Sand substrate, depth, and dead zone worry - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
Sand substrate, depth, and dead zone worry

How do I have a deep sand substrate safely?
I'm setting up a new 40 gallon and want to use sand since the tank is acrylic. I'm afraid gravel would scratch the tank and I like the look of the black sand. My concern is the sand I like generates dead pockets pretty readily even in my 10 gallon with only an inch or so of substrate. For swords, I thought 3-4" was recommended, but I don't want a bunch of anaerobic zones in the sand. With plants and sand, I can't really do an into-the-substrate vacuum cleaning to prevent dead zones.

Ideas?
DKRST is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 12:52 PM
Member
 
BarbH's Avatar
 
Malaysian trumpet snails, MTS would be good for a sand substrate.
BarbH is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 01:44 PM
Member
 
I second this I have black sand in my 125 gallon tank with mts, I love my mts I don't see them a whole lot but they do a wonderful job. I maybe wrong but I don't think you need 4" that's a lot of sand, I may have 2". I also have a long spatula (for cooking) that I use to move my sand if say it gets blown to deep in one area you can just run your spatula across it and level it, way easier than trying to use your hand.
k19smith is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
Yea, I already have a ton of MTS in my 10 gallon and have a bunch (several hundred at least) in my current 55. Still end up with dead spots.
The swords tend to like a deep substrate. Hard to stir up a substrate with swords, they don't like their roots disturbed!
DKRST is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 06:41 PM
Member
 
Byron's Avatar
 
How do you know you have dead spots? I have sand in 3 tanks now and I've seen nothing to indicate trouble. And, some anaerobic zones are essential for good plant growth and good health in the aquarium. Read my article on bacteria, I cover this in the bit on substrate.

I would just leave it alone. However, 2-3 inches is sufficient. I reset my 115g about a month ago with playsand, and I put in 110 lbs (50 kg) which is 2 bags. It evened out to about 2.5 inches. I built up areas along the back with slabs of basalt to have deeper areas for the Echinodorus cordifolius, E. major and E. bleherae. There's about 1.5 to 2 inches elsewhere. I've no intention of touching it. I have Malaysian livebearing snails too.

My other two sand substrate tanks have been running for a year, about 2 inches sand depth.

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]
Byron is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 09-02-2011, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
DKRST's Avatar
 
Thanks again Byron, I thought I had read that swords liked 3-4". but if 2" will work, that's good for me and costs less too, especially since the acrylic tank has no rims to block the substrate view. I know I have anaerobic spots in my 10 gallon since I'll pull plants and get the bubbles, along with some really stinking buried plant parts sometimes...

On the flip side, I have noticed no problems with the plants, snails, my young plecos, or other fishes in the tank. Your advice is good - if it's not really an issue, don't make it one!
DKRST is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Substrate producing sulfur.....2 fish dead. redchigh Beginner Planted Aquarium 4 06-04-2010 03:06 AM
Tank size, sand depth and questions carpet1 Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 7 10-03-2009 02:02 PM
Substrate depth for a 55 gallon planted aquarium? Herky Beginner Planted Aquarium 9 07-15-2009 10:14 AM
Increasing sand bed depth? Shadowcat0789 Coral and Reef Creatures 4 06-22-2009 03:33 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome