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Old 03-26-2013, 05:01 PM   #11 
tekkguy
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Just stick the hose down into the sand in the bucket, and let the bucket run over for a while. Keep it swishing around, and don't keep the water on too high, but just the overflow will rinse away the small stuff.

Next time try pool filter sand ... it requires almost NO rinsing!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:15 PM   #12 
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I didn't rinse or sift. While it's true that the sand cap will keep everything down, the trumpet snails you put in to churn the soil will cause some pieces to rise to the surface... :)

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The larger organic pieces that you don't sift out will rot, and cause issues later. They should be sifted to get the soil as clean as possible.
What issues have you experienced? Everything I've read has indicated that that decomposition serves to feed the plant.

I rinsed my sand about 3 times before I stopped. In the end, I ended up with way more stuff in the water column from my driftwood than I did from anything else. Since you'll want to change the water frequently at first to keep the water quality good for your fish, I wouldn't sweat a little cloudiness.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:35 PM   #13 
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The larger organic pieces that you don't sift out will rot, and cause issues later. They should be sifted to get the soil as clean as possible.

This.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:35 PM   #14 
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The decomp does feed the plants ... but the larger organic material not only floats, it can cause huge changes in the chemistry ... spikes in ammonia, serious gas bubble issues, etc. It's just better to sift it out is all I'm saying!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:40 PM   #15 
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Decomp = ammonia, makes sense to me, besides who wants all the lumps and stuff in the soil? My mother loves potted plants and of course we don't sift the potting soil when putting new plants in but after a few heavy rains flood the pots, all those decomposing organic lumps and what have you that we would rather not have in the tanks, really make a stink >.<
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:50 PM   #16 
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Yeah, had I not wanted black sand I would have gone with pool filter, if I could have found it anywhere. Other than TSC who had the black diamond, the only other sand I could find was play sand.

But your idea sounds much better than mine! I'll just put the hose without a nozzle in there tomorrow and hope that'll be enough.


With the soil, I think the most I'll do is go through it when I am putting it in the tank and remove any big pieces that I see. I don't mind if there's some small ones here and there.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:34 PM   #17 
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The decomp does feed the plants ... but the larger organic material not only floats, it can cause huge changes in the chemistry ... spikes in ammonia, serious gas bubble issues, etc. It's just better to sift it out is all I'm saying!
Ooohh, ok. Well, too late now. I'm definitely not re-doing it. My soil didn't have big pieces in it anyway. The biggest pieces of bark, etc are about the size of a kidney bean.


And about rinsing the sand, I got play sand, too, and it was a pain in the butt to wash it. But I realized that after about the 5th time dumping the bucket, even if it was a little cloudy, it settled fairly quickly. I had more problems with rocks turning my water orange and then driftwood making my water look like tea, and then accidentally getting the sand all stirred up and causing a ton of soil to come up and get all cloudy than I did with the sand making my water cloudy. Now I've got bacteria bloom so the water is cloudy and the driftwood is starting to make the water tea-colored again, so it's kind of frustrating. Emptying and refilling a 55 gallon tank is a pain in the arse.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:47 PM   #18 
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The larger organic pieces that you don't sift out will rot, and cause issues later. They should be sifted to get the soil as clean as possible.
+1 to this. Sift your soil to avoid problem in the future
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:55 PM   #19 
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I've learned a lot from this thread and want to make the switch as well, thanks guys xD
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