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Easy Sand Washing Method

By Lori
Easy Sand Washing Equipment © Lori
Everyone seems to like the look of a tank with a nice sandy substrate. Unfortunately, sand is much harder to clean than the typical gravel that can be thrown into a colander. Here's an easy method to clean that sand with minimal effort. If you have several tanks, this will really be helpful.
First, you need a drill. Any type, electric or battery operated, will do. Now you need to run to your nearest hardware store and buy a $5 paint mixer. Use whatever clean container or bucket you would normally use for cleaning your sand. Attach the paint mixer attachment to the drill, pour your sand into a 5 gal bucket or larger and add dechlorinated water. I personally prefer to use several 5 gal. buckets, then I add about 10 lbs. of sand per bucket. Pour the water into each bucket, and then use the paint mixer to mix the sand with the water. I line my buckets up in a row and mix each one down the line. By the time I get to the last one, the first has already settled and is ready for you to pour off the water. I go back down the line pouring off the old water and adding the next rinse. Repeat the procedure down the line. It only takes 2-3 washings, and with the paint mixer it takes about 2 minutes of effortless mixing to do the job. I then pour the water into my outdoor plants to help add to the existing soil as the sand helps with drainage that you want around the roots.
The result, clean, dust free sand, cleaned with minimal effort. It's so much easier than diving in up to your elbows and trying to mix the sand by hand.
So many of our prized bottom dwellers prefer a sandy substrate. Don't let the initial cleaning effort sway you into going with gravel. Sand looks and feels better to your precious catfish and substrate diggers. Personally, I think this is much easier than dumping in and mixing gravel in a collander, but if that's your preferred substrate, I'm sure this method could work just as easily with gravel as with sand. Happy cleaning, Petfishers!

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