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Sand Substrates

This is a discussion on Sand Substrates within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> http://www.fishforum.com/freshwater-...e3/#post260702 heres a tut i did a few months ago it is based off of this thread just with pictures :D i also bumped ...

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Old 10-20-2009, 03:29 PM   #11
 
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http://www.fishforum.com/freshwater-...e3/#post260702

heres a tut i did a few months ago it is based off of this thread just with pictures :D
i also bumped it for you to check out
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:08 PM   #12
 
Does anyone have experience with this sand substrate?

Would play sand work just as well?
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:36 PM   #13
 
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Is this for a planted tank or non-planted? Eco-complete is intended as substrate in planted tanks since it contains nutrients for the plants. In a non-planted tank, this would be a wasted expense, and this stuff is not inexpensive. I don't know if this is actually sand-grain in size, I'll leave that queston for those who have used it.

True play sand such as what you can buy at Home Depot and similar places is inert sand, if sand is what you really want. I prefer small-grain gravel, but I have heavily planted aquaria and gravel has worked better for me.

Byron.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:11 AM   #14
 
Byron,

I'm planning on a moderate to dense planted 30g tank. Judging from your aquarium pics you've had a lot of experience with plants. What would you reccommend for substrate? So far at the stores I've been to, I've only seen large-grain gravel and that Caribsea sand I posted above. Where would I find the finer gravel?

Harry
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:28 AM   #15
 
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I have pool filter sand in my 55 gal. tank. It is not as fine as play sand. Is a tannish white in color but has different colors in the sand. If algae grow on it I just rub it between my hand to remove it.
I have eco-complete on the bottom and black sand on top of my other smaller planted tanks,Black sand has iron in it and is good for the plants. Try putting a solid black background as it brings out the colors of the fish and plants better then the scenery backgrounds. The pool filter sand tank has all low light plants and get a plant tab in the sand every few months. I have no co2 and 2 15 watt bulbs in that tank with the lights on a timer for 9 hrs a day. On at 12 noon off at 9pm.

Last edited by eileen; 12-18-2009 at 02:31 AM..
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:42 AM   #16
 
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great post, very informative!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyyrlym View Post
You want to keep rinsing the sand until the water is clear and further rinsing isn't improving things. I average about 15 to 25 cycles of rinsing for each bucket. It's a lot but it pays off in the end.
This part however, concerns me.
Living in Arizona, I'd feel guilty if I used that much water to wash out sand...

I'll just stick with gravel for now. Although someday, later down the road, I would definitely like to do sand.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:38 AM   #17
 
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great post, very informative!



This part however, concerns me.
Living in Arizona, I'd feel guilty if I used that much water to wash out sand...

I'll just stick with gravel for now. Although someday, later down the road, I would definitely like to do sand.
Is there something I should know about living in Arizona? are there frequent water shortages? I think you should always clean the sand, but if you don't have fish in the tank you can just dump it in the tank, and let it settle then let the filter run for about a day. Then clean the filter and do like a 80% WC. I did this on my 220 just because I was to lazy to wash the sand.

One note, you shouldn't store wet sand, I have no idea what I was thinking, but I took the sand out of the tank to move it. Well it took a couple weeks to get the tank setup, when I went to check the sand before putting it back in, there was black mold on the sides of the buckets holding the sand. I tossed all the sand in my garden and bought new.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:09 AM   #18
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulu View Post
So far at the stores I've been to, I've only seen large-grain gravel and that Caribsea sand I posted above. Where would I find the finer gravel?
Fine gravel is hard to come by these days, I been hunting around FOREVER and then some to find my dark & fine gravel. For the 10g I used black sand and for the next new 10g set up I'll use play sand again; had great success with play sand and pool sand in the past. I had found that certain plants root down quicker & easier using the sand vs. gravel.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:45 AM   #19
 
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Is there something I should know about living in Arizona? are there frequent water shortages? I think you should always clean the sand, but if you don't have fish in the tank you can just dump it in the tank, and let it settle then let the filter run for about a day. Then clean the filter and do like a 80% WC. I did this on my 220 just because I was to lazy to wash the sand.

One note, you shouldn't store wet sand, I have no idea what I was thinking, but I took the sand out of the tank to move it. Well it took a couple weeks to get the tank setup, when I went to check the sand before putting it back in, there was black mold on the sides of the buckets holding the sand. I tossed all the sand in my garden and bought new.
I believe you can get reported for "wasting water" in Arizona. Water is of great concern because of ground water/water tables underneath Arizona and the region. Ground water is being withdrawn at a exponential rate as compared to the rate that it's being replenished. Arizona's even created programs to replenish ground water by pumping in "black water" (any water that we wouldn't drink, but isn't toxic) back into the ground.

Last edited by hulu; 12-18-2009 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:25 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulu View Post
Byron,

I'm planning on a moderate to dense planted 30g tank. Judging from your aquarium pics you've had a lot of experience with plants. What would you recommend for substrate? So far at the stores I've been to, I've only seen large-grain gravel and that Caribsea sand I posted above. Where would I find the finer gravel?

Harry
For more than 20 years I have used nothing but gravel, the smallest grain size [about 1-2 mm, used to be called No. 3 I think, but not sure]. Here I can get this in bulk at many aquarium stores, it is cheaper than buying bags of any type of gravel. The natural or dark colour gravel works best to show off the plants and fish. I have read almost every planted tank authority over the past 15 years, and I cannot remember one who recommended anything other than small-grain gravel for planted tanks. Some suggest soil under a layer of gravel. But small gravels still the majority. And before the sand folks jump on me, sand will also work. But the issue with sand is its compaction; gravel will also compact, but it is easier--especially for those not yet experienced with aquaria--to ensure gravel does not compact. I like things simple.

The problem with sand or gravel that contains iron is getting too much iron in the tank. This is also an issue with any of the enriched substrates. Plants require a balance of 17 nutrients, and overloading any one nutrient can sometimes cause plants to "shut down" on other nutrients. Also, years ago I was adding iron, being told it was "essential" for planted tanks, and because I wasn't using other nutrients (general fertilizers) I ended up overdosing iron and killed off some of the plants. There is a balance in all this, and I have learned it is safer to go minimal than risk something. Plain inert gravel, with weekly liquid fertilization, works. For heavy-feeding substrate-rooted plants like large swords I add a Plant-Gro stick. You saw the results in my photos; my tanks have looked like this for 20 years.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 12-18-2009 at 12:27 PM..
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