Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Sand Vs. Gravel (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/sand-vs-gravel-63676/)

Godmadefish 02-24-2011 08:54 PM

Sand Vs. Gravel
 
I really like the way sand looks, and I think my fish would like it. I know its supposed to be hard to clean, and that I would have to get a better filter. What are the pros and cons of using sand or the very fine sand-like gravel? What exactly do you have to do for maintainence?

Lupin 02-24-2011 09:13 PM

Sand
Pros:
1. Much easier to clean as the wastes are lighter than sand.
2. Makes it easier for most fish and invertebrates to burrow around.
3. Friendly to fish with delicate barbels.

Cons:
1. If I change my mind on rescaping tanks, sand is a pain to remove.
2. Becomes compact easily and becomes potentially dangerous if it binds and forms anaerobic pockets. For this reason, you need to stir it r rely on your trumpet snails to do the job for you.
3. Can damage powerheads if the powerheads are turned on while the sand has not settled completely yet.

Gravel
Pros:
1. Allows oxygen to penetrate through plant roots much better.
2. Easier to remove if you change mind rescaping the tank.
3. Much easier to rinse around unlike sand before setting it up.

Cons:
1. Pain to vacuum around as the wastes are trapped.
2. Most fish choke on gravel easily although this rarely happens.

Christople 02-24-2011 09:16 PM

I have 'natural sand' as my lfs calls it and to clean it i drag the syphon very close to the sand and suck up the poop... the sand is a bit to big so I am good in that sense but it is still sand...the down side is sand condenses... I love the look of sand

CoffeeMan 02-24-2011 11:13 PM

Sand is way easier to take care of than gravel, and IMO it looks alot better. Get yourself some trumpet snails to keep it aerated and just hold your vacuum about 1/4 inch above it when cleaning up fish waste.

Christople 02-25-2011 08:47 PM

what type of water do those trumpet snails like... I might get some

Lupin 02-25-2011 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christople (Post 602157)
what type of water do those trumpet snails like... I might get some

Hard and alkaline. They require high levels of calcium to keep their shells from pitting.

Christople 02-25-2011 08:54 PM

ok well that is a no... i have neutral water and soft water sooooo

Byron 02-26-2011 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christople (Post 602169)
ok well that is a no... i have neutral water and soft water sooooo

Malaysian Trumpet snail is about the only aquarium snail that will do just fine in very soft and acidic water. I have near zero hardness and a pH of 5-6 in all my tanks and this snail thrives. I have hundreds, and they grow large, almost 1 inch--except in the loach tank;-).

My acute bladder snails are doing better than I would have thought, although they tend to favour some hardness. For years i could not keep them, but now i have a sizeable number in a couple of taqnks where the water is around 6.8-7 pH (still <1 GH).

Christople 02-26-2011 05:47 PM

in november i left a 7-day feeder and it turn some sand black... if I up turn the sand the color will go normal but it leaves a blacksh residue on rocks and thinks I put in it

Byron 02-26-2011 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Christople (Post 603062)
in november i left a 7-day feeder and it turn some sand black... if I up turn the sand the color will go normal but it leaves a blacksh residue on rocks and thinks I put in it

Carefully remove the sand with the black (siphon it out with a wide diameter tube) and once it is out of the aquarium, try washing it. Be prepared to discard it.


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