Using Sand as a substrate - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-17-2009, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question Using Sand as a substrate

I really am interested in using sand instead of gravel because all the sand aquariums i see are so beautiful.
But I am wondering how hard it is to keep clean. Is it worth all the work or should i just go with natural gravel.
(I'm redoing my aquarium as i am sick of my hot pink glow plants and lime green and bright blue gravel )
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-17-2009, 01:19 PM
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Switched to sand awhile ago. I will not go back to gravel again. I used pool filter sand. It is a nice sand that is not so fine like other sand. It has a tannish white color and specs of other colors and is a bit courser then play sand. I got it at Lesles pool suppy for $12.99 50 lb bag. I sold the rest on craigslist that I did not use. The reason I like this sand is that if algae grows on top of the sand it's easy to clean just rub the sand between your hands and the algae comes out. As with all sand food, poop, ect will settle on the top. I have noticed with pool filter sand because of the specs of color in it you do not notice the food,poop as much. Once a week you can swirl the sand with your hand and the use a net to get out stuff or the filter will suck it up while doing this. I have black sand in my other tanks. Beware of very fine black sand it is hard to clean and it's like fine dust that floats around and is a big mess to get clean. Black sand also shows up any food, poop more then the pool filter sand so may require more cleaning. I have dwarf shrimps, bottom feeders that take care of the excess food on the top. Black sand is a good color if you want to show off some colors of your fish like neon tetras, glo-light tetras, boesmani rainbows, dwarf shrimps, ghost fish , glass fish. I have a black background also that shows off all my plants and fish colors better. The only thing with sand is the cleaning prior to putting it in your tank. It takes awhile to clean but is worth it. You must turn the filter off while adding the sand. The water will look cloudy for a day or so. The sand will settle and the water will clear up. I just rinsed out the filter pad every day for a couple of days. My cory catfish love the sand and so does my Bushy Nosed Plecos. Also Black sand is better then the white stuff for live plants as it has Iron in it and is good for the plants. Plants look nice with the black sand over the white stuff. I was lucky to get my black sand from a local fish store that did not need to be cleaned and rinsed out. All the rinsing of the sand is worth it for the nice look you will get. The pool filter sand looks nice in my 55 gal. tank as since I changed it from gravel to sand the tank is much brighter looking then the gravel. Adding sea shells makes the tank look like a saltwater set up and you can buy fake coral and saltwater decorations to add to the look. Good Luck! Try they have many different kinds of colors.

Last edited by eileen; 09-17-2009 at 01:24 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-17-2009, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks :)
I went to petco and got some aquarium sand (white) i also got 5 pounds of natural gravel.
Put 5 pounds of gravel on the bottom and ten pounds of sand on top. Looks very cool :)
Water is still cloudy but hopefully all will settle. Just need to test for ammonia and get a heater and then i can get my topicals!!
*bounces up and down excitedly*
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-17-2009, 08:34 PM
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make sure you cycle your tank before getting fish if it is a new set up. after it cycles add fish slowly over the next month or so. to many fish added to a new tank to soon will get the ammonia to go up and the nitrate, nitrite . In the meantime use a test kit to keep track of the water quality.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-17-2009, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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I had had a goldfish but he died,but he was in there for like 5 weeks.
So i'm using the filter and i had scrubbed everything down and redid my tank. So I'm doing ammonia tests and all right now :)
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-17-2009, 10:05 PM
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hey where in maryland do you live? i live in maryland too and im on the eastern shore

its a half a inch of water and you think your gunna drown
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-18-2009, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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I'm in the baltimore county area.
I go to the shore all the time :)
Going to dover in a week or two for the race
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