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Sand vs gravel

This is a discussion on Sand vs gravel within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I agree on doing the change from gravel to sand now. The longer the gravel stays, the more bacteria will colonize it, and when ...

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Old 04-24-2013, 10:59 AM   #11
 
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I agree on doing the change from gravel to sand now. The longer the gravel stays, the more bacteria will colonize it, and when you change the substrate it will be even more of a change biologically. And I am not just considering nitrification bacteria, which frankly is the least of the issues, but all the other types of bacteria that live in the substrate and keep an aquarium healthy.

I also do not recommend changing a bit at a time; do it all together. I have changed the substrates in all my tanks more than once in some cases, from a 10g up to 115g. Live plants, especially floating, also benefit.

Byron.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:50 PM   #12
 
I did it!!! I replaced the gravel with sand. The tank has a nicer zen like feeling now. The gravel was probably more appropriate but I love the ocean and the sand brings a more peaceful feeling to my tank and my room. Love the contrast of that green against the white sand.

But I cannot believe how hard the outsmart associate was trying to steer me away from sand. Especially the live sand. Kept saying the frog will eat the sand and die(it is a fine grade sand) and especially saying putting live sand would spike ammonia and kill my fish. Can someone make sense of that for me? Wouldn't the live sand convert the ammonia? Wouldn't the extra bacteria die off if there wasn't enough ammonia to feed on? The guy was just saying things that contradicts everything I researched and I just felt like I ended up schooling him instead.

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Last edited by Tarutan; 04-24-2013 at 11:56 PM..
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:12 AM   #13
 
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I've kept frogs with sand for years.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Tarutan View Post
....... Kept saying the frog will eat the sand and die(it is a fine grade sand) and especially saying putting live sand would spike ammonia and kill my fish. Can someone make sense of that for me? Wouldn't the live sand convert the ammonia? Wouldn't the extra bacteria die off if there wasn't enough ammonia to feed on? The guy was just saying things that contradicts everything I researched and I just felt like I ended up schooling him instead.
Well I'm confused
As far as I know, "live sand" is a term only used in SW aquariums. Like live rock, It has the desired beneficial biology for SW that is different than the organisms for FW. You bought live sand for a FW tank?
Setting that aside for a minute, all substrates eventually contain a host of various beneficial bacteria and organisms that help to maintain water quality.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:48 AM   #15
 
Well I was confused too so I tried to ask him about it but I don't think he knew what he was talking about. Yes they have live sand for freshwater I don't think it is as complex as the reef sand for sw tanks. There is one by caribsea, I got the moonlight sand, which comes in both standard and live versions. I got the standard one. I wanted the live if it would help establish my tank but I couldn't get any information from petsmart associates.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:09 AM   #16
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Interesting. It's a wet sand that already has a water treatment, bacterial base, clarifier, stress coat stuff and metal detox in it. I would think that it would have a shelf life. I know that the nitrifying organisms are tougher than we account for and go dormant rather than dying off but eventually they would kick the bacterial bucket.

Gimmick or for real, no idea.

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Old 04-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #17
 
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Well I was confused too so I tried to ask him about it but I don't think he knew what he was talking about. Yes they have live sand for freshwater I don't think it is as complex as the reef sand for sw tanks. There is one by caribsea, I got the moonlight sand, which comes in both standard and live versions. I got the standard one. I wanted the live if it would help establish my tank but I couldn't get any information from petsmart associates.
I'll be derned! Well, I guess it's not much different than treating the sand with a bacteria supplement - I didn't realize it was being marketed for FW.
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:26 AM   #18
 
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The moonlight sand is BEAUTIFUL, but it is awful with HOB filters. I had nothing but problems with it fouling motors, until I switched to a canister.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:59 AM   #19
 
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CarribSea have been marketing their substrates that "contain beneficial bacteria" for years. Eco-complete is one. I've not bothered with these, so no idea how much impact they actually have. When I was looking for an enriched plant substrate two years ago, I decided against Eco-complete partly because I didn't want whatever this "bacteria" stuff is in my tank, and second it was rougher in texture which is not good for bottom fish. [Not that this applies to the Tahitian sand, to avoid confusion, just stating my approach].

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Old 04-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #20
 
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I have used a few of the caribsea "live" sands, but I thoroughly washed them all before adding them to the tank - didn't need whatever they put in it, so I cannot attest to their effectiveness.
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