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Lake sand as a substrate?

This is a discussion on Lake sand as a substrate? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Good luck with the setup, Texan! Can't wait to see how it grows! There is also the other option of collecting EVERYTHING from your ...

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Lake sand as a substrate?
Old 08-29-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
Chesh's Avatar
Good luck with the setup, Texan! Can't wait to see how it grows! There is also the other option of collecting EVERYTHING from your backyard and trying a local biotope. That'd be awesome!

Awww, it's okay, Newt - we're all learning here! Just be wary of giving out the wrong information - it can cost little lives. :(

There are so many types of sand that are available and can be used in planted tanks, but yes - play-sand works perfectly, LOTS of people use it in their tanks (I have it in one), but you do have to give it extra rinsing at setup, it tends to be 'dirtier' than some others. You should put up a thread in the planted area of the forum. I'm sure you'll get a lot of helpful responses. ^_^
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:15 PM   #12
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You were not incorrect.

Sand that is too fine a grit will have trouble with plants... it packs too tightly for root growth.

Also with sand is a potential for anaerobic bacteria and poisonous gas buildup. Stir your sand with your fingers occasionally, and go deep.

If you are a snail fan, burrowing snails like Malaysian Trumpet Snails will keep the sand mostly stirred for you.

Fish cannot usually move gravel... but they can move sand. AND THEY WILL MOVE SAND. Keep that in mind when scaping...
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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As far as I know and have read MTS only burrow down into the 1st inch or so of the substrate (could be wrong). I have also read they will go down just to were the oxygen lvls are still good and along as the food supply is there. So if the sand is deep enough to go anaerobic then it is deep enough for them not to go.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #14
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Using a larger, uniform grain sized sand like pool filter sand prevents it from compacting. Tons and tons of people (myself excluded) keep their plants in sand with fantastic results.

Ahhhhh, the infamous poison gas pockets....that we only ever hear warnings about. I've spent a lot of time on these forums (racked up about 25k posts) and have seen threads about every stupid little thing, but what I have never seen is a "poisonous gas pockets killed my fish" thread. I'm not saying its not possible to happen, but just that it is incredibly rare. That, or poisonous gas pockets are the ONE problem that everyone manages to avoid. Or maybe it's just ridiculously easy to avoid because its just not a threat....
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:51 AM   #15
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Might also consider that plant's have the ability,,, and can and do,,transport oxygen to the root's so there is very little chance of hydrogen sulfide build up in heavily planted, sand based tank.
As mentioned,,unless sand is deeper than four inches,,the gas boogie man is more myth than cause for concern in my view,and many other's.
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