Gravel or sand substrate?

frogster221
  • #1
I'm going to get a 55 gallon tank and I wanted it to be a planted community tank wahatwould work better a sand or gravel substraight
 
lilsoccakid
  • #2
I just made a 55 gal planted community and used sand, and I wouldnt go back to gravel anytime soon. you can check it out in the members tanks section if u want
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
doesn't sand have to be either raked or have some sort of snail going through it to prevent it from forming harmful gases? how do you clean sand
 
lilsoccakid
  • #4
I stir up 1/3 of the tank a week. and to clean it u just hold the greavel vac 1/4 of an inch above it
 
jamison
  • #5
I stir up 1/3 of the tank a week. and to clean it u just hold the greavel vac 1/4 of an inch above it

I was wondering the same thing! Thank you for the helpful advice!
 
lilsoccakid
  • #6
no prob I really like the sand. it looks great and once set up it simple to maintain!

ps. if you have MTS (malysian trumpet snails( sry for the bad spelling)), they will stir the sand for you, so you don't need to stir it
 
jamison
  • #7
no prob I really like the sand. it looks great and once set up it simple to maintain!

ps. if you have MTS (malysian trumpet snails( sry for the bad spelling)), they will stir the sand for you, so you don't need to stir it

I just stirred it myself for the first time, and it was actually a lot of fun. I also have a crayfish who moves it aroun quite a bit. Today is the first day I've had sand and it's way better! I'll never use anything else!
 
Angela_96
  • #8
I don't know if I am doing it the right way or not but I just use my syphon and I stir it up and vacuum it just like my crushed coral in my other tanks.. I only have one tank w/ all sand... it seems to keep it clean. I don't get maybe a teaspoon of actual sand in the bucket every time I do that.
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
how deep can I make the sand and still have lots of water space? because I want to make these cool caves and minI mountains with it and the sand isn't very sturdy under an inch
 
FL CommunityFans
  • #10
how deep can I make the sand and still have lots of water space? because I want to make these cool caves and minI mountains with it and the sand isn't very sturdy under an inch

2" of substrate is the norm I think. I have 3" in my progressing 55g, but that's simply because all my rocks take a lot of floor space, causing the sand to pile up higher than it would without the rocks
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
is there a limit of how high I can make the sand though
 
lilsoccakid
  • #12
nope, you can make it as high as u want, its just gunna take away from the amount of water in the tank, mines about 2-inches deep overall, with some places 5 inches and some down to 1, just from how I made it
 
frogster221
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
cool thanks for all the help
 
Mschulman960
  • #14
Ok I'm pretty new to this I currently have a 10 gallon tank that I'm soon transferring everything inside to a new 30 gallon set up.

I have a few questions...

1) what is going to be the best way to transfer EVERYTHING? I want the same look in the new tank so I plan on moving over all plants (fake ones) and rocks. As well as the fish of course. I was advised to move over everything as well as gravel and the water too. Then transfer over the filter I have (rated for a much larger tank than it's currently in) etc.. Is this the best way to go about this?

2) what is the difference between sand and gravel obv besides the looks? Pros and cons of each would be very helpful!

Thanks in advance guys,


Matt
 
Mschulman960
  • #15
This is the current set up (10 gallons) want to move all this to 30 gallons...


ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1431970489.935457.jpg


Matt
 
Anders247
  • #16
What fish are you going to have? If you have cories or loaches I'd get sand.
 
Chris99
  • #17
I like sand for several reasons. Some fish simply do better with sand, corys for example. I think it is easier to clean as detritus just sits on the surface and can easily be vacuumed up. Gravel seems to hold the waste and you never get it all. Finally, I just like the look of sand better.

As for the move no need to move the water or gravel unless you want to. I assume the water is the same as in the current tank, just make sure the temperatures match. The gravel will hold some bacteria but the filter is the critical thing.
 
GDUBB0409
  • #18
I chose gravel, but I also don't know how you would go about cleaning the sand. I am guessing you wouldn't use a syphon haha. My friend never had much luck with sand, and my fish seemed to flourish with my overhead filter, as well as an undergravel filter that uses a powerhead to pullwater through and aerate the tank.

