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sand substrate

This is a discussion on sand substrate within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Both my tanks are sand bottoms. Unless I've got a real good reason to all my tanks will have sand bottoms. To me they ...

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Old 02-20-2009, 08:33 AM   #21
 
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Both my tanks are sand bottoms. Unless I've got a real good reason to all my tanks will have sand bottoms. To me they just look better and more natural and you can't believe how much a bottom of white sand can brighten up a tank.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:25 AM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
Hey--

Don't use reptile sand. Why? It's very overpriced. Also, some lizard sands have calcium/other stuff added in, which can change your water chemistry.

What I use in my tanks is Quickrete Play Sand. You can get 50 POUND bags at Home Depot, for 3-5$.


Make sure you pour the stuff you're putting in into a big container and rinse it out really well with a hose, to get out all the fine sand particles. This will reduce the time it takes for the sand to settle drastically. You can also mix it and match it with other sands/substrates, it looks very natural. My tanks have mostly sand with patches of pebbles.

To keep air pockets from forming, I would recommend malaysian trumpet snails... if you can keep them under control. They sift through the substrate, going through and turning it over. Very helpful. Also, if you have cories, depending on the depth of the sand, since they burrow through it, you might not have to worry about it as much--just poke around with the gravel vac when you vaccume.


EDIT: LOL, we posted at the same time. Seems you already got some play sand. Cool, good luck.
Do you have any pics of this in your tank? Thanks.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:06 AM   #23
 
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This is my tank: 48 Corner - 48 gallon Freshwater fish tank
That is the exact kind of sand I used.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:44 AM   #24
 
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My project for this weekend is to convert my 80 gal discus tank from gravel to sand. I have purchased 200 Lbs of play sand and am not looking forward to all the rinsing. So,, I'm wondering if anyone could possibly give me an idea as to how many ponds of sand would create an approx. One and a half to two inch bed for the tank. I have searched nearly eveywhere for some type of formula with little sucess. It seems as though i used nearly 25 to thirty pounds for my 29 gal but it has been so long, and my memory so short,, that I really can't recall. I don't relish the idea of washing more than is needed. Any help would be much appreciated. 1077.
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Old 03-15-2009, 02:39 AM   #25
 
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It took 100 lbs. and three hours of rinsing.Corys are very much enjoying the sand. Discus and white spot pleco will be introduced tomorrow. Left the biowheels from filters in quarantine tank along with mesh bag of gravel from the 80 and took this opportunity to tear down the filters and srub them. Tank cleared in 6 hours with the help of a hot magnum filter. Am pleased with the new look.
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Old 03-19-2009, 05:04 PM   #26
 
How about sand and bacteria? Is it as good as the gravel?
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:17 AM   #27
 
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Sand isn't exactly the best breeding ground for beneficial bacteria, there isn't as much suface area with sand as there is with gravel.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:24 AM   #28
 
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I am personally of the opinion that bacteria in the gravel are over rated. Yes they are present, but unless you're running a UGF set up the filter is such a better environment for them that its a non-issue. In the early stages of cycling a tank you don't want to upset any bacteria that might have gotten started in your tank but once you're going good there's no real reason to be overly concerned about them.

I've been running my big 48 gallon from day 1 with sand and I've never had an issue with ammonia or nitrites after the cycle finished. The filter is more than capable of handling the bioload all by its lonesome.
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:00 AM   #29
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyyrlym View Post
I am personally of the opinion that bacteria in the gravel are over rated. Yes they are present, but unless you're running a UGF set up the filter is such a better environment for them that its a non-issue. In the early stages of cycling a tank you don't want to upset any bacteria that might have gotten started in your tank but once you're going good there's no real reason to be overly concerned about them.

I've been running my big 48 gallon from day 1 with sand and I've never had an issue with ammonia or nitrites after the cycle finished. The filter is more than capable of handling the bioload all by its lonesome.

I agree fully, but having additional surface area for the bacteria never hurts. If you are running sand, I would recommend adding some 'bio-balls' or some other bio material to your filter. Or you can run an emperor power filter since that has the Bio-wheels...
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:20 AM   #30
 
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In my opinion it is indeed the surface area available ,along with oxygen levels,That are of importance. Too many times, I have witnessed or heard of those who removed the substrate and or all of the decorations,plants real or artificial,driftwood etc and replaced the substrate or gave it and the decorations etc, a good scrub only to have sudden ammonnia and nitrite spikes. It is true that the bacteria only develops in relation to the bioload, but in my view the more surface area, Or areas available for it to colonize, the better. But hey,, I'm open for enlightenment.
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