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I am setting up a 75 gallon tank. I seen some tanks that have sand and I kinda like the look of them. What are the pros and cons of sand?
 

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I am setting up a 75 gallon tank. I seen some tanks that have sand and I kinda like the look of them. What are the pros and cons of sand?
One con of using sand is if you get one grain of sand on your scubber you can srcatch your tank up
One Pro is some fish are sand sifters and do better in sand like corys.
It really depends on your fish to Bichirs get lighter washed out color when raised on sand unless its black.
Another Con is you can stir it up doing a vacuming and it can get in your filter especially canister filters where it can grind down your impeller :)
 

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I use sand in all my tanks and the only con for me is that if you get any of it stuck between the glass (or acrylic) when using an algae magnet is that you can scratch the tank. I just stay away from the bottom of the tank with the algae magnet and hand scrub that area.
Also, you need to keep the intake of your filter far enough away from the sand bed as you don't want to suck sand up into your filter.
I prefer sand over gravel because with sand all the "gunk" sits on top of it (versus gravel where it can sift down into it) and a gravel vac hovered just above the sand sucks up all the junk easily.
 

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I use sand in all my tanks and the only con for me is that if you get any of it stuck between the glass (or acrylic) when using an algae magnet is that you can scratch the tank. I just stay away from the bottom of the tank with the algae magnet and hand scrub that area.
Also, you need to keep the intake of your filter far enough away from the sand bed as you don't want to suck sand up into your filter.
I prefer sand over gravel because with sand all the "gunk" sits on top of it (versus gravel where it can sift down into it) and a gravel vac hovered just above the sand sucks up all the junk easily.
How far away do you keep the filter intake? Also what kind of sand do you use. do they sell black or dark sand for fresh water tanks?
 

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How far away do you keep the filter intake? Also what kind of sand do you use. do they sell black or dark sand for fresh water tanks?
About an inch off of the sand bed and of course, if I'm doing tank maintenance the filters are turned off in case I kick up sand while I'm messing around in the tank. I have black sand in all my tanks except for my shrimp tank and that one is white sand. The black sand was purchased in bulk at my LFS, and the white sand is play sand from Home Depot. Play sand is super cheap, black sand usually isn't. A 50lb bag of white play sand is about $5, the black sand from my LFS was a $1 a pound.
 

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About an inch off of the sand bed and of course, if I'm doing tank maintenance the filters are turned off in case I kick up sand while I'm messing around in the tank. I have black sand in all my tanks except for my shrimp tank and that one is white sand. The black sand was purchased in bulk at my LFS, and the white sand is play sand from Home Depot. Play sand is super cheap, black sand usually isn't. A 50lb bag of white play sand is about $5, the black sand from my LFS was a $1 a pound.
Holy cow a $1 a pound! how much would i need for a 75g tank?
 

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Holy cow a $1 a pound! how much would i need for a 75g tank?
For my 75g tank I used 150 pounds. It's a planted tank and I needed depth as far as substrate. Are you doing a planted tank? If not, I believe the general rule of thumb is a pound of substrate per gallon.
 

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For my 75g tank I used 150 pounds. It's a planted tank and I needed depth as far as substrate. Are you doing a planted tank? If not, I believe the general rule of thumb is a pound of substrate per gallon.
just java moss and maybe java fern to help with water quality a little. thank you for your help.
 

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Also, i dont think anyone mentioned this yet, but sand has a tendency to compact. This means that areas, especially those away from live plants or under big decorations, can develop anaerobic pockets more easily. Although anaerobic pockets are good for biological filtration, if they are disturbed, they will release hydrogren sulfide into your tank which is poisonous. This means with sand, you must regularly poke the substrate to make sure its aerated enough and to release any small pockets of gas that forms so that there won't be a buildup that could be dangerous to your fish. Introducing inverts like MTS will also help avoid this problem.
 

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just java moss and maybe java fern to help with water quality a little. thank you for your help.
Sure, no problem! With those plants you won't need to go heavy on depth for substrate. Java moss & fern don't need to be rooted, they can be attached to driftwood. You can always add more substrate later down the road if you want to do rooted plants.
 

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With a 75 gallon you should be fine with 2 bags of sand, you could go for 2 1/2 just personal preference really. Years ago I switched one tank to sand now you could not pay me to have a gravel tank, sand is so much easier.
 

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Others have answered your question, so this is just an agreement with a couple of highlighted points.

The depth is critical; if substrate-rooted plants (swords, crypts, aponogeton, vallisneria, etc) are planned, you need sufficient depth to provide a rooting medium. But the plants also work to prevent compaction. If you have no substrate-rooted plants, the depth can be minimal, an inch is sufficient; this will not cause compaction issues, or shouldn't, and regular stirring during the water change is adequate.

In a planted tank you shouldn't be messing around with the substrate, and I find a 2 inch sand layer throughout the tank with deeper areas (3 inches) at the back for large sword plants and maybe 1-1.5 inches at the front works well. I never touch it.

Malaysian livebearing snails are also very useful, as they c continually weave their way throughout the substrate.

I use playsand in my sand tanks; I buy it at Home Depot, it is made by Quikrete [spelling may be off] and is dark gray/tan dry. It does light a bit under the tank lights, but as it is identical to the sand in the Amazon basin I like it. So do the fish.:) You can see it in the new photos of my 115g and 33g tanks, under "Aquariums" below my name on the left. In my 5-foot 115g tank I recently changed it to sand, and used two bags; 50kg (110 pounds), cost $12 CDN.

Byron.
 
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