Another sand conversion - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-21-2012, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
Another sand conversion

In the belief that an eventual deep sand bed is better than gravel for many reasons, I decided to take the plunge and replace the gravel (60g tank) with sand. In this case, left over tan pool filter sand.

> replaced the filter media with a good amount of polyester fiber 'floss' and left running throughout the process.
> removed about 4+ gallons into a 5g pail, with a small heater and air wand.
> removed the floating plants and the decor.
> moved the fish (no small task) into the 5g pail.
> used a kitty litter scoop to remove the gravel.
> removed another 5-10 gallons of water.
> added and shaped the pre-washed sand, shallow in front, deeper in the rear.
> replaced the decor.
> added conditioned water to refill.
> allowed some time for settling and filtering.
> moved the fish back home (water still a little cloudy).
> put the floating plants back.
> next day - service filter inserting desired media.

I think I might be adding a little more sand at the next water change for a little more depth and contour in some areas. I also think after the sand has 'seasoned' some I'll add some rooted plants and maybe try to find some MTS.

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post #2 of 8 Old 07-21-2012, 01:41 PM
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Sand is really good for live plants and it is recommended for bottom dwellers as in the wild it is usually sand or some kind of sediment. Make sure to move the sand or poke it to airate it, sand will compact and any plants will usually be suffocated at the roots. If there are no rooted plants it is still recommended to stir it as gas may be trapped.

I love the look of sand personally, it makes the tank look natural.


15 Gallon NPT
1g no tech bowl in the making
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-21-2012, 02:29 PM
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Nice, personally I prefer sand as well. One of the best tools I have purchased since switching to a sand substrate, chopsticks!
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-21-2012, 06:03 PM
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Get some Malaysian Trumpet snails - they're great at aerating. I have sand in one of my tanks and love it. Might eventually switch the other tank over too.

-Kristen's tanks:

14g Tall:
Planted, eco-complete, Red Cherry Shrimp

16g Aqueon Bowfront:
Planted, eco-complete, 8 Ember tetras, 7 Green neon tetras, 6 Harlequin Rasboras

36 Aqueon Bowfront: Planted, sand, 10 Julii cories, 8 Zebra Danios
7 Cherry Barbs, Asst snails & Ghost shrimp
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-21-2012, 06:21 PM
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I like my sand better than gravel. It's more natural to me and it's much easier to clean. I plan to use sand in all my future tanks. Also 1+ on the MTS.They're great, but like all snails they can get out of hand.

55 gallon planted tank, starting over!!!( looking crappy, needs a major rescape)

Last edited by Jayy; 07-21-2012 at 06:23 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-21-2012, 06:25 PM
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Malaysian trumpets are awesome as they don't eat live plants and they eat dead plant matter as well as algae. They are relatively cheap as well. I found mine on Aquabid.


15 Gallon NPT
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-22-2012, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kfryman View Post
Make sure to move the sand or poke it to airate it, sand will compact and any plants will usually be suffocated at the roots. If there are no rooted plants it is still recommended to stir it as gas may be trapped.
One of the beauties of using sand is that detritus does not penetrate to depths where decomposition potentially produces dangerous gases like hydrogen sulfide. In some respects it is counter productive to stir which could mix detritus deep into the sand creating an undesirable condition. Best left alone and any cleaning would be to hover over the surface. However, a layer of mulm is actually a very healthy thing.
Plant roots will actually create the pathways for oxygen.
Nature does not stir substrates in many/most bodies of water except the raging river.

Also, some feel that MTS aerate the sand. Although this is somewhat true, MTS require oxygen so they do not tunnel more than one inch deep or so where O2 is already plentiful.

Some research on deep sand beds may be interesting and helpful.

Edit: If you do stir the sand, it's recommended to only stir the top inch or so to avoid stirring any organic matter deep into the sand.

AD

Father Knows Best but Abbey knows everything! I once knew everything, then I asked one question.
` ...><((((>` . . ` . . . ><((((> . ` .. . ><((((>

Last edited by AbbeysDad; 07-22-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-22-2012, 02:07 PM
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I've always thought it weird that what most say about sand doesn't apply to my one tank. I have sand that is 3 inches deep in places, and there is never any gas buildup in those areas. I never stir that tank (I know from poking around with a stick a bit though). My other tank, I started stirring when I was still new to this and now I've fallen into a vicious circle where I have to stir constantly. Good to see some sense put into all this!

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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