How often do i have to stir up sