How much sand? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-19-2015, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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How much sand?

Don't know what happened to my post so I'm trying again. I am new to using sand and have been given and read different advice. I was told for my 100 gallon tank, I needed 3, 50# bags of sand. That makes it about 2 1/2" of sand. I have also read that it should be no more than 1". I have a Spotted Eel who lives to dig, so I am wondering what my best course of action should be? Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-20-2015, 05:44 AM
If you go with 1.5 you can always add washed sand later with a funnel, or vice versa sand sucks out with a gravel vac easy. I think alot of the problems with sand happen when use it as a cap for dirt or something. (Personally I have 1-1.5 in my ten gal, could use more cuz the plants are hard to root)
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-20-2015, 10:16 AM
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First, put the sand in a cup and fill it with 6 inches of water. Reach in, lift some of the sand with your fingers, and let it fall through your fingers.

If the sand fell down to the bottom and stayed there, the sand is perfect. If you now have eddies and currents of sand suspended in water, the sand is too fine and unsuitable for an aquarium.

***Please note, while some others may use this sand with no issues, those aquarists are not the ones asking questions in a "Beginner Freshwater Aquariums" forum.***

If you are using blasting media as a sand, 20/40 or lower is the size you want, not 30/60 or higher. Play sand can be used with a LOT of washing. Pool filter sand is usually good to go.

Sands that are too fine compact too much, form anaerobic bacteria pockets, and float enough to get sucked into filters. They are also too difficult to clean, and the fish moving will make your tank a cloudy mess.

Now that you have the right sand... around 3 inches of depth is usually considered the sweet spot. Less than that leads to bare spots; deeper and you will have to manually stir the sand.

One way to make sand easier to maintain is to add Malaysian Trumpet Snails. You can get these free from nearly any fishkeeper or sales outlet, including the big box stores. They burrow, and in doing so, stir the sand. If you have plants, these move nutrients from the surface of the sand to the roots.

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