Sand Vs. Gravel - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 43 Old 02-24-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Sand Vs. Gravel

I really like the way sand looks, and I think my fish would like it. I know its supposed to be hard to clean, and that I would have to get a better filter. What are the pros and cons of using sand or the very fine sand-like gravel? What exactly do you have to do for maintainence?
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post #2 of 43 Old 02-24-2011, 08:13 PM
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Sand
Pros:
1. Much easier to clean as the wastes are lighter than sand.
2. Makes it easier for most fish and invertebrates to burrow around.
3. Friendly to fish with delicate barbels.

Cons:
1. If I change my mind on rescaping tanks, sand is a pain to remove.
2. Becomes compact easily and becomes potentially dangerous if it binds and forms anaerobic pockets. For this reason, you need to stir it r rely on your trumpet snails to do the job for you.
3. Can damage powerheads if the powerheads are turned on while the sand has not settled completely yet.

Gravel
Pros:
1. Allows oxygen to penetrate through plant roots much better.
2. Easier to remove if you change mind rescaping the tank.
3. Much easier to rinse around unlike sand before setting it up.

Cons:
1. Pain to vacuum around as the wastes are trapped.
2. Most fish choke on gravel easily although this rarely happens.

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post #3 of 43 Old 02-24-2011, 08:16 PM
I have 'natural sand' as my lfs calls it and to clean it i drag the syphon very close to the sand and suck up the poop... the sand is a bit to big so I am good in that sense but it is still sand...the down side is sand condenses... I love the look of sand

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #4 of 43 Old 02-24-2011, 10:13 PM
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Sand is way easier to take care of than gravel, and IMO it looks alot better. Get yourself some trumpet snails to keep it aerated and just hold your vacuum about 1/4 inch above it when cleaning up fish waste.

-CoffeeMan-
29 Gallon Tank
7 Zebra Danios (1 is actually a red glofish)
7 Serpae Tetras
7 Emerald Green Corydoras

20 Gallon Tank
2 Albino African Clawed Frogs
Anywhere between 0 and 8 feeder guppies

15 Gallon Tank
Lots of Trumpet Snails.
1 Assassin Snail
2 Female Guppies
1 Male Guppies

Pics coming soon in tank profiles.
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post #5 of 43 Old 02-25-2011, 07:47 PM
what type of water do those trumpet snails like... I might get some

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #6 of 43 Old 02-25-2011, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christople View Post
what type of water do those trumpet snails like... I might get some
Hard and alkaline. They require high levels of calcium to keep their shells from pitting.

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I'm ready for the pressure.
The drama and the pleasure!
If there is one thing I want to see here, it's HUMOR.
I believe I can fly!
I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day!
I stand in awe of my body.
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post #7 of 43 Old 02-25-2011, 07:54 PM
ok well that is a no... i have neutral water and soft water sooooo

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #8 of 43 Old 02-26-2011, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
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ok well that is a no... i have neutral water and soft water sooooo
Malaysian Trumpet snail is about the only aquarium snail that will do just fine in very soft and acidic water. I have near zero hardness and a pH of 5-6 in all my tanks and this snail thrives. I have hundreds, and they grow large, almost 1 inch--except in the loach tank.

My acute bladder snails are doing better than I would have thought, although they tend to favour some hardness. For years i could not keep them, but now i have a sizeable number in a couple of taqnks where the water is around 6.8-7 pH (still <1 GH).

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 #9 of 43 Old 02-26-2011, 04:47 PM
in november i left a 7-day feeder and it turn some sand black... if I up turn the sand the color will go normal but it leaves a blacksh residue on rocks and thinks I put in it

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata




The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #10 of 43 Old 02-26-2011, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christople View Post
in november i left a 7-day feeder and it turn some sand black... if I up turn the sand the color will go normal but it leaves a blacksh residue on rocks and thinks I put in it
Carefully remove the sand with the black (siphon it out with a wide diameter tube) and once it is out of the aquarium, try washing it. Be prepared to discard it.

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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