Personally, I think the gravel is easier and it doesn't look bad. But I haven't had experience with sand.
 
Anders247
  • #19
You can use a siphon, just hover it over the surface of the sand.
 
Chris99
  • #20
I chose gravel, but I also don't know how you would go about cleaning the sand. I am guessing you wouldn't use a syphon haha..

I use a syphon but just keep it at the surface. Surprisingly it is heavy enough that little to none actually gets vacuumed up.
 
DanB80TTS
  • #21
I upgraded from a 10 to 29 gallon recently and also switched from gravel to sand. Sand looks a lot better and more natural in my opinion and a lot of bottom dwelling fish will prefer it. Food won't fall through it and accumulate underneath, it's pretty easy to clean with a regular gravel vacuum, a lot less work than gravel.
Down sides, it is a pain to wash it in the first place (depending on the type of sand) and I imagine it's probably a pain to remove it if you ever found the need to. It can get tightly packed together too but you can run your fingers through it every now and again to stir it up a bit. Alternatively some fish as well as snails like to burrow, I have a ton of burrowing snails that keep my substrate nice and loose, it also hides the snails if you don't like seeing them and they come out at night and clean up for you, they can however overrun your tank if you are not careful with feeding.

Gravel I found alway was dirty no matter how much you cleaned it. It doesn't hold plants so well either if you ever decide to get live plants (which you deffinatley should). The good thing with gravel though is that you can get whatever colour you want and you can run under gravel filters which you cannot do with sand. I've never used UGFs so don't know if that's a good thing or not. Gravel doesn't stir up If you redecorate, nor does it make great big pits if the water flow is hitting it too hard or you have an aeration ornament that opens and closes.

You should base the substrate on what the fish like, mimic their preferred environment as best you can whilst keeping it to your own taste.
 
Mschulman960
  • #22
Currently the tank has 1 Raphael catfish who is already about 3 or more years old. Along with a sunburst platy and 2 mollies. (That's the reason I'm dining the transfer) I was advised to do this because it would aide in the cycling of the 30 gallon what is your recommendation on transferring everything to the 30? I just want all the decor and fish and filter to be moved to the 30 gallon...

What's best way to cycle the 30 gallon, I'm assuming the best way would be to leave water in the 10 gallon and just add a new filter to it... And cycle the 30 gallon the issue is the filter... If I cycle the 30 gallon that would require me to switch around the filters but don't want to kill the fish in the 10 gallon... HELP!!! Lol


Matt
 
IKnowNothing
  • #23
Sand is great, definitely recommend it. All the waste sits on top of it so you can just vacuum the surface. It looks awesome and I'd great if you have bottom dwellers like Cory cats. The best way to cycle the new tank is to tank the filter media from the last tank and put it in the new one. The water has very little beneficial bacteria.
 
DanB80TTS
  • #24
I'm pretty sure you can insta cycle, somebody else might want to confirm this. But if you condition the water before putting it into the 30 to make sure you rid all of the chlorine and chloramine, even leave some room and add some of the water from the ten gallon. Let the temperature match the old tank and make sure the ph is pretty much the same, then you can just transfer everything over without needing to cycle.
You have the bacteria living in the filter, and there is small amounts living on everything you have in the 10 gallon, your bioload isn't increasing so it should be fine. But like I said I'd see if one of the experts on here confirms this. I didn't use this method and screwed myself over and had to recycle everything when I did it, I wish I had known better and had the advice of the people on here.
 
Mschulman960
  • #25
Sand is great, definitely recommend it. All the waste sits on top of it so you can just vacuum the surface. It looks awesome and I'd great if you have bottom dwellers like Cory cats. The best way to cycle the new tank is to tank the filter media from the last tank and put it in the new one. The water has very little beneficial bacteria.

Here's where my confusion/issues arise, I get the new tank. Fill it with water remove all gravel,decor and filter and put in the new tank... How fast do I move the fish over? That's really the issue because if I put a new filter on the ten gallon with the old fish it can kill them correct? So my confusion is it all at one time type deal like decor, gravel filter and fish all at one time?


