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Rinsing used sand for the new setup

Rating: 12 votes, 5.00 average.
I know many of you have been wondering and asking about the status of the 400g. More plumbing parts for the new setup are needed, which will arrive within a week or less. I placed orders with three different vendors to get the specific fittings I wanted today.In the meantime, I got the base foundation of the rockwork up on acrylic pillars which keeps the aquascape from shifting no matter where the sand moves to avoid a rockslide. I'll be posting up an article on this shortly. Today I thought I'd cover the sand situation. When the 400g had to be taken down after the leak, I had to put all the sand in something. I used a 100g Rubbermaid trough, which held all of it easily. I'd estimate that I had between 350-400lbs of sand in that vat since April of last year. Originally I had it covered with a tarp to keep the elements out, but it was an exercise in futility. Whenever it rained, the tarp would get heavy pockets of water that would cause it to droop down inside the vat, and water began to collect within the vat. I reinforced the trap with some cross members, but it just didn't hold up to the elements. Eventually I gave up, and let the wind, rain, sun, hail, ice, leaves, birds, etc proceed to do what nature does. Whenever I saw any water accumulation, I'd scoop it out like a guy trying to bail out his canoe. Standing water leads to mosquitos and I don't like getting bit. During the past 18 months, there was plenty of tending to the sand, just to keep it from being ruined.

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On Sunday, I undertook the task of cleaning it a batch at a time. It wasn't overtaxing, but it was grunt work. I scooped out enough sand to fill a bucket about 40% of the way, and then used a garden hose with a directional nozzle to blast the sand strongly and create an underwater sandstorm. This would cause all the dirt, detritus and bits of leaves to rise into suspension, and this was carefully poured out. I'd have to do this three to four times per bucket. When a batch was clean, I poured the sand into a "tall" (kitchen) trash bag to bring it inside. Those trash bags were able to hold two batches at a time, barely. I'd guess each bag was about 40-50lbs with damp sand. To avoid a sudden tear and sand all over the floor or carpet, each bag was placed in the center of a large black trash bag. The added layers of plastic wa able to bear the additional weight over the short distance to the tank.

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The sand was carried in and carefully poured into the tank. Last time I added sand to my aquarium, I accidentally scratched the front pane of glass with the metal handle poking out of the side of the bucket. Not taking any chances at all with this tank, I am adhering strictly to my "no-metal in the tank" rule. Plastic bags may be a little clumsy to manhandle into the tank but I won't scratch the glass again.

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I still have two bags of sand left which will top off what the 400g still needs and provides sand for the new 60g cube that is going up at the same time.

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It's nice to finally see my patio is nearly cleared of all buckets, troughs and related aquarium stuff.And here's a peek at the tank as of last night. I added 23g of saltwater to get the sand leveled out and allow the rock to stay somewhat wet.

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The refugium has been going for 2.5 years and I'll probably scoop out all of that sand and give it a good rinsing while the weather is still decent. With this hobby, it pays to stay on top of stuff and seize those opportunities when available.

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