a chore! I know exactly what you are talking about, I have to resist getting more fish all the time. I always see ones I'd like to have. I do have a couple albino socolofi ( snow whites) and they are very beautiful. But I've heard the m. Auratus are very aggressive and need a big tank (like 125 gal) to do well with others.

    I'm actually overloaded with mbuna, they like to breed, ha ha. So my deal is no more tanks, no more tanks!
    75: 7 metriaclima estherae, 3 pseudotropheus socolofi, 2 sciaenochromis fryeri, 2 hemichromis lafalilli, 2 OB peacocks.
    55: 7 pseudotropheus demasoni, 8 labidochromis caeruleus.
    20: 9 Pundamillia nyereri. 20: p. socolofi, l. caeruleus, s. fryeri juveniles. 10: l. caeruleus fry

  2. #32
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    Nov 2013
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    Alberta Canada
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pictures as promised. Still murky but clearing fast.
    There is something new to be learned everyday as long as we are open minded

  3. #33
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    Nov 2013
    Location
    Alberta Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin View Post
    Excellent, I hope you like the sand, and you're right washing it is a chore! I know exactly what you are talking about, I have to resist getting more fish all the time. I always see ones I'd like to have. I do have a couple albino socolofi ( snow whites) and they are very beautiful. But I've heard the m. Auratus are very aggressive and need a big tank (like 125 gal) to do well with others.

    I'm actually overloaded with mbuna, they like to breed, ha ha. So my deal is no more tanks, no more tanks!
    We just had a bunch of baby Jewels hatch out and I'm thinking to myself What on earth will we do with them all!!??
    There is something new to be learned everyday as long as we are open minded

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Montreal
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    4,241

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    Tank is looking nice! Congrats on the babies...

    Everyone's sand experiences are different it seems. I don't normally like to plug LFS sold aquascape products as they usually are ridiculously expensive... but I've been pleased with the Caribsea substrates so far despite cost. One of my issues with non-gravel substrates has been with free floating micro-particulates scratching the glass when cleaning. That's partly down to the user I'm sure, but tanks with pool filter sand and Caribsea mix have not given me nearly the amount of glass scratching as play sand. Since you've gone with the play sand I recommend you be very careful about how you clean the glass, even when the water seems clear and free of suspended particulate. Scrubbing algae off with scrubber pads in tanks with play sand is almost sure to eventually leave you with a lot of scratched glass. I suggest using a scraper blade type gadget instead, and being gentle with it at that! (Perhaps a first very light pass with a sponge to get any invisible grit off the glass might help, as well as frequently wiping the scraper's blade.) All that said though sand does indeed look the best!

    I'll confess that I only tried pool filter sand once. The brand I tried you could not see without opening a bag. In hindsight I should maybe have had an 'accident' with one in the store. I'm saying that tongue-in-cheek - I don't advocate vandalizing a merchant's stock, but it would be good to see the product since it's going to be in a very visible place - something it was not designed for. The product I tried was coarse, very coarse, to the point where I'd call it very fine (and very abrasive) gravel rather than sand. It had a colour I liked to call "parking lot purple" - it looked neither natural nor appealing in any respect under aquarium lighting (or daylight for that matter - I tried it in the tank anyhow hoping it would look better underwater - nope).

    Pricey as the Caribsea stuff was, using the same cleaning material and techniques I've gotten far, far fewer glass scratches than with play sand, and while it may not look quite 100% as natural as actual sand it's a heck of a lot closer to it than the awful PFS I tried! If funding is scarce though I certainly wouldn't blame anyone for passing on the Caribsea stuff, it is pretty spendy and very hard to justify to non-fishkeeping significant others.

    In tanks where nitrate levels are kept especially low and lighting levels are not too high glass scratching is a bit less of a problem as less glass cleaning is required.

    As always with everything aquarium related, your mileage may vary...

    Good luck with everything, and enjoy your tank!
    Last edited by DogWalker; 12-16-2013 at 10:06 PM.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Meeker, Oklahoma
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    Tank and sand looks great! Another thing you can do is add bushy nose plecos to control algae. Minimize the need to clean glass! Add now while fish are small, it gets hard to add them with aggressive adult mbuna.
    75: 7 metriaclima estherae, 3 pseudotropheus socolofi, 2 sciaenochromis fryeri, 2 hemichromis lafalilli, 2 OB peacocks.
    55: 7 pseudotropheus demasoni, 8 labidochromis caeruleus.
    20: 9 Pundamillia nyereri. 20: p. socolofi, l. caeruleus, s. fryeri juveniles. 10: l. caeruleus fry

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Alberta Canada
    Posts
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    Thanks both I'm pretty happy with the results of the sand minus ofc the murky water which is clearing up gradually. I'm adding filter baton today to the filter media to help eliminate the last of the cloudy bits. I think the Botia is the most impressed with the new substrate he burrows himself right underneath like a happy little piggy. Very neat to watch him disappear under the sand . Thanks for the glass cleaning advice I used my magnetic glasses clearing this morning and winced with I heard some grating bits and stopped to clean the magnetic bar off. I really do like the effect that the sand has given the tank.
    There is something new to be learned everyday as long as we are open minded

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville Florida
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    Looks really good, good job and keep it up

  8. #38

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    Congrats Heaven on getting what you wanted in the first place. looks Gooooooooood.
    Mbuna Addicted

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Michigan
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    5,174

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    I am sure by now the tank has cleared up for you. Snap a few more pics when you can . Looks very natural and nice and peacefull, are you going to add anymore florals/rocks? Great job A + Heaven. Julia
    WATER CHANGE/WATER CHANGE/WATER CHANGE <~~~ My Mantra!

  10. #40
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    Nov 2013
    Location
    Alberta Canada
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is how it looks this evening, much much clearer. I added aquarium filter baton to the filter and its made a big difference in the water clarity. So glad we made the switch to sand. Some time in the near future I will be making a trip to the Landscaping yard in the city to see what I can get for rocks. The new cave log on the left is a big hit with everyone. I started up the bubble stone today to and it didn't stir things up at all.
    There is something new to be learned everyday as long as we are open minded

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    loveland colo.
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    350

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    looks very nice mch, nice job !!!,sand just makes the tank look so much nicer not to mention how much the fish love it. good call on the glass scratching dog,i have three tanks with scars from play sand.
    125 gallon male aulonocara peacocks
    125 gallon male haps.
    90 gallon grow out tank
    90 gallon demasoni,cyno,afra,hongi srt.
    90 gallon planted apisto.tank
    2-10 gallon med. quarintine tanks







    THE ONLY TIME YOU SHOULD LOOK DOWN ON SOMEONE IS WHEN YOUR HELPING THEM UP !!!!!!

  12. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Cypress, Texas
    Posts
    7

    Smile The change over.

    I just changed from gravel to PFS recently. Here are some before and after pictures. Will be adding more driftwood and some new tank mates this weekend when I finally have a day off from work. Any thoughts and comments are very welcomed. Click image for larger version. 

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