How much sand? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-12-2008, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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How much sand?

I just got a new 33 Gal tank that I am currently working on setting up. I have never used sand as a substrate before and I am not sure how deep it should be. I have a smaller 10G planted tank that has about 2-3" of gravel and is doing very well. Is that depth ok for sand as well or does it need to be deeper?
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-12-2008, 06:30 PM
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2-3" is good. More than that and it will be hard to keep stirred up, so anaerobic pockets will form. One 50 lbs bag (if you're using play sand) will be more than enough.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-12-2008, 11:44 PM
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I only have one inch of black sand so I should add more? It's a 100 gal and I put in 50 lbs but do have 50 lbs more on hand. The inch looks nice but maybe my loaches would prefer a two inch depth? Thanks! kym
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-13-2008, 02:50 AM
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I would add more, especially if you're gonna be planting the tank. Roots gotta go somewhere! Plus, I'm sure the loaches won't mind.

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-14-2008, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ok that's good to know, I used 30 lbs for a 33 gal so that's about right.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-14-2008, 05:07 PM
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Yeah, deeper will be better. Gives the roots somewhere to go and will provide more space for the bacteria in your tank to build up nicely.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-17-2008, 01:18 PM
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2 inches is a good place to start. It will give you a good indicator of what it is gonna take to keep up with and what the plants need. If you feel you can add more later then it is easy to do.

A plant sand like Onyx Black sand is a good choice also as it is full of nutrients and is slightly larger grained so it doesn't compact as much.

A good army of Malaysian trumpet snails is also a good idea and take out the need to stir the sand all the time if you have enough of them. They also deposit their waste in the sand to help feed the plant roots. You may still need to stir it once in a while but not as often.
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