Marine Substrate Ocean Sand OK for FW? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-01-2007, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Marine Substrate Ocean Sand OK for FW?

Hi, everybody. I'm new here so be nice

I tried using the search feature to find an answer to my problem, but nobody gave a direct answer that I was looking for...

Anyways, I'm starting a FW tank that's about 60-75 gallons. I already have a small tank that's 6 gallons. I suppose you can say I'm upgrading. The problem I'm having is that I want it to look REALLY nice, so I want to use sand instead of gravel. I'm still trying to pick a theme for it, but it'll look similar to this:

I already bought the sand from Petco, but I still have the receipt and I can still return it. Here's the sand I bought: Will this be okay for FW tanks? Will I have to wash it first? Is it going to affect the PH level? I'm aware that sand could be sucked into the filter and all that, and it doesn't bother me. I've noticed other people using playground sand from Home Depot, but I've already bought my sand. Should I return the marine substrate I bought and buy the playground sand? Thanks in advance for you time and your replies.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-02-2007, 01:11 AM
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hello and welcome to the community ! :D i believe that marine sand is for SW tanks, not FW. i have tried silica based playsand. i constantaly had to clean it and then it gave me a nitrate spike i also had to constantly move it around. no current kept that bed clean i also tried some broad leaf amazon swords in my tank, but they couldnt get the roots to grab on to the sand, and it wouldnt hold my pygmy chain swords either. in my opinion, i would stick to fine white gravel instead of sand
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-02-2007, 02:23 AM
Yes return the sand, the name of the product should maybe of alerted you.
Playsand is fine, but tends to compact I'm told causing issues with cleaning and maintance, try getting hold of Silver sand or any other coloured sand from a aquaruim dealer. :D
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-04-2007, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, all! I've returned the sand to Petco and bought playground sand. Playground sand was SOOOOO much cheaper. It was like 50lbs for under $5. It took some time to wash it, but it looked awesome. Thanks again!
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-04-2007, 03:27 PM
Yes I emailed petco before and asked them if the marine sand could be in FW tanks and they said it was for SW only...let us know how the playsand turns out..if it starts looking dirty, and if you have problems with it getting compacted, because i'm interested in play sand too, but I don't know how well it works.
Thanks & good luck!
Firebelly girrl is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 05-06-2007, 09:41 AM
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First of all, that link to the planted aquarium site that guppy posted was awesome! I think that aquariums should be as natural looking as possible to provide the best home for the fish.

I too am looking to put sand into a new aquarium as I think it will provide a better substrate for a planted aquarium, is this correct?

As an aside, my LFS has a limited number of dull looking plants. The plants in those tanks looked fantastic, I assume these are available by mail order, do they survive transit well?

All comments appreciated. Good post guppy :)
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-11-2007, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'm trying out the sand right now. I used all of the 50lb worth of sand. The sand's in the tank and I've filled it halfway with water. I've cleaned it, but it's still making the water a bit dirty. I decided I'm going to fill it up with water and let the filter do its job and see if the water condition improves.

I'm not sure if sand as a substrate is a great idea for plants. I'm positive it works, but IMO it'll make it harder for the plants to grow faster. Reason being that the sand is more dense and compacted whereas something like gravel has space for the roots to grow. I could be wrong of course =) Whether I'm wrong or right doesn't matter to me though. I'm still going to grow plants and use sand as a substrate.

I've ordered some moss off ebay a few weeks ago. They were from Malaysia and they made it here to CA alive. It was like $12 shipped for a handful of moss.
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