Sand Advantages/Disadvantages - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 07-23-2012, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
BradSD's Avatar
Sand Advantages/Disadvantages

I have never tried the play sand yet it seems a lot of people are using it. I have always used Eco Complete black mixed with some regular black rock. Could someone tell me the good and the bad with sand as compared to Eco. I also watched a video the other day and a very skilled aquascaper used a thin layer of kitty liter under his sand. I am thinking for extra iron not sure,,,,can anyone answer that one?

BradSD is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old 07-23-2012, 05:30 AM
Boredomb's Avatar
Some sands look very realistic. Its easy to keep clean and lots of fish love it. The downside is it is a pain the butt to rinse out the dust to get ready to put in the tank. Some sand you really have to rinse out really well before you add them or you will have very cloudy water. Cat liter is basically clay depending on the kind. I know lots of ppl use Special Kitty (the very cheap kind). It can add extra iron and may have a higher CEC (this part depends on the brand I believe.) then gravel.

Boredomb is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 07-23-2012, 08:43 AM
New Member
Yeah there are many types of sands available, some people use it upto their interest and requirement. Most of the people use kitty liter which gives the extra iron to the set up. Well you can opt for those and may gives the good results.

Sky remotes to operate TV sets.
jessicalennita is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 07-23-2012, 11:19 AM
Geomancer's Avatar
No real downsides to sand, except the initial cleaning as stated. Otherwise, it's pretty much perfect. You want to keep the depth under 2", and I recommend having Malaysian Trumpet Snails as they live in the sand and help keep it from compacting.

For kitty litter, isn't that fired first? You don't want it 'clumping' in the tank, but yes, it's the iron in clay. Not necessary to use though.
Geomancer is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 07-23-2012, 04:43 PM
Byron's Avatar
Back in the 1990's, kitty litter became "popular" in planted tanks, but like many of these fads [others I recall were Laterite and substrate heating cables] the benefits were minimal at best or non-existent so the fads petered out.

The only one I tried was laterite under the gravel in one tank. I saw no difference in plant growth over a period of several years.

Where all of these might benefit is in a completely high tech setup. As with any factor in a planted tank, be it light, nutrients, CO2, enriched substrates...there has to be a balance or plants simply cannot take advantage.

Which brings me to the Eco-Complete. I used the basically identical Flourite substrate in my 70g, and after more than 15 months I am very disappointed with the lack of benefits. Later this month I intend tearing this tank down and chucking this stuff, going with Quikrete Play Sand which I now have in 5 of my 7 tanks. The same plant species, under the same light specs, and with the same fish foods and plant fertilizers, are growing as good and even better in the sand tanks.


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 07-23-2012, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
BradSD's Avatar
Okay thanks, from now on when I either redo tanks or start new ones sand it will be. The kitty liter guy was using high tech setup with co2 injection and high lighting. Just incase someone tries it, he said it had to be unscented and no dyes.
BradSD is offline  

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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fish Rescue-Advantages and Disadvantages Lupin Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 40 01-04-2013 02:15 AM
29 vs 70?? Costs/advantages JimBinSC Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 10 05-06-2012 07:42 AM
Advantages/disadvantages of invertebrates? nonvolatilelife Invertebrates 1 06-22-2011 07:12 PM
Advatages/disadvantages to a tall aquarium? CoffeeMan Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 9 12-29-2009 11:47 PM
Fish Rescue-Advantages and Disadvantages Lupin Beginner Saltwater Aquariums 0 01-20-2008 10:41 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