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View Full Version : Sand instead of Gravel?



Donjo3
03-11-2007, 03:03 PM
I was just curious, would it be possible to use say, white sand, instead of my regular gravel? I think it would make my fish and decor stand out alot more, but could I use it with my current filteration system? Its just one of those standard ones you get with an aquarium from walmart.

Drumachine09
03-11-2007, 03:52 PM
What is your filtration type?
Do you have live plants?

Lady Hobbs
03-11-2007, 06:32 PM
I switched two tanks this week to sand and I LOVE IT! I didn't go with the cost of white sand, tho. I think it's pretty but didn't want to go quite so white.

Being the cost-saver that I am, I went to Home Depot and got 100 pounds of Playsand for $7. Washed each bucket in water 2 times and dumped it in. Sank immediately. Let the tank sit for 5 minutes and turned the filters back on. ZIP for problems. Stayed cloudy about 4 hours but not much.

I also used a hack saw and cut about 2 inches off my uplift tubes. They should be about 3 inches up from the bottom.

Sand packs down and gets hard just as it does by waters edge at the beach so every few weeks you should drag something thru it to make sure no air pockets are trapped. And you only need to clean up the top layer. I think I will like it more even as time goes by and I also think tanks will stay cleaner as gunk will not get trapped in the gravel bed.

jweintraub
03-11-2007, 06:55 PM
I prefer sand over gravel anyday! Just remember when gravel vacuuming to keep the siphon about 1/4 to 1/2in off the surface to minimize sucking up all of your sand.

Lady Hobbs
03-11-2007, 06:57 PM
Now if I could just plant it!

Drumachine09
03-11-2007, 07:34 PM
How do you gravel vac sand? Doesnt it just get sucked up in the vac?

cocoa_pleco
03-11-2007, 07:36 PM
my sand never got sucked up, plus my new vacuum guarantees that no sand will get through, but ive never had it get sucked in.

Lady Hobbs
03-11-2007, 08:21 PM
You just hold the vac up from the gravel and don't push it in like you do when you use gravel. What's nice about sand is all the stuff is on top and doesn't get buried.

NO UGF filters, tho.

Gelo_USA
03-11-2007, 08:29 PM
I might try sand one weekend I have nothing to do after I get a 20 gallon to keep my fish in....

it does look way better I am just concerned about vac but I guess I will give it a try....

tetra11
04-21-2007, 03:07 AM
Can you plant live plants in sand?

cocoa_pleco
04-21-2007, 03:13 AM
yes. live plants prefer more course substrate as opposed to large ones. Sand is perfect. what kind of sand are you planning on??

Chrona
04-21-2007, 04:17 AM
yes. live plants prefer more course substrate as opposed to large ones. Sand is perfect. what kind of sand are you planning on??

You mean fine :P

Plants like a substrate 1-3 mm in size. If you get the really fine play sand, it will be too compact. Pool filter sand is usually pretty good.

Sand substrates usually also need some supplementation in the form of root tabs like Flourish Tabs, because they can barely hold any nutrients and don't give off anything of value.

cocoa_pleco
04-21-2007, 04:52 AM
sorry, yeah. Im really sleepy and couldnt remember if course was a fancy word for fine. lol

Yeah, small substrate is best because nutrients are more easily obtained for the roots

kimmers318
04-21-2007, 09:06 AM
I too love my sand bottom.....all of my tanks except the snail tank now have sand substrate. The white sand IMO is just too bright and makes it feel like you are looking at an eye straining white beach when you look at the tank. I like to use white sand mixed with the black tahitian moon color, it makes a nice streaky black/white mix and looks pretty cool. Here is a pic of one of the tanks.
http://i65.photobucket.com/albums/h216/kimmers318/loaches/clowngroup1-1.jpg

TracyUK
04-22-2007, 01:07 AM
I have black sand in my 2ft tank and white sand in my big tank, I love it! Have live plants in both tanks.

Drumachine09
04-22-2007, 01:42 AM
I too love my sand bottom.....all of my tanks except the snail tank now have sand substrate. The white sand IMO is just too bright and makes it feel like you are looking at an eye straining white beach when you look at the tank. I like to use white sand mixed with the black tahitian moon color, it makes a nice streaky black/white mix and looks pretty cool. Here is a pic of one of the tanks.


Thats an awesome picture kimmers!