Sand vs. Gravel - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-18-2006, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Sand vs. Gravel

Does it matter if I start my freshwater fish tank with sand instead of gravel? I know most use gravel, but I think sand looks more natural. Has anyone done this? I know you need to wash gravel before you put it in a tank, but do you need to wash sand? I guess I could do it by mixing it with water and then using a very fine strainer to get rid of the water... Has anyone else put sand in their freshwater fish tank?
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-18-2006, 09:51 AM
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I have only seen sand in saltwater tanks. I can't see why you couldn't use sand in a freshwater tank, though. Just be careful because a lot of the aquarium sand pet stores sell is treated with bacteria meant for saltwater tanks. I'm not sure how it would affect a freshwater setup.
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-18-2006, 09:55 AM
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If you are using live plants, you need an enriched sand such as Seachem's Black Onyx sand. If you aren't, some local fish stores sell freshwater sand such as Tahiti moon. Just be careful when using certain sands because they can alter the pH.

You so cool.
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-18-2006, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, dasmall1. You seem to know a lot about this stuff. Do any freshwater fish need sand as opposed to gravel or vice versa? Or do the fish themselves not care?
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-20-2006, 12:03 PM
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if you are going to get sand get playsand at home depot or any other hardware store, it does suck to clean, but it is like $30 cheaper than getting other sands, which it sounds like you do not need. Here is a link to cleaning sand, it looks simple, but any other way will take ten times longer.

http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/cleaning_sand.php
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post #6 of 30 Old 07-21-2006, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cichlid lover
if you are going to get sand get playsand at home depot or any other hardware store, it does suck to clean, but it is like $30 cheaper than getting other sands, which it sounds like you do not need. Here is a link to cleaning sand, it looks simple, but any other way will take ten times longer.
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post #7 of 30 Old 07-24-2006, 10:53 AM
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Colored sand?

Is there colored sand available? One thing I like about gravel is that you can choose a color to match the theme of your tank. Do they have different colored sand that allows you to do the same?
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-24-2006, 12:12 PM
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yes, but they are harder to find, I know they are out but, I have yet to see them in a petstore
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post #9 of 30 Old 08-01-2006, 04:20 PM
Sometimes you have to worry about the roughness or size if you have specific bottom dwellers or feeders. For example rays need sand or they scratch themselves when burying. Otherwise i always use gravel becasue fish waste and stuff doesn't sit on top of it like it does with sand. A small sized gravel in a natural brown or tan color usually does the job.

Brie
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post #10 of 30 Old 08-01-2006, 04:29 PM
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Hi Libby, by "rays" do you mean sting rays? Are there freshwater sting rays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CuteLilPleco
Sometimes you have to worry about the roughness or size if you have specific bottom dwellers or feeders. For example rays need sand or they scratch themselves when burying. Otherwise i always use gravel becasue fish waste and stuff doesn't sit on top of it like it does with sand. A small sized gravel in a natural brown or tan color usually does the job.

Libby
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