Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   The pros and cons of using sand? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/pros-cons-using-sand-82007/)

folion 09-25-2011 08:39 PM

The pros and cons of using sand?
 
I am setting up a 75 gallon tank. I seen some tanks that have sand and I kinda like the look of them. What are the pros and cons of sand?

Santaclaws 09-25-2011 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by folion (Post 840694)
I am setting up a 75 gallon tank. I seen some tanks that have sand and I kinda like the look of them. What are the pros and cons of sand?

One con of using sand is if you get one grain of sand on your scubber you can srcatch your tank up
One Pro is some fish are sand sifters and do better in sand like corys.
It really depends on your fish to Bichirs get lighter washed out color when raised on sand unless its black.
Another Con is you can stir it up doing a vacuming and it can get in your filter especially canister filters where it can grind down your impeller :-)

aunt kymmie 09-25-2011 09:01 PM

I use sand in all my tanks and the only con for me is that if you get any of it stuck between the glass (or acrylic) when using an algae magnet is that you can scratch the tank. I just stay away from the bottom of the tank with the algae magnet and hand scrub that area.
Also, you need to keep the intake of your filter far enough away from the sand bed as you don't want to suck sand up into your filter.
I prefer sand over gravel because with sand all the "gunk" sits on top of it (versus gravel where it can sift down into it) and a gravel vac hovered just above the sand sucks up all the junk easily.

folion 09-25-2011 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 840723)
I use sand in all my tanks and the only con for me is that if you get any of it stuck between the glass (or acrylic) when using an algae magnet is that you can scratch the tank. I just stay away from the bottom of the tank with the algae magnet and hand scrub that area.
Also, you need to keep the intake of your filter far enough away from the sand bed as you don't want to suck sand up into your filter.
I prefer sand over gravel because with sand all the "gunk" sits on top of it (versus gravel where it can sift down into it) and a gravel vac hovered just above the sand sucks up all the junk easily.

How far away do you keep the filter intake? Also what kind of sand do you use. do they sell black or dark sand for fresh water tanks?

gmate 09-25-2011 09:10 PM

Play sand for sandboxes is normal color, I know that much. And it's fairly inexpensive and safe.
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aunt kymmie 09-25-2011 09:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by folion (Post 840738)
How far away do you keep the filter intake? Also what kind of sand do you use. do they sell black or dark sand for fresh water tanks?

About an inch off of the sand bed and of course, if I'm doing tank maintenance the filters are turned off in case I kick up sand while I'm messing around in the tank. I have black sand in all my tanks except for my shrimp tank and that one is white sand. The black sand was purchased in bulk at my LFS, and the white sand is play sand from Home Depot. Play sand is super cheap, black sand usually isn't. A 50lb bag of white play sand is about $5, the black sand from my LFS was a $1 a pound.

folion 09-25-2011 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 840752)
About an inch off of the sand bed and of course, if I'm doing tank maintenance the filters are turned off in case I kick up sand while I'm messing around in the tank. I have black sand in all my tanks except for my shrimp tank and that one is white sand. The black sand was purchased in bulk at my LFS, and the white sand is play sand from Home Depot. Play sand is super cheap, black sand usually isn't. A 50lb bag of white play sand is about $5, the black sand from my LFS was a $1 a pound.

Holy cow a $1 a pound! how much would i need for a 75g tank?

aunt kymmie 09-25-2011 09:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by folion (Post 840767)
Holy cow a $1 a pound! how much would i need for a 75g tank?

For my 75g tank I used 150 pounds. It's a planted tank and I needed depth as far as substrate. Are you doing a planted tank? If not, I believe the general rule of thumb is a pound of substrate per gallon.

folion 09-25-2011 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aunt kymmie (Post 840810)
For my 75g tank I used 150 pounds. It's a planted tank and I needed depth as far as substrate. Are you doing a planted tank? If not, I believe the general rule of thumb is a pound of substrate per gallon.

just java moss and maybe java fern to help with water quality a little. thank you for your help.

SinCrisis 09-25-2011 11:05 PM

Also, i dont think anyone mentioned this yet, but sand has a tendency to compact. This means that areas, especially those away from live plants or under big decorations, can develop anaerobic pockets more easily. Although anaerobic pockets are good for biological filtration, if they are disturbed, they will release hydrogren sulfide into your tank which is poisonous. This means with sand, you must regularly poke the substrate to make sure its aerated enough and to release any small pockets of gas that forms so that there won't be a buildup that could be dangerous to your fish. Introducing inverts like MTS will also help avoid this problem.


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