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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all new to posting here , but I have a question on which is better for the bottom of my tank ,sand or gravel ? I currently have a fresh water 29 gal. with 5 rasbos,5 danios and 2 green corys and the tank has gravel .I am looking into a 55 gal and want to stock this with some simi agressive fish but I like the looks of sand and was wondering how to clean the bottom with sand .
thanks for any comments
 

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Since you have cories you'd be best to go the sand route, playsand or pool filter sand will do. The sand will be easier for the cories barbells as they like to burrow,can't do that with gravel.

Would also like to point out you maybe want to add more of them as they are a highly social fish and like to be in groups of about 5. As for cleaning the sand if you have a python/aqueon water changer just hover it over the sand and it will pick up the debris.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so if I go with like play sand should I treat it before filling the tank ?
 

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if you go with play sand you will want to rinse it thoroughly before adding it to a tank. to do this get a 5 gallon bucket or kiddie pool. fill the poll or bucket with some water and dump your sand in. stir it around until you get a lot of stuff floating in the water, then dump out the water while keeping the sand in the container. do this until the water is clear. I did this with 75 lbs of play sand took me a good 2 hours or so.

if the sand is not properly rinsed you will have a extremely cloudy tank. all substrate should be rinsed before use but play sand needs it the most.
 

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All sand types need a thorough rinsing. Sand is definitely best for cories. Tho I have seen cory breeders who use gravel, I definitely would NOT use gravel. Unfortantely I've witnessed what gravel can do to a cory's sensitive barbs.
 

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First, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D

As for sand or gravel, it depends upon the fish to some extent. The fish listed for your current smaller tank would do better with sand, corys especially, though fine gravel that is not rough can work for some.

You mention semi-aggressive for the new larger tank, but we would need to know the likely species. Sand can work for anything, but some fish especially diggers can make quite a mess of a sand substrate.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for the welcome,I have been reading more about sand and the gas pockets make me a little nervous can a smooth gravel work? As or a more agressive group I am thinking Bala shark, some barbs tettras and loaches maybe ?
 

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The gas pockets issue is really nothing to worry about. As long as you don't make the sand bed more than a couple issues you'll have nothing to worry about, and if it does worry you can always just give it a poke with a plastic fork every now and then. Also if you have any bottom feeders they will keep it stirred up.
 

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1 bala shark needs 48"(or 4ft) long tank to swim in. Don't be fooled by their adorable looks, they get big. Unless you have atleast 100gal tank or a friend with the like willing to take them in later on down the road, don't get any.
 

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On the gas pockets, as the other member said, this is not an issue. The same thing can occur with gravel substrates too. Substrate-rooted plants are a big help, as are Malaysian Livebearing Snails. Some anaerobic areas are in fact desirous, they are part of the complete biological system. You can read a bit more on this here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/bacteria-freshwater-aquarium-74891/

To the issue of sand or gravel with loaches, this depends upon the species. The smaller loach like the Dwarf Loach, Banded Dwarf Loach, etc are best with sand. The medium species such as Botia kubotai can manage with sand or a fine but smooth gravel. The latter is probably best, as these loach do like to tunnel--mine do, anyway; there is a labyrinth of tunnels in my 90g tank.:lol:

On the Bala Shark, I agree, this fish needs a large tank. While a 6-foot can suffice, this is crowding them and an 8-foot is preferable. They need a group too, at least 5. Read more in the profile, click the shaded name.

Byron.
 

