Sand Substrate questions - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Sand Substrate questions

So in my 55g I have about 100 lbs (2bags) of play sand. But I feel like I need more. Im planning on moving the plants around because I think it looks bad so when I do this I kinda want to add more sand. I have a Val and a sword that won't stay tucked in. Should I move the fish out when I do this?
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by patadams66 View Post
So in my 55g I have about 100 lbs (2bags) of play sand. But I feel like I need more. Im planning on moving the plants around because I think it looks bad so when I do this I kinda want to add more sand. I have a Val and a sword that won't stay tucked in. Should I move the fish out when I do this?
2 bags of sand (50lbs?) Is more then enough sand for a 55 gallon tank. I don't know how deep the current substrate is? Or what it is? But the general idea is that with sand you need/want atleast 3" of sand for the larger substrate rooted plants such as larger swords and vals. With that said I would do about 3" in the back and sides where these plants are usually located and slope it to about 1-2" in the front. If you are going to take out the current substrate then I would remove the fish as it will be easier and less stressful on them.
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 01:06 PM
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I agree. I recently redid my 115g with playsand and used two full bags (110 pounds or 50 kg total) and it is sufficient. You will not want all of 2 bags in a 55g which is 4 square feet compared to the 7.5 square feet in my 115g that was amply covered with two bags.

Byron.

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 #4 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe when I washed it I wasted alot I'm not sure but there is def not 3 inches of sand. Is there really such a thing as "too much?"
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 02:53 PM
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Maybe when I washed it I wasted alot I'm not sure but there is def not 3 inches of sand. Is there really such a thing as "too much?"
Umm well it can compact over time which could be a problem if there are not enough substrate rooted plants there to help counteract this. That's why you put rooted plants with extensive root system in deeper spots that and they need more substrate for the roots so it kinda balances itself out. Without the plants there it could be problematic. Which is also why one just uses 1-2" in the front as that much sand won't compact nearly as bad if at all. I will let someone else chim in here to explain in better detail. I just wouldn't put more sand in there then what is need for the plants.
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 03:05 PM
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2-3 inches is OK. Get yourself some Malaysian Livebearing snails, they burrow through the substrate. You can read more in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

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 #7 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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2-3 inches is OK. Get yourself some Malaysian Livebearing snails, they burrow through the substrate. You can read more in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/
I have MTS

I put two bags in it, im not sure if they were 25 or 50 lb bags, i got them at home depot.

the sand is not compacted at least in my opinion. and i have lots of MTS in there.

you see none during the day but when i turn light on in the morning there are tons all over the place.

is there a secret to getting the plants to stay in.

they are the closest ones to my canister return so they sway, maybe placement is the issue?
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-04-2011, 07:25 PM
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I have MTS

I put two bags in it, im not sure if they were 25 or 50 lb bags, i got them at home depot.

the sand is not compacted at least in my opinion. and i have lots of MTS in there.

you see none during the day but when i turn light on in the morning there are tons all over the place.

is there a secret to getting the plants to stay in.

they are the closest ones to my canister return so they sway, maybe placement is the issue?
Aim the filter return into the end wall of the tank so it dissipates a bit before pushing down the tank length. If it has a spraybar, position it across the end wall and direct the openings into the wall.

Another trick is to have a sizeable chunk of wood or rock in front of the filter return. This is where plants like Java Fern and Anubias have special value.

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 9 Old 10-04-2011, 10:37 PM
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Like Byron, I just added sand to my 125 gallon tank. I used 110 lbs for 9sq ft. So whatever you used, 50 or 100, I'd say you've probably got a sufficient amount. I have rooted plants in my 2 inch sand and no issues. If you have rocks or other items in the tank you could use those near the base of the plants to help keep them in place.

I just discovered that by floating Anubis in my tank, it would spout new root systems and sink/take root all by itself. In spite of their total lack of IQ, plants are pretty capable if you set up the right conditions for them to do what comes naturally.

"Good schools do not make one educated. The ability and desire to learn makes one educated."

"Knowledge does not make a person smart. Utilizing that knowledge makes them smart."
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