Cloudy water after adding sand? - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 24 Old 06-23-2012, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post

I would be totally interested in trying pool sand, if and when I ever do a larger tank and need sand. Isn't there something, (silicone) that causes some problem? Phosphates? Thought I remember hearing something negative about playsand, but don't remember what it was.

Gwen
The problem with pol sand is mainly the brightness, it is usually white. If you can find the black (I've not seen it but I gather it is avaqilable somewhere) that is better.

Silicates can be more abundant in "silica sand" which is pool sand usually, and yes they can cause issues like diatoms. I've certainly not had any of these problems with my playsand after 2 years.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #22 of 24 Old 06-23-2012, 02:43 PM
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But I do not agree that it is a given that in any tank there are more bacteria in the substrate than the filter. As stated the flow rate alone will favor the nitrifying bacteria in the filter, not the substrate.
I wasn't talking nitrifying bacteria, though these too tend to be throughout the tank.

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A well maintained bed of gravel will have some debris, but not necessarily enough to throw the tank off balance if removed. I also think that the bacteria in the substrate with a lot of trapped debris are living off of that debris, meaning if you remove the substrate and the bacteria and debris inside it you should not throw the tank itself off balance since the bacteria were there for the debris, not the free ammonia and nitrite in the water column. In addition, sand will not trap nearly the amount of debris that gravel will, resulting in much less debris in the substrate to feed the bacteria system that can occur with gravel as a substrate.
I don't see the logic of this. I had gravel substrates for years before I changed most over to sand 1-2 years ago. I have the same fish load, feed the same, etc. now as i did previously, so the waste produced by the fish that made its way into the gravel must be making its way into the sand...there is no where else for it to go to be broken down by the bacteria down there. And there must be more bacteria down there to do this, than in the filter where there is significantly less waste.

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Which source discusses the heterotrophic bacteria that consume waste and produce ammonia?
Sorry, you'll have to check the referenced sources. I simply wrote the article as a summation of the information, and I gave the sources for it. But I cannot remember what came from where.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #23 of 24 Old 06-23-2012, 09:49 PM
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Play and pool sands are both silica based. The problem with play sand is that it is not very uniform at all. This means there is a lot of very fine particles as well as the standard desired size.

There is a lot less space between the particles of sand so there is much less space for debris than with gravel. In general most debris tends to stay on top of the sand (only VERY fine particles can get down inside it). If there is adequate flow in the tank the debris is kept moving until it is collected by the filters.

I did look through the resources, I couldn't find anything supporting that information. I thought maybe you had something to back it up.

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post #24 of 24 Old 06-24-2012, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Fishguy2727 View Post
Play and pool sands are both silica based. The problem with play sand is that it is not very uniform at all. This means there is a lot of very fine particles as well as the standard desired size.

There is a lot less space between the particles of sand so there is much less space for debris than with gravel. In general most debris tends to stay on top of the sand (only VERY fine particles can get down inside it). If there is adequate flow in the tank the debris is kept moving until it is collected by the filters.

I did look through the resources, I couldn't find anything supporting that information. I thought maybe you had something to back it up.
I certainly didn't dream it up. I only know what I learn from my research. Several of those sources state that heterotrophic bacteria feed on organic waste. And this process creates ammonia as we all know. ???

I have snails that may break down the waste faster so it gets into my substrate. It certainly does not go into the filter, I would see it.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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