sand or gravel - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 06-07-2016, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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sand or gravel

I have gravel in my 29 gallon guppy tank. I am thinking of switching to sand, because I want to get some Cories and Kuli Loaches, and I've read that they do better with a soft substrate. Could I get opinions on the gravel vs sand debate? Thanks
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post #2 of 5 Old 06-08-2016, 06:28 PM
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I have gravel in my 29 gallon guppy tank. I am thinking of switching to sand, because I want to get some Cories and Kuli Loaches, and I've read that they do better with a soft substrate. Could I get opinions on the gravel vs sand debate? Thanks

I prefer peat moss capped with sand in my tanks. But that is more for rooting the plants and the peat is for keeping kh and gh in check. I also top off with pro choice select (red baked clay gravel). But that is probably more for looks then anything else.


my .02

maintain Fw and marine system with a strong emphasis on balanced, stabilized system that as much as possible are self substaning.

have maintained FW systems for up to 9 years with descendants from original fish and marine aquariums for up to 8 years.

With no water changes, untreated tap water, inexpensive lighting by first starting the tank with live plants (FW) or macro algae( marine)

see: https://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...-build-295530/
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post #3 of 5 Old 06-08-2016, 07:52 PM
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I switched from gravel to sand many years ago and never looked back. I currently have 6 tanks running and all have sand. I love the look, it's easier to keep clean since poop and debris sits on top rather than work its way down such as would happen with gravel, it's preferred for keeping fish such as cories, loaches, eels and earth movers such as geos. Vacuuming is no problem, just a little bit of technique in that you swirl the syphon just above the substrate to pick up debris rather than shove it in like you would gravel.

Only cons are:
1) the possibility of sand getting into your hob filter if the intake tube is too close. Easily remedied by shortening the intake tube and /or using a prefilter sponge on the intake. I just keep my intakes up off the sand and have not had any problem.

2) if you use play sand it takes a lot of rinsing to clean it before putting it into the tank. I've spent hours cleaning sand but it's so worth it. Play sand is super cheap, less than $4 for a 50 lb bag. Pool filter sand is cleaner and takes less rinsing but a bit more expensive.

HTH

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty

Last edited by jeaninel; 06-08-2016 at 07:54 PM. Reason: Typo corrected
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post #4 of 5 Old 06-09-2016, 11:14 AM
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I agree with everything jeaninel said. :)


*65 gallon planted mostly SA community
*5 gallon planted with "Falkor" OHMPK dragon male betta with a nerite snail
*15 gallon planted work tank with "Achilles" EEHMPK male betta, pygmy cories, amano shrimp
*2.5 gallon planted work tank with "Radius" HM mustard gas male betta, cherry shrimp
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-21-2016, 09:20 AM
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I wasn't that thrilled with sand at first either...just had the one tank with sand. I had all these fears about cleaning it and it going all over and messing up easily. Boy was I wrong. Most sand you can stick the vacuum in too, for a few seconds and lift out the sand should fall back down, but the dirt shouldn't.
Yeah there's a risk to your filter if you're not careful and knock sand up a lot(I pour water into something or over my hand to help remedy that), but I've had the same filter in there for years(came with an aqueon set up, actually a nice filter!) and though it's protested it on occasion, it's NEVER shut down.

Since then, I've now re-done all ten of my tanks with sand. Not only is it better for fish of all kinds, but it's easier to plant, and opens up a wide variety of different animals that can go in there happily from snails and shrimp to catfish(like cories). The myth is, that some fish will eat it and die...but they're not that stupid. What they DO eat, is actually good for them, and rarely does damage. You're more likely to get a dead fish from them accidentally eating a chunk of gravel they found that was small enough to fit. ^_~

I personally highly recommend it.



Turning on the Aquarium lamp in the morning is MY cup of coffee.

Last edited by Sylverclaws; 06-21-2016 at 09:23 AM.
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