Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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patadams66 10-04-2011 11:29 AM

Sand Substrate questions
 
So in my 55g I have about 100 lbs (2bags) of play sand. But I feel like I need more. Im planning on moving the plants around because I think it looks bad so when I do this I kinda want to add more sand. I have a Val and a sword that won't stay tucked in. Should I move the fish out when I do this?

Boredomb 10-04-2011 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patadams66 (Post 850239)
So in my 55g I have about 100 lbs (2bags) of play sand. But I feel like I need more. Im planning on moving the plants around because I think it looks bad so when I do this I kinda want to add more sand. I have a Val and a sword that won't stay tucked in. Should I move the fish out when I do this?

2 bags of sand (50lbs?) Is more then enough sand for a 55 gallon tank. I don't know how deep the current substrate is? Or what it is? But the general idea is that with sand you need/want atleast 3" of sand for the larger substrate rooted plants such as larger swords and vals. With that said I would do about 3" in the back and sides where these plants are usually located and slope it to about 1-2" in the front. If you are going to take out the current substrate then I would remove the fish as it will be easier and less stressful on them.

Byron 10-04-2011 12:06 PM

I agree. I recently redid my 115g with playsand and used two full bags (110 pounds or 50 kg total) and it is sufficient. You will not want all of 2 bags in a 55g which is 4 square feet compared to the 7.5 square feet in my 115g that was amply covered with two bags.

Byron.

patadams66 10-04-2011 01:13 PM

Maybe when I washed it I wasted alot I'm not sure but there is def not 3 inches of sand. Is there really such a thing as "too much?"

Boredomb 10-04-2011 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patadams66 (Post 850309)
Maybe when I washed it I wasted alot I'm not sure but there is def not 3 inches of sand. Is there really such a thing as "too much?"

Umm well it can compact over time which could be a problem if there are not enough substrate rooted plants there to help counteract this. That's why you put rooted plants with extensive root system in deeper spots that and they need more substrate for the roots so it kinda balances itself out. Without the plants there it could be problematic. Which is also why one just uses 1-2" in the front as that much sand won't compact nearly as bad if at all. I will let someone else chim in here to explain in better detail. I just wouldn't put more sand in there then what is need for the plants.

Byron 10-04-2011 02:05 PM

2-3 inches is OK. Get yourself some Malaysian Livebearing snails, they burrow through the substrate. You can read more in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

patadams66 10-04-2011 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 850339)
2-3 inches is OK. Get yourself some Malaysian Livebearing snails, they burrow through the substrate. You can read more in this article:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

I have MTS

I put two bags in it, im not sure if they were 25 or 50 lb bags, i got them at home depot.

the sand is not compacted at least in my opinion. and i have lots of MTS in there.

you see none during the day but when i turn light on in the morning there are tons all over the place.

is there a secret to getting the plants to stay in.

they are the closest ones to my canister return so they sway, maybe placement is the issue?

Byron 10-04-2011 06:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by patadams66 (Post 850565)
I have MTS

I put two bags in it, im not sure if they were 25 or 50 lb bags, i got them at home depot.

the sand is not compacted at least in my opinion. and i have lots of MTS in there.

you see none during the day but when i turn light on in the morning there are tons all over the place.

is there a secret to getting the plants to stay in.

they are the closest ones to my canister return so they sway, maybe placement is the issue?

Aim the filter return into the end wall of the tank so it dissipates a bit before pushing down the tank length. If it has a spraybar, position it across the end wall and direct the openings into the wall.

Another trick is to have a sizeable chunk of wood or rock in front of the filter return. This is where plants like Java Fern and Anubias have special value.

TexasTanker 10-04-2011 09:37 PM

Like Byron, I just added sand to my 125 gallon tank. I used 110 lbs for 9sq ft. So whatever you used, 50 or 100, I'd say you've probably got a sufficient amount. I have rooted plants in my 2 inch sand and no issues. If you have rocks or other items in the tank you could use those near the base of the plants to help keep them in place.

I just discovered that by floating Anubis in my tank, it would spout new root systems and sink/take root all by itself. In spite of their total lack of IQ, plants are pretty capable if you set up the right conditions for them to do what comes naturally.


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