Matt
 
Anders247
  • #26
Yes, you can instant cycle. If you seed existing, healthy media from an established tank and put it in another new tank, it's known as an "instant cycle".
 
Mschulman960
  • #27
Yes, you can instant cycle. If you seed existing, healthy media from an established tank and put it in another new tank, it's known as an "instant cycle".

Ok ok that's good to know so I want to just confirm everything...

Obtain the new tank. Relocate gravel, decor and filter (along with old media) and when I fill the tank with water do I treat with prime? Then add fish? All at once (pretty much) or as fast as possible at least lol

Edit: then with old tank would keeping the old water be beneficial? Or do I just start completely from scratch?


Matt
 
Anders247
  • #28
You don't need to treat with prime, it actually can kill the bacteria in the filter, but the bacteria colony should be strong enough to withstand it.

But you do need to dechlorinate it, if that's what you meant. You can use prime for that.
I'd treat with a dechlorinator and then add all the equipment, then fish. Mschulman960
 
Mschulman960
  • #29
You don't need to treat with prime, it actually can kill the bacteria in the filter, but the bacteria colony should be strong enough to withstand it.

But you do need to dechlorinate it, if that's what you meant. You can use prime for that.
I'd treat with a dechlorinator and then add all the equipment, then fish. Mschulman960

Ok sounds good, this will be done by the end of the month start if next, I'm currently almost done cycling the current tank.. Do you have a dechlorinator you like to use?



Matt
 
Anders247
  • #30
It varies. Tetra AquaSafe Water Conditioner, API Stress Coat Water Conditioner, Aqueon Water Conditioner, Jungle Start Right are a few of them that I can remember using. They all work fine.
 
DanB80TTS
  • #31
Ok sounds good, this will be done by the end of the month start if next, I'm currently almost done cycling the current tank.. Do you have a dechlorinator you like to use?



Matt
as long as they treat both chlorine and chloramine which I think pretty much every one of them do now it doesn't really matter. I have prime, aqueon, pondcare, probably a bunch of others too
 
LiterallyHydro
  • #32
Ok sounds good, this will be done by the end of the month start if next, I'm currently almost done cycling the current tank.. Do you have a dechlorinator you like to use?



Matt

I use Prime since it for me is the most cost effective option. Although I also use API Stress Coat and Tetra Aquasafe Plus from time to time.
 
Mschulman960
  • #33
I currently have prime is there only one kind if prime? I'll upload pic after work... I'm just stressing cause I don't want to harm the 3+year old Raphael. Once everything is changed over I'll be starting something new in my 10 gallon I'll have to re cycle everything as I'm buying a new filter for the 10


Matt
 
Anders247
  • #34
LiterallyHydro
  • #35
I'm not aware of any "versions" of prime. This is the only prime that I'm familiar with.
 
Chris99
  • #36
You don't need to treat with prime, it actually can kill the bacteria in the filter, but the bacteria colony should be strong enough to withstand it.

But you do need to dechlorinate it, if that's what you meant. You can use prime for that.
I'd treat with a dechlorinator and then add all the equipment, then fish. @

Just curious what you mean by Prime killing the bacteria? I've never heard of that.
 
Anders247
  • #37
Just curious what you mean by Prime killing the bacteria? I've never heard of that.
Exactly what I said. I believe it was toosie that said prime kills bacteria.
 
Mschulman960
  • #38
Ok sounds good appreciate the help! So just to idiot proof this for me it's...

1) tank
2) water
3) prime
4) filter and old media
4) decor and gravel
5) fish

And is there any waiting time from 1-4 to 5

Thanks again you guys are the best!


Matt
 
Anders247
  • #39
Yes, that's right. I'd wait a day before adding the equipment after the prime. The fish can be added right away after the media....
 
Chris99
  • #40
Exactly what I said. I believe it was @ that said prime kills bacteria.

Not to get too far off topic but I have to say that I believe that to be false. It has specific dosing recommendations to use during cycling to detoxify ammonia while still allowing the bacteria to process it into nitrites. I also treat my water directly with it during water changes (python water changer) and have yet to see any problems with my tanks or the biofilters.
 

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