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Old 11-26-2011, 07:12 PM   #1 
undergunfire
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Angry Rinsing gravel....how long should it take?

I bought some dark brown gravel from Petco thinking it was the perfect color for a planted tank. I got to rising it tonight and it has taken me over an hour of rinsing and many gallons of water. I'm getting really frustrated because the water is STILL brown.

I'm using large mixing bowls and dumping hot water in, swishing it all around with my hands, then pouring the water out, repeat a billion times.

Am I doing this wrong? Should I return the bags of gravel and just get sand? I've never had this issue before with gravel! When I dumped the other 5lbs bag into a different mixing bowl the dust was enough to make me cough!
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:03 AM   #2 
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Nevermind...I ran out and bought sand!
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:24 AM   #3 
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You'll be rinsing the sand even longer than the gravel.

The best way to rinse gravel or sand, though, is to put it in a bucket and use the hose. You don't need to use hot water because you don't need to sterilize it. You just want to rinse off any loose particles or dust that could cloud up your tank.

Anyway, pour the substrate into the bucket and fill it with hose water, enough to cover everything. Swish it around and then pour out the water. Repeat until the water runs clear or as clear as you want it to be. With sand, you could be rinsing for a loong time. It took me two hours to rinse 20 lbs. Well, good luck! Post pics of your tank when you've got it all done. :)
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:38 AM   #4 
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I use to have sand but for some reason some of it floated so out with that. I went and picked up some white rocks.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:43 AM   #5 
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The super fine CaribSea sand I had didn't float and neither did the cheapo play sand I bought. But the black Petco brand sand I bought was just plain weird. It floated and then it formed bubbles and bits of sand would get stuck in the bubbles and float even more. Then the bubbles would pop and the sand would sink, only to get stuck in more bubbles. I hated that stuff.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:02 AM   #6 
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That was the same sand I had I am going to show them a sample and demand a refund for the cheap stuff. I was afraid that the sand would get in Chester's gills or mouth. I was not gonna risk his life.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:10 AM   #7 
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That's a good idea. There was definitely something wrong with that sand. All the snails I had in the tank with that sand died.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:30 AM   #8 
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It only took me 10 minutes to rinse the sand I bought in place of the gravel :). I bought the brown/orange/red/ish (lol) sand from Petco and mixed it with a white sand. I don't really love the color..but I'm hoping with the live plants it will look better. The plants are acclimating now, then I will let the tank run for a few days before adding the bettas. Then I will take pictures!

I'm still bummed because I loved the "coffee" colored gravel from Petco...but it just wasn't rinsing well. I tried rinsing more after I started this thread and the color started to come off of the gravel. I wonder if I got the "bottom of the barrel" gravel?
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:39 AM   #9 
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Is your sand floating?
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:29 AM   #10 
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This won't help much now haha, but when I wash my gravel, I do it in smaller bunches, and put it in a noodle strainer and rinse it out with boiling water. Takes a while but it gets it pretty clean :D
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