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post #1 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question sand substrate?

I wanna use sand as my substrate in my 75 gal that has 5 angels 2 lyretails swords and a 8in pleco and a small pleco is this a good idea? And how do ya go about maintaning it? And how do live plants do in sand? Any advice is greatly appreciated thnx
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:10 PM
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Sand is a very good substrate. I now have it in 5 of my 7 tanks, soon to be in 6. I use regular play sand from Home Depot or Lowe's. It is inert (won't affect water chemistry), plants grow fine in it, substrate fish like corys just love it, and it looks near-identical to the sand in many Amazonian streams. Plus it is very inexpensive.

You can gently vacuum over the top of a sand substrate if needed, or just leave it and the organics will feed the plants. I aim for 2-3 inches depth, depending upon the tank size. In a 75g you will likely have some larger plants like Amazon sword, so 3 inches at the back is fine, sloped down to 1-1.5 inches at the front. You can see what it looks like in some of my aquarium photos [click "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left].

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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How do you rinse the sand?
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:22 PM
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I was in the same position you're in. I wanted to use sand as my substrate in my 75g as well. I asked Byron for some help and he provided me with great step by step instructions. Do as he says and you will love the sand. It will now be my go to substrate for all my tanks.

10g - Red Cherry Shirmp
20g long - SE Asia "Biotope"
30g - Jasper's (GF) Tank
75g - South American "Biotope"
Plenty of empties...
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex1331 View Post
How do you rinse the sand?
I rinse about 3 cups at a time (less sand does clean better) in a pail; fill with water, swish it around, tip the water out, repeat 6 times.

Once the sand is in the tank, I add about 5 inches of water, then siphon it out. This removes a lot of what was left after the rinsing. Once you have it planted, you might want to siphon out the water again and refill.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Lol can i get that srep by step run down that stoke88 got lol that would be awsome lol im really lookin forward to sand ..and how much
do you think it would cost fo the sand for my 75 gal?
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex1331 View Post
Lol can i get that srep by step run down that stoke88 got lol that would be awsome lol im really lookin forward to sand ..and how much
do you think it would cost fo the sand for my 75 gal?
If you get playsand, you will want two bags, they are 50-pound bags. Don't know what they cost in the US, prob around $5 maybe?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:41 PM
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I love the sand too. I tend to go with about 1 lb. to no more than 2 lb of sand per gal of water. I take inconsideration of the weight of plants, rocks and slate for my caves. Surface area is important too.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-10-2013, 07:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thx guys ...byron i wont have plants for a while cause i cant afford it right now but i deff could do the sand soon ..so i have to rinse 3 cups of sand 6 times? And then completely drain my tank put my fish in a couple buckets and then and water and then drain it all out? And then fill it all back up and then add my fish back? Is it healthy to drain all my water like that tho?
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-11-2013, 08:33 AM
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I put sand into my small tank for the first time this week.
Probably was washing a bit more than 3 cups per time in a bucket but IMO six times would never have been enough.
Sand in bucket
Fill with water,
swish sand around with hands
Water will go a horrible brownish colour - this is the rubbish you want out.
Drain bucket until first sand starts to seep out
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat

I must have done this at least 30-50 times per bucket. What your looking for is when you fill the bucket the water remains clear and you can see the sand below clearly.

Put this into my tank and there was zero debris in the water. Sand is perfectly clear etc. And no cloudiness at all.
Pic below is about 2 minutes after it was filled.

Nile
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Last edited by Nilet699; 01-11-2013 at 08:36 AM.
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