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Need help choosing substrate

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Need help choosing substrate
Old 05-21-2013, 06:24 AM   #11
 
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I haven't used Tahitian Moon Sand, but I have seen other reports from users who say it is quite sharp and as such would not be good for loaches which have no scales and like to burrow.
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #12
 
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Thank you all for the information. Especially you Jent. It will make choosing a sand at PetSmart much easier. You too Red. From both my threads. I'll look up the one you sugested too and call the lfs to see if they keep it.

Yes, it had to be a sand problem. I have 2 tanks: a 10 gal and a 2 gal. They originally had gravel and had no problems. Before I restocked my 2 after upgrading Gus, I changed my 10 to sand and added better lights. That's when the brown algae started. I then stocked my 2 and used some of the let over pfs as substrate. I got brown algae in it too. I though I had cross contaminated the tanks. I started to try to get rid of it. I tried agressive cleaning, more light, less light, more fert, less fert, no fert, more plants, large pwcs, and everything else you could imagine. He light and fert made a slight difference, but not much. The, I decided to take the sand out of my 2 one day and replace it with gravel because it was harder to clean in the tiny tank. It wasn't long after that that the brown algae slowed way down. Both tanks get water from the same mixed bucket every pwc. Same. light schedule. Same everything! And yet I couldn't catch a break with the big tank until I changed the substrate. So is any other explanation even possible?
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:39 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geomancer View Post
I haven't used Tahitian Moon Sand, but I have seen other reports from users who say it is quite sharp and as such would not be good for loaches which have no scales and like to burrow.
I've seen the same, but Chesherca keeps both Kuhli and Dwarf Kuhli (I can't remember the scientific names ) on Tahitian and all of her loaches are healthy and active. I asked her like 5 billion questions about it when I was considering buying it, haha :)

Oddly enough, my loaches have never tried to burrow in the sand, but they would burrow in gravel. Then again now they have an entire leaf littered tank to play hide and seek in
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Old 05-21-2013, 12:25 PM   #14
 
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I have kept Corys with the TMS without any problems.

Loaches really only burrow when they feel threatened. However, they do like to hide under things, so soft is still important.


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Old 05-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #15
 
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Good to know. :)

Since I'm getting all this good advice anyway, could you guys recomend the best numers for my tank? One person said to have 6 female Bettas, 8 Kuhli, and 6 Otos, but do I have to have so many loaches? I would rather have more Bettas. Could you guys give me a number that would work the best?
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Old 05-23-2013, 01:59 PM   #16
 
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I did a search OL for Quickrete and foundsome disturbing stuff. Apperantly, it contains trace amounts of asbestos and the dust from it is a know carcinogen! Some states require a warning label on the bag stating that it should not be inhaled and can cause cancer. YIKES! I think I will go with another option O_O
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:12 PM   #17
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I did a search OL for Quickrete and foundsome disturbing stuff. Apperantly, it contains trace amounts of asbestos and the dust from it is a know carcinogen! Some states require a warning label on the bag stating that it should not be inhaled and can cause cancer. YIKES! I think I will go with another option O_O
That's the general sand product warning. I called them a while back and had them send me the prcess that the premium playsand goes through. The carcinogenic issue is with the silica dust which is only an issue with dry sand. They sell a silica free version (maybe not quickrete) that has most of this dust removed for use in playboxes that are in more arid regions. The silica, being inert, can build up in the lungs causing similar issues as asbestos does. Children playing in dusty sand are at risk, hence the warning.

For the record, any sand product will have the very same issues, don't inhale the dust. Just that aquarium sand is not so prolific that it is a public hazard, that and it is used wet so there is no issue whatsoever.

There was an incident of hazing in our town many years ago that involved talcum powder. The victim ended up with some serious lung issues from it. Seeing as inhalation of talcum powder is not the intended use and there are no warnings on it, nobody thinks about it. Any inert dust or powder can have the same ramifications.

Playsand is fine if rinsed wet... it isn't even dry in the bag typically.

Also, asbestos is not a hazard if wet either, they use water methods to remove it from buildings because of that.

Jeff.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:34 PM   #18
 
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What about the fish? Would it be a danger to them?
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:55 PM   #19
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No, asbestos is not a carcinogenic due to it's chemical properties, it has to do with the physical interaction with the lungs. Like silica (sand) it is essentially inert but asbestos is worse as it is a fiberous material. If our lungs were full of water, it would not be a problem as it would flush in and out... other than the fact that we would have drowned... that would be a bummer.

It's funny but my brother asked me about asbestos in sand this afternoon after this thread was started... completely unrelated but we had the exact same discussion. Sometimes things that have a very small potential for problem sound worse than they are without all of the information. To be honest, I might react the same way if I didn't know some of what I know. Keep in mind that I am not trying to talk you into sand or anything, just providing some frame of reference.

I just cleaned some quikrete playsand this afternoon to add to the office tank as I didn't add enough for the plants to have a good foothold yesterday. It's darker than the other brand I used in my home tank.

Jeff.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #20
 
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For the fish mentioned (the loaches particularly) you want soft sand. Which type is up to you, just make sure it is soft (not all sand is) and inert.

After years of using only fine natural gravel, and saying "no" to sand, I now have sand in 6 of 7 tanks. And I use Quikrete Play Sand. You worried about the rinsing; don't. Yes, the water will be cloudy longer, but this is not going to harm the fish, and it will settle. What I do is rinse the sand (not completely by any stretch of the imagination), put it in the tank, arrange the hardscape (wood, rock). Then fill maybe 4-5 inches with water, then drain that out. Then plant, add water carefully (onto a bowl or something to avoid disturbing the sand) and leave it. The natural appearance of play sand cannot be matched. And it is very inexpensive.

Byron.
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