Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   best type of sand in for aquarium,regardless of price (

smit3183 04-15-2012 07:17 AM

best type of sand in for aquarium,regardless of price
I know a lot of people use play sand mainly because of it's inexpense and attractiveness but is it the best? I'm not concerned about the budget, I just want what's best for the fish. Is there any type of sand that may be better or is play sand really the route to go?

fish joey 04-15-2012 07:55 AM

What type of fish are you going to have?

Tazman 04-15-2012 08:11 AM

It depends on what fish you are keeping as mentioned.

smit3183 04-15-2012 08:14 AM

Peaceful community tank, currently have some platys, mollys, cherry barbs, albino corys, and bloodfin tetras. May be planning on upgrading my planted 55g that has gravel to a 125 planted sand.

Da11as 04-15-2012 09:01 AM

I was told the best sand to use is pool filter sand, as it is round and not sharp, like beach sand, but mind you Im in Australia, and I dont know what the sand is like anywhere else, even play sand may have impurities

Byron 04-15-2012 12:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Pool sand is often white, and that is not good for fish. It is available in black, in the USA I am told, and that would be fine. There are also specific aquarium sands in black and perhaps a couple other colours, but these are expensive.

Play Sand is what I use in 4 of my 7 tanks now, and I have found it a good substrate. It is a mix of tan/black/gray/white grains and looks darker dry than wet, but as it ages a bit it does darken in the aquarium, and with plants and bogwood this is quite acceptable. The sand in many streams in Amazonia is identical to playsand in colour and texture, so it is also very authentic for tropical aquascapes.

I use the Quikrete brand of play sand, available from Home Depot or (I believe) Lowe's. It takes a lot of rinsing to remove the fine dirt, but in the end it is well worth it. It contains no impurities that affect water chemistry or fish. Photo below is of one of my playsand tanks, the 33g forest lagoon aquascape, which has been setup this way for more than a year now.


smit3183 04-15-2012 03:47 PM

Was also looking into eco complete. Is this ok for corys?
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 04-15-2012 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by smit3183 (Post 1048164)
Was also looking into eco complete. Is this ok for corys?
Posted via Mobile Device

No. I was warned off that by a professional catfish breeder, and when I was deciding on an enriched substrate for my 70g I considered Flourite over Eco-Complete after seeing both in a local store and deciding Flourite felt smoother. But now that I have it, even it is too much and I removed the three cory species from this tank, and I must say they are looking much happier over sand. I would not use an enriched substrate with fish that burrow or sift through it, like corys, loaches, etc.

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