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Discussion in 'Fish and Aquarium - all types' started by Abz, May 14, 2004.

  1. Abz

    Abz New Member

    whats sand like as a floor covering instead of gravel?
    the gravel is trapping a lot of sediment, and the siphon only takes up a certain amount. I saw some tanks in a store with sand, and there was no sign of waste or anything.. is that because the sediment can't get caught or wedged like it does with gravel?

    So could you tell me the pros and cons of using sand please,
    Thanks :)
  2. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    I love sand; I have it in all my tanks.

    The plus side is (IMO) it looks nicer than gravel and a vast majority of the debris settles on top which makes it easier to clean.

    The down side is you need to stir it occasionally (at least once a month) or it will develop pockets of hydrogen sulfide (smells horrible and isn't too good for fish). But if you do it everytime you do a water change or have fish like cory cats that root around in the substrate you'll be fine. You also have to rinse it really well before adding it or it will cloud your water really bad. There will be an initial cloudiness but if you rinsed really well it should go away within 24 hours. Filter intakes need to have either a prefilter or raise them at least 6" above the sand or you'll ruin your impellers. And using a siphon with sand can be a bit tricky but once you get the hang of it, it's not too bad.

  3. 3_second_memory

    3_second_memory New Member

    sand is great!!!!!!!!!!!

    i use it in my cold water tank.
    My whether lloaches sift through it for food, and when i think i should water change i just stir up the sand and it lifts all the amonia etc out and it feeds in to the filter.

    I used to have pebbles in there, but one of my fish used to choke on them, the sand has stopped this happening.

    A con is that plants can uproot easily, especially if you dont have alot of sand, and if you have sifters, they will easily up root your plants.

    my other two tanks are pebbles, and bits get wedged in betwen the stones on my smaller one whichmeans i have to use a gravel cleaner, where as you dont have to use one with sand.

    The sand may get up into the filter, but not alot of it.

    My boyfriend has sand i his tank too, and he loves it, becasue it looks les srough if you know what i mean.

    any help?
  4. Abz

    Abz New Member

    so how would I go about changing from gravel to sand?
    Will I need to cycle again? or will the bacteria in the filter keep it going ok till new stuff builds up?

    The filter is built in, its about almost 3 inches from the gravel.. is that too low?
  5. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    When I change my tanks, I rinsed out the sand before hand. Then I removed the fish (some people don't, but I though it would be a little less stressfull than leaving them in the tank), drained the tank, scooped out as much of the old gravel as I could & used a shop vac to get the rest. I poured the sand in, refilled the tank and returned the fish. It was a little cloudy at first but cleared up by the next day and didn't harm the fish. You may see a mini cycle from getting rid of the gravel, but probably not much (I didn't even get a mini cycle).

    Your filter intake is a little low so you may want to get a sponge prefilter or just put some pantyhose over it.

    Oh, and I recommend only going with 1/2" - 1" of sand for a smaller tanks (<30 gallons) and 1" - 2" for larger tanks. And if I'm remembering this correctly, the formula for determing how much sand you need is:
    (length of tank x width of tank x depth of sand)/25 = lbs of sand

  6. Laura05

    Laura05 New Member

    A question for those that already have sand in their tanks.... Do you have an undergravel filter with the sand or did you take that out?
  7. J_acon

    J_acon New Member

    I am sure they are not using undergravel filters.
  8. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    You can't use undergravel filters with sand. If you currently have a UG filter with gravel and want to switch, it would be a good idea to get a different filter (HOB, canister, or wet/dry) run it on the tank for at least 2 weeks, then switch the substrate. If all you have is the UG filter and you switch the substrate, you will lose all your bacteria and the tank will cycle again.

  9. Laura05

    Laura05 New Member

    I don't really want to change to sand... I was just wondering how the little holes didnt get pluged up with the UG filters :? But now I see that you need a different kind. I have the "natural look" gravel... the larger size not the small stuff... I have an Aqua Clear 300 in a 55 gallon tropical tank. It has live plants in it also. I love the look that I have now... like I said I was just wondering. Thanks though!! 8)
  10. 3_second_memory

    3_second_memory New Member

    i rinsed the first lot of sand put in to my cold water tank, but it was clan so i dumped the second and third lot in as it is, and no probs. I have a Fluval, so the sand cant rise to the filter.
    Is your built in like the Jewel rekord aquariums?
  11. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    Did you use pool fiter sand? I've heard it doesn't have very much dust so it requires very little rinsing. Playsand, however, is very dirty. I had to rinse for about 20 minutes to get the sand for my 55 gallon clean.

  12. 3_second_memory

    3_second_memory New Member

    its not play sand.

    Its aquarium sand, you should really put play sand in the tank, i doubt is does any harm, but your recomended not to.

    There was no residue on my sand what so ever, the pack was dirty, but not the sand.

  13. OneWolvesDream

    OneWolvesDream New Member

    sand is great! you can order it off special fish websites or at a local petstore. never use play sand it will kill the fish. thats like puting table salt in your fishtank with freshwater fish. kills em
  14. Obelix

    Obelix New Member

    What I did was strain it really well before I added it then I just stir it a bit after my water changes. Its a really natural look and I prefer it over regular gravel, Just make sure to rinse is really well and dont get your suction hose to close either.
  15. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    I have play sand in all my tanks (as do many other people I know) and my fish are doing perfectly fine. The only problem with play sand is it's usually very dusty so it just takes longer to rinse.

  16. 3_second_memory

    3_second_memory New Member

    I AGREE WITH ONESWOLFSDREAM, it will eventually kill the fish, but, some are luvky that is doesnt.

    all fish books and aquarists will say do not use any other sand than aquarium sand, but if you choose to use play sand and find it just as effective, then thats great, very lucky people to find that it has succseccfully works coz its alot cheaper.
  17. t_chelle16

    t_chelle16 New Member

    That's the first time I've ever heard that play sand could be dangerous. Like I said, I know tons of people who use it in their tanks (had it in there for years) w/o any problems. Personally, I've had it in my oscar tank for almost a year and my other tanks for about 6 months. In fact, if you do a google search for play sand and aquariums, you'll come up with lots of sites that list it as okay to use. What exactly is in it that's supposed to be so harmful to fish? Mine doesn't even affect my pH or hardness.

  18. Obelix

    Obelix New Member

    oy vey, i didnt even know their was a differnce between differnt types of sand, the tank that has sand in it (a currently empty 55 gal.) was actually more or less taken from a park :lol: my dad no longer adds fish or maintains it so i just keep it looking nice and add ammonia so if he ever descides to start up again it'll be ready.

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