I just bought a 29 gallon tank from Petco for $29 (woo-hoo!) and I want to try a planted tank with sand and river rocks as a substrate. Will this work? If so, what type of sand should I use? Is it okay to use brand new white sand that is sold for marine aquariums? Also, I have a heavy-duty gravel vac. Will it suck up the sand? If it does, how does one go about cleaning the substrate (it will be home to two goldfish)?
Sorry for all the questions, but I'm wanting to venture beyond the typical newbie's neon gravel, faux plants, and plastic rocks. :)
Re: Substrate recommendations
Buy a small quantity;
Place in a quart size bowl and
(With respect to the black aggregates the artificial ones ones are nice but "real" obsidian [which has been polished and sub-rounded] is "something else"!)
The stone in the above photograph has not been polished or sub-rounded.
What plants are you planning to keep? Goldfish can easily scoff them up with a few exceptions such as hornworts, anubias and Javan ferns.
I've used playground sand from HomeDepot before without issues. I placed a layer of Vermiculite (soaked and placed about an inch thick) covered by the sand. The plants seemed to enjoy it and it's cheap.
Loved the advice and recommendations. Thanks, all! I have several anubias sprouts hiding in the shade of some ludwigia, two amazon swords, and a few mystery plants in my goldfish tank. So far they have resisted the temptation to devour them, but I will keep a close eye to make sure the plants don't become a yummy snack.
It's going to be a while before the tank is up and running - I could only afford the tank this month; next month I will get the stand and filter, and then closer to Christmas I can get the decor. But I am having a lot of fun planning and scheming!
As for the cleaning, i find that my fish poo sits on top of the sand in my 35g, but my vaccum sucks up both sand and poo. The solutions i have found is to remove the wide end to the vaccum which causes the suction power to increase. This means i can suck the poo up from higher up, but leave the sand unnmolested. Seems to work well enough.
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