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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I have a question. I am looking to change my aquarium's gravel to sand. I have a pet shop 2 miles away, however I do have a river 200 yards away.

My idea was to dig some sand from the river beds, was, sift and put it my aquarium so I can plant some plants in it and this should help me to cycle the new aquarium quicker as well.

How's that for an idea? Has anyone used river soul in their aquarium?
 

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if the tempature of the water is colder, the parasites will die when heated, you could pour boiling water over it and it should kill them off, also i would let the tank stay with just water, heater and gravel for at least a week then you can start adding plants to let the tank cycle. make sure you are checking your parameters while you leave the sand in the tank.
 

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Sounds like the tank is already stocked and you just wanna change the looks right?

I'd absolutely boil it first, then let it air dry till its fully dry (several days) and at least that way you can be kinda sure you have not carried something in to your tank that shouldn't be there to harm your fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I have white gravel, but I want an Amazon looking tank, so I want some yellow sand on the bottom.

Has anyone actually used the sand from the river in their aquarium/s?
 

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i havent, but if this works out for you im gonna go out and try it. try and find a river that isnt big enough for boats, or one that is ok to eat shellfish from.
 

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Just be aware that you might introduce any number of toxins or biological problems. This applies to any introduced item from nature, be it wood, rock or sand/gravel. You probably have no way of kowing what substances may have come into contact with the material at some point in the past and have been absorbed, nor can you know what pathogens there may be. While boiling and/or drying may eliminate some of these, it may not eliminate all toxins if they are present. It is always a risk, just so you recognize that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another question, sand, gravel ect. they sell is pet shops, where does it come from?
 

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I have used sand, gravel, driftwood, and dirt taken from the river behind my house in my fish tanks without any problems. I would definitely boil the sand or gravel first. I know alot of the natural store aquarium gravel here in the states comes from gravel pits somewhere in the U.S.
 

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v1ad if you want a cheap substrate, u can buy some play sand at home depot or a place like that and just crinse it, with a bucket and water. its really easy and about $5 for 20-40lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #15
I meant, can you buy any of the other stuff in that list for aquarium?
Will the plants grow well in the play sand?
 

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I know angel uses play sand and she has great growth in her tanks...
Just have to make sure you get some MTS snails to dig around in the sand and keep it aerated.

Personally, If I was gonna use sand, I'd go with pool filter sand. Its not much more expensive and doesn't compact.

Then again, don't ask me. I went to Target and bought some black 'craft sand' and put it in my shrimp tank.
Looked great, but now the snails moved it around so the gravel is on top. Can't even see the sand anymore. :/
 

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If you look under my "Aquarium" tap here to the left you'll see all my set ups, some are playsand others gravel in either case plants grow.

No matter how you set up your tank (sand from river, playsand or gravel) plants need a proper amount of all nutrition's either you have some serious good water quality with which you supply this to your plants OR you will need to add fertilizer to the plants; this then depends on the plants you have either root tablets for root feeders such as Swords or Crypts or a simple liquid fert for stem plants. Improper balance of light AND nutrition's will result in poor plant growth so if either one of these 2 factors is out of balance it won't matter what substrate you choose plants will not grow.

Since you want the "darker" set up you have got to check your local home stores most commonly you'll find the lighter/ gray colored sand which may not be what you want for this set up, you may wanna look for something that's rather brownish/ dark which is also available.

If you look at my latest Shrimp farm set up under the Aquarium log you'll find the pictures of the one I set up with black sand and am LOVING it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Angel
Yellow 55g, 2nd New Shrimp Farm and CPO does look rather nice. Is that the play sand in them?
How well do plants grow in them? What specific fertiliser would I have to get and will it harm the water?
And what is the name of the front small bushy plants in 2nd New Shrimp Farm aquarium?
 
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