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I just recently set up a new 60L tank and used Roman Gravel speckled sand. It was an 8kg bag, which gave me a good 3cm at front depth, and 5ish at the back. The 8kg took me 2 hours to clean using the bucket and hose method, it turned the tank cloudy for about 12 hours, but I did use a polyester filter pad insert to speed the clearing stuff up. No chemicals. The water still is a bit misty, however I remember it being a few weeks before the water settled on a fresh tank with gravel so I'm not worrying about it. I love my sand! It's fab!!!
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Discussion Starter #13
First thanks alot for the input!!!! a coouple more questions though...lol I am useing a aquaclear 70 hob filter should I put a something like foam insert like they use for smaller critters on the intake tube,and also as far as stocking instead of sharks could I go with a pair of firemouth meekis,some tiger barbs corys and small pleco maybe,or maybe someone has any other Ideas.

again thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #14
oops the foam insert is to keep the sand out of the pump....should have been more informitive
 

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First thanks alot for the input!!!! a coouple more questions though...lol I am useing a aquaclear 70 hob filter should I put a something like foam insert like they use for smaller critters on the intake tube,and also as far as stocking instead of sharks could I go with a pair of firemouth meekis,some tiger barbs corys and small pleco maybe,or maybe someone has any other Ideas.

again thanks
Leave out the Tiger Barb with Firemouth, the TB are too boistrous for the sedate FM. Check the profile for the Firemouth [click the name].
 

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A few points:

Just to reaffirm, the gas pockets are not an issue unless you go deep sand, 3" or more.

If your filter intake is off the bottom, maybe midway up the tank, sand will not be a problem UNLESS you don't rinse it really well AND turn it off when doing water work (changes, planting, moving substrate for any reason). Even then, with a HOB it would serve you well to take the filter off and clean out the impeller area as the sand can settle in there and cause wear and tear on the workings. Foam on the intake will help.

55 gallon, I would consider going to a canister if you've the budget, they don't need to be expensive and the pump is on the clean side of the flow.

Add to your corys, they should be 6 or more. In a 55 I would say 10 is a good start for them. This will help if you go with a semi aggressive fish too.

Consider plants. They are great for the fish. You would need to make sure that your light was adequate firat though.

Jeff.
 

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First thanks alot for the input!!!! a coouple more questions though...lol I am useing a aquaclear 70 hob filter should I put a something like foam insert like they use for smaller critters on the intake tube,and also as far as stocking instead of sharks could I go with a pair of firemouth meekis,some tiger barbs corys and small pleco maybe,or maybe someone has any other Ideas.

again thanks
I'm using AC70's and have pool filter sand and NEVER have any sand in the filter.
As another member mentioned, make sure you don't use ultra fine sand, wash/rinse the sand well to remove 'fines', have the input strainer about 4" above the surface of the sand and turn the filter off if you're going to be disturbing the sand a lot for some reason.
 

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cheap sand

I have a 90 gal tank and I also wanted to go with sand so I did a lot of research and found that you can buy Quikrete commercial grade medium sand at Home Depot for $4 for 50 pounds. This sand has already been washed, kiln dried and screened. If you buy just regular play sand, you have to wash it and from what I hear it takes a really long time and is just a pain in the butt. I bought 3 bags and used about 2 1/4 for my tank. I just opened the bag and dumped it in. No washing, no prepping. It is awesome! I love the sand in the tank. My tank is the cleanest it has ever been. Its very easy to vacuum. You don't have to suck up all the gravel, you just skim over the top of the sand and all the yuck gets sucked up. The fish seems to like it and if you have any fish that like to bury themselves, this is the way to go. :-D

Quikrete 50 lb. Commercial Grade Medium Sand-196251 at The Home Depot
 

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you can buy Quikrete commercial grade medium sand ay to go. ]
I contacted the company to check how pure their play sand product was and was satisfied that there were no concrete materials in it. They run the commercial sand through the equipment after the cement processing until it runs clean. Then they do play sand. I wouldn't use anything but play sand due to this processing otherwise you take the chance that there may be toxic material in the sand. .

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Just finished up cleaning and installing the sand in my new 55 gal tank and I love the looks !!!!!! Zephyrah you are right the quickete is the way to go.I was dreading the cleaning process because here in Michigan its still snowing LOL.So I started to clean it and it didnt take but about a hour in all ( Cleaning the sand and filling the tank.) I really want to thank all of you for the advice I am so glad I went with sand!!!!

Thanks again ,Joe
 
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