Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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BradSD 08-04-2012 01:44 AM

New tank with sand
 
I am thinking of buying a 75 gallon wide tank on sale at PetSmart for 200 bucks this weekend. I want to try Quickrett sand for a substrate from Lowes. What is the perfect depth of sand for plants? Will I need to do anything different than using ECO Complete?

Bacon Is Good 08-04-2012 06:45 AM

Check craigslist.

hahaha

I would say go for it

Byron 08-04-2012 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BradSD (Post 1184086)
I am thinking of buying a 75 gallon wide tank on sale at PetSmart for 200 bucks this weekend. I want to try Quickrett sand for a substrate from Lowes. What is the perfect depth of sand for plants? Will I need to do anything different than using ECO Complete?

A depth of 2-3 inches is sufficient in larger tanks. In a 75g, I would aim for 2 or 2.5 inches overall (sand level when washed and in the tank), then you can use rocks (these work better than wood for this) to create slightly deeper areas sporadically along the back where the larger plants will be.

Two 50-pound (25 kg) bags of play sand will do you. I used this for my 115g, which is 5 feet by 1.5 feet, so with a 4 by 1.5 you will have some to spare which is always good.

Rinse it well, very well. About 3-4 cups of dry sand in a pail with no less than 6 rinsings. Then when its all in the tank, add maybe 6 inches of water, then drain it out. This will get most of what`s on top and left from the rinsing. Arrange the hardscape (wood, rock), then plant (I like some water in at this point). Another drain after it is planted may be needed. Then fill carefully with the water running into a large soup bowl or similar to avoid disturbing the sand.

The two drainings will greatly eliminate much of the cloudiness. If the woodérock and plants have beeenin an established tank, to avoid killing any bacteria on the surfaces make sure the water at each stage when filling the tank is dechlorinated.

Byron.

BradSD 08-04-2012 12:55 PM

Thanks for the details,,, that is the answers I was looking for.

BradSD 08-04-2012 08:54 PM

Got my tank, prolly take me a week or so to get it set up. I have to work 12 hour shifts next week. I still have this sand on my mind,,,,,how is it to clean and will it ruin a filter impeller? Is it as healthy for the plants as eco? Can the plant roots breath okay? I got 100 pounds of it ready to clean and put in for like 8 bucks but I dont want to do somehting I will regret. Anyways, plan to paint a flat black back on the tank tomorrow so I got some time to kick this around. The color is a tanish light brown and is real fine, I could see it getting stirred around easy.

Bacon Is Good 08-04-2012 08:59 PM

Hey brad

goodluck

BradSD 08-04-2012 09:10 PM

Another question and Byron hinted about it earlier, I like to have hills and valleys in my tank. If I have some deep sand in areas say up to 5" can that be a problem?

Bacon Is Good 08-04-2012 09:53 PM

I wouldnt think so

Byron 08-05-2012 11:11 AM

The creation of hills and valleys is not easy no matter what the substrate, since all of them will settle and even out due to gravity and the natural flow of water through the substrate. And this is essential to bring nutrients to the plant roots, as well as maintain the proper bacteria. In my gravel tanks I have had the substrate even out within a few weeks, no different from sand. The only way to prevent this is to use a sub-structure under the sand/gravel. I've never done this, but I believe other members have posted about egg crate and screen being used, though the latter would have to be fine enough to prevent the sand/gravel falling through. Another method is using rock to create terraces.

Quote:

how is it to clean and will it ruin a filter impeller?
I never touch the substrate in most of my tanks, but in the one or two that i do, I run the vacuum over the substrate as normal, not digging down though as there is no need [more below on this], and the particulate matter on the top is easily pulled up because it is lighter than the sand.

Unless you have huge fish that dig, the sand is not going to get stirred up. The filter intake should be approximately 5-6 inches above the substrate, whatever the material is, and no filter is going to pull up any substrate from this height.

Quote:

Is it as healthy for the plants as eco? Can the plant roots breath okay?
In my experience, plants are doing better or no worse in my sand and gravel tanks as in my enriched substrate tank. There is quite a complex process occurring in the substrate of a balanced tank, this is explained more in my article on bacteria.

Byron.

BradSD 08-12-2012 09:50 AM

Hey guys check out my new DIY stand with my 75 sitting on top. I plan to add the sand and water today and load it up with plants.

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/m...hoto-27498.jpg


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