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The pros and cons of using sand?

This is a discussion on The pros and cons of using sand? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by folion just java moss and maybe java fern to help with water quality a little. thank you for your help. Sure, ...

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The pros and cons of using sand?
Old 09-25-2011, 11:07 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folion View Post
just java moss and maybe java fern to help with water quality a little. thank you for your help.
Sure, no problem! With those plants you won't need to go heavy on depth for substrate. Java moss & fern don't need to be rooted, they can be attached to driftwood. You can always add more substrate later down the road if you want to do rooted plants.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:01 AM   #12
 
With a 75 gallon you should be fine with 2 bags of sand, you could go for 2 1/2 just personal preference really. Years ago I switched one tank to sand now you could not pay me to have a gravel tank, sand is so much easier.
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Old 09-26-2011, 01:07 PM   #13
 
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Others have answered your question, so this is just an agreement with a couple of highlighted points.

The depth is critical; if substrate-rooted plants (swords, crypts, aponogeton, vallisneria, etc) are planned, you need sufficient depth to provide a rooting medium. But the plants also work to prevent compaction. If you have no substrate-rooted plants, the depth can be minimal, an inch is sufficient; this will not cause compaction issues, or shouldn't, and regular stirring during the water change is adequate.

In a planted tank you shouldn't be messing around with the substrate, and I find a 2 inch sand layer throughout the tank with deeper areas (3 inches) at the back for large sword plants and maybe 1-1.5 inches at the front works well. I never touch it.

Malaysian livebearing snails are also very useful, as they c continually weave their way throughout the substrate.

I use playsand in my sand tanks; I buy it at Home Depot, it is made by Quikrete [spelling may be off] and is dark gray/tan dry. It does light a bit under the tank lights, but as it is identical to the sand in the Amazon basin I like it. So do the fish. You can see it in the new photos of my 115g and 33g tanks, under "Aquariums" below my name on the left. In my 5-foot 115g tank I recently changed it to sand, and used two bags; 50kg (110 pounds), cost $12 CDN.

Byron.
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