Correct sand to be used

  1. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Hello everyone. I have a pretty big tank for a beginner and have not much previous experience in the field. I have 48 X18 inches rtank with 30 inches height. Freshwater non-plantdd acquarium with Marina CF 40 external filter.
    I have used Lava Sand at least that my petstore manager call it and as per his advice it is good for controlling ph level and warer clearity.
    However I do not find any literature on this. I am wondering that he fooled me on this.
    Initially my water was cloudy and muddy however it is cleared in last one month time. But whenever my clown loaches and chinese algae eaters dig in lava sand, it becomes dirty.
    What should I do?
    Cover sand with gravel layer? Replace lava sand with other sand? Please suggest.
  2. RandyS8229 Member Member

    Did you rinse the sand thoroughly before you put it in?
  3. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Yes, i did. Rinsed it twice. Its around 25 kg sand.[​IMG]

  4. Aster Well Known Member Member

    That sand looks a bit odd, and I haven't heard of many people using it. Is it sharp? What size are the grains?
  5. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Not that sharp, well rounded and maximum grains are approximately 3-5 mm in dia. Minimum is just like finely crushed dust which settled at bottom. As I said, I did not find anyone use or comment on that. I believe that I have been fooled
  6. Silister Trench Well Known Member Member

    It should work, but as far as "fooled"? Maybe a little. Was it expensive? I don't know for sure but thought some people like this in planted tanks. It's course and a good place for beneficial bacteria to colonize... However... Does your PH need to maintained at a higher level due to any specific species you want? If not, then I'm afraid the PH stabilizing speech was more hoax. I believe it will elevate PH. As to how much, well, that'll be for you to realize.
  7. Aster Well Known Member Member

    The finely crushed dust may be what is causing the cloudiness. I really don't know anything about that kind of sand. If that's the only problem you have, then I'd just take the sand out, rinse it really well and see if that helps.

    If you're looking to replace it entirely, pool filter sand and black diamond sand are affordable options that many people have had success with.
  8. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Do not worry about your larger tank size, larger tanks are easier to manage as far as water parameters go!
  9. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Yes, initially I was planning for planted tank, however afraid that due to lack of knowledge and experience in the field should not cause any casualties so decided to get some hands on and then move to planted. When I explain this to pet store, they suggested this sand as this can directly be used in planted and I need not to buy another one entirely, they said. Currently I have dwarf Goiramis, Danisonni (Kerala quin) Clown Loach, Chinese Algae eater and do not think they need elevated pH. Also my pH is well maintained within 6.9 to 7.3.
    I replace approx 30% water after 7-8 days initially which I may change after 10-12 days after one more month. Using "Be relax" after top up. Filter media is charcoal and bio balls. Planning to add zirconium but did not find any literature on suitability of zirconium with so called LAVA SAND

    That sand cost me around 625 INR so approx 10-11 $ for 25 kg bag. Dont know it is expensive or not, basically dont have another figures to compare honestly. Total tank set up cost around 650-700 $ approx. Include tank made of 12 mm glass, Marina CF 40, Marina oxygen pump and heater, 3D composite background, wooden cover, sand and decorations. And now that sinking feeling of "being fooled" is strengthening so now it looks like its been towards the costlier side
  10. Silister Trench Well Known Member Member

    $10-11 for what - 50 some odd lbs of sand is not bad at all. It costs that same amount, maybe even a little more, for half that weight of LFS aquarium sand. And if your pH is pretty stable around that level I'd say it's not really harming you in any way. I can't say for certain its superior in any way to normal aquarium gravel or similar, but possibly because of lava rocks porous texture it holds nutrients better if growing plants? there is probably more surface area for Beneficial Bacteria in any sense. Your pet store may actually be spot on with what they told you, and it seems (at least to me) the price was more than fair. Not really my color, but after reading your post I'd say it was a good find, and hopefully will be good for plant growth if you decide to go that route. If people can grow plants in inert aquarium gravel, no doubt your substrate will work too, though obviously not a top-of-the-line nutrient rich substrate by any means.
  11. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Hey, thanks for those words. It actually acted like relief. Yes, planning to switch to planted in some time. Some ideas of acquascaping ( funny word, picked up from show off thread) with different sand colors are in mind.
    Does zirconium will suit the sand?
  12. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Don't get discouraged! With a little good planning/research and some work, you gonna look at your tank and not regret a thing haha. A little (or in this case 150 gallon) slice of nature in your home! Look forward to seeing how this develops. Good luck!
  13. Silister Trench Well Known Member Member

    To be honest, it feels "off" to me, but I'm hardly the right person when it comes to different colors. In every tank I've a hand in aquascaping I've always stuck to a darker theme I find hard to adjust away from. But if it were me I might have gone with a petrified wood brown/red. I just don't do colors well -

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1465379117.182648.jpg
  14. codyrex97 Well Known Member Member

    Black sand and dark rocks can really make plants POP and seem way more bright than they normally look. I love planted tanks with black sand!
  15. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Looks good!

    Thanks! Will do that for sure. After all its my SLICE....
  16. Silister Trench Well Known Member Member

    Haha! That's right!
  17. RandyS8229 Member Member

    From the quick research I did I think that lava sand is very good for plants. It's full of nutrients. That may be why he suggested it. Id go with it. Eventually the finer particle will go to the bottom and stopped getting kicked up by your loach.
  18. SuhailMMulla Initiate Member

    Ohh..thats a relief one more time. Thanks for that. Yeah, that fine particle movement has been started and moreover they looks settling down at bottom.
    I believe when I switch to planted one, this sand will go down to bottom and a black soil layer will come on the sand, so I need not to worry then. Is it or reverse one?
  19. Jsigmo Well Known Member Member

    Zirconium is a metallic element often used for making the tubes that house uranium fuel pellets in nuclear reactors (so-called fuel rods). I am not familiar with its use in aquariums.

    Perhaps this is used as a product name, too, and is unfamiliar to most of us.

    Can you describe what you mean by "zirconium"? Thanks.

    Also: You may be able to remove some of the fine dust in your substrate by thorough gravel vacuuming during water changes. And, some of the fine dust may become "glued" to the larger particles by the beneficial bacteria and other gunk as time goes on. So the tendency for the fish to stir up cloudiness may reduce on its own over time.

    The price you paid for the gravel does seem very reasonable compared to prices here.
  20. DoubleDutch Fishlore VIP Member

    Looks like JBL Mandano