Sand or Gravel? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-22-2013, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Sand or Gravel?

Currently in my 56 gallon plannted community, i have it with regular natural looking gravel. But due to its inhabitants, im wondering if sand would be a better choice? And how does it go with plants? Im just wondering if it would be the same or better as gravel. Plz and Thx.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-22-2013, 11:34 AM
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What are the inhabitants - knowing what is in the tank will help guide the answers you get.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-22-2013, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Here is the full list. I will list bottom dwellers at the bottom.( And in the process of switching, if i do, the list may change as i make the habitat more suited for the fish)

10 Neon Tetras
6 Harlequin Rasboras
4 Diamond Tetras
2 Blue Platies
1 Pearl Gourami ( Currently in a quarantine due to the Diamonds harassing it)

Bottom Dwellers
3 Banjo Cats ( Babies, very small)
5 Cory Cats ( 2 Pepper, 1 Green, 1 Swarts, 1 albino)
1 Rainbow Shark

This is a 56 Gallon, 30 by 18 by 30
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-22-2013, 11:55 AM
In general I think sand is much better than gravel for either planted or non-planted tanks. With gravel, uneaten food too easily gets beyond the reach of fish. This in addition to plant and fish waste, results in too much material that decays and lowers water quality UNLESS aggressive gravel siphoning is done regularly. With sand, detritus material (mulm) collects on the surface and slowly decomposes or can be easily siphoned off during the weekly water change. Sand is also a better substrate choice for many bottom feeders.
The only caveat to sand is to not use too small a grain of sand that may densely pack making it difficult for rooted plants. Many have success with regular (big box) play sand. I'm using left over pool filter sand.
Also, much has been suggested concerning the potential merits of deep (2-3") sand in it's ability to develop [even] more sophisticated bio-filtration.

A key to success with sand is to wash/rinse the sand well before aquarium use to remove the 'fines' (dust like particles of sand).
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-22-2013, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thankyou, that helps alot! Sand it is. :)
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-22-2013, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
In general I think sand is much better than gravel for either planted or non-planted tanks. With gravel, uneaten food too easily gets beyond the reach of fish. This in addition to plant and fish waste, results in too much material that decays and lowers water quality UNLESS aggressive gravel siphoning is done regularly. With sand, detritus material (mulm) collects on the surface and slowly decomposes or can be easily siphoned off during the weekly water change. Sand is also a better substrate choice for many bottom feeders.
The only caveat to sand is to not use too small a grain of sand that may densely pack making it difficult for rooted plants. Many have success with regular (big box) play sand. I'm using left over pool filter sand.
Also, much has been suggested concerning the potential merits of deep (2-3") sand in it's ability to develop [even] more sophisticated bio-filtration.

A key to success with sand is to wash/rinse the sand well before aquarium use to remove the 'fines' (dust like particles of sand).

just want to reinforce the tip of make sure to wash it going to be a giant mess if not done
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-23-2013, 12:49 AM
corys need sand. they can get bad infe ctions of the mouth from sharp gravel that damages their barbels. also can hurt their lil bellies too. sand is best. looks great grows plants fine safer on fish. all around best thing to have depending on the fishiess
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