Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Follow It Home 01-26-2008 11:31 AM

sand for a substrate
Hey everyone, I would like to use a dark colored sand as a substrate for my new tank. However I have never used it before and just have some questions. Do you rinse sand? What is compaction and its problems? Can you plant in sand? The plants I was going to get are anchor plants but I would like to get a few plants to go in the substrate. Thank you!

herefishy 01-27-2008 12:13 AM

Check out this thread. It is a recent ongoing thread that may help you.

Amphitrite 01-27-2008 04:22 AM

I've had white sand in one of my tanks for about a year and a half. I used to grow plants without any problems, and dozed the tank with Seachem Flourish Excel.

The sand I bought was from the LFS and labelled as aquarium sand - compaction has never been a problem but I rake through it on a weekly basis just to be sure. Never had any trouble with plants rooting in the sand - they always grew well.

I have decided that I want to move to a more heavily planted tank with a dark coloured substrate, and instead of using black sand I'm going with Eco-Complete.

Hope that helps a little :)

fish_4_all 01-27-2008 01:28 PM

Well from everything herefishy has told me, and what I have researched, I think that sand is fine as long as it is not "FINE". Beach sand consistancy is a bad thing. Anyhting that when you put it in a bucket and it feels like you have to work to get your fingers into it when wet would compact too much. If when wet, you can run your fingers through it without much effort then it should work just fine. This could still be considered sand and I have seen many product listed as "sand" that actually look like grains of rice or larger.

When I go after my sand for my other tank I will look for one thing, can I see the individual grains at arms length. If I can't then it is too small. The picture in my sand/substrate post on the right, I can see the grians when it on the ground.

If in doubt, find the absolute finest metal strainer you can find and run it though there. Anything that goes through might be too small and could compact too much.

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