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Sand in freshwater tank?

This is a discussion on Sand in freshwater tank? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Ok 1st post. I was going to put beach sand in my freshwater aquarium that I'm setting up. But I have a gravel cleaner ...

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Sand in freshwater tank?
Old 08-08-2009, 02:53 PM   #11
 
Ok 1st post. I was going to put beach sand in my freshwater aquarium that I'm setting up. But I have a gravel cleaner and I have a concern that my gravel cleaner will suck the sand up!
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:27 PM   #12
 
I was actually wondering about that, myself.
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:37 PM   #13
 
yes i have sand in my tank and it gives it a good finish and never have used gravel again

the problem is cleaning up all the fish poo that sits on the top of the sand

you cant use a gravel cleaner becuase sand is to small and thing and will get sucked up

i just got airline tubing (very small) and leave it about 2cm abve sand and picks up poop

just suck on one end and the other side will be picking up all your fish food

Good luck
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:52 PM   #14
 
How about if I just stir up the sand with my hand, getting the poo to come up. Then take the gravel cleaner and just suck up the water. Or, will that make the sand float around too much?
Normally I would just find these things out on my own, but I think it's time to stop screwing up and actually ask advice first ;)
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:12 PM   #15
 
Also, what's the difference between substrate and sand?
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:29 PM   #16
 
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To respond to your last 3 posts:

Substrate is the layer of stuff that is at the bottom of your aquarium, be it gravel, sand, planting medium (special substrates like eco-complete), etc. So sand is one type of substrate.

Master robo answered your question about vacuuming the sand; it takes careful handling to avoid sucking up the sand. Some members have previously posted that they usually do get some sand but don't fuss, they just replace it when it gets low.

As for stirring the sand, this is done not to free up solid waste (which usually doesn't penetrate the sand like it does gravel, but sits on top until it has been broken down by bacteria and then it can penetrate the sand) but more to ensure the sand does not compact. All substrates will compact to some degree, even gravel; this is both good and bad. When it compacts, the broken down waste is acted upon by aenerobic bacteria (simply put, those that do not require oxygen, as opposed to aerobic bacteria which do) that convert it to nitrogen gas that is toxic but usually released at the water surface. There is a process whereby the plants use this, and several related actions are part of it. However, if the substrate, be it sand or gravel or anything else, is allowed to compact too much, "dead' spots form where this anaerobic activity increases to the point of becoming a pollutant and highly toxic to fish. There is varying opinion as to the extent this can kill fish, but one thing is certain and that is that the process occurs, simply because it is part of the natural processes that operate in any aquarium as in nature. Of course, in nature all this activity is usually of little harm to the fish because the ratio of water volume to the fish is far greater than in our aquaria. But in a closed system where the fish cannot escape what occurs in the substrate or the water, the aquarist has to be vigilant to avoid trouble.

Byron.
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Old 08-08-2009, 06:34 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KHALSELL View Post
Ok 1st post. I was going to put beach sand in my freshwater aquarium that I'm setting up. But I have a gravel cleaner and I have a concern that my gravel cleaner will suck the sand up!
By beach sand, if you mean sand you collect on the beach, I wouldn't. It will contain salt, and possibly other organisms that you do not want in an aquarium. In place of inert sand (inert meaning the sand has nothing in it that will affect the pH or hardness of the water) from an aquarium store, others have used play sand from Home Depot. Just make sure the sand is inert; sand intended for marine aquaria or rift lake cichlids usually will alter or affect the water chemistry. Pool sands can do the same depending upon what is in it, since they may sometimes be meant to increase the alkalinity.
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Old 08-08-2009, 07:29 PM   #18
 
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To clean the stuff that settles on top. I just stir up the sand and use a fish net to get the food and poop. You can also buy a turkey baster just to use for your aquarium and suck up the poop and excess food that way. I have Bushy nosed Plecos in my tank so they eat any excess food that goes to the bottom and dwarf shrimps clean up the mess also.

I think the pool filter sand I bought was a 50lb bag for $11.99. at Lesles Pool supply not a 25lb like I said. Craigslist is a good place to sell the rest as other people just need 10 or 15 lbs of the sand. I sold it for 1/2 of what I paid.

Last edited by eileen; 08-08-2009 at 07:33 PM..
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:16 PM   #19
 
Thanks everyone you guys are really helpful. This 225 gal tank is starting to drive me crazy(but I love it) So far I have a Jebo 839 but I'm thinking about going to the Rena xp4.But I think that belongs on another thread somewhere thank you!
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:12 PM   #20
 
Many quarries offer play sand for free. You just have to load it yourself, take some buckets and a shovel with you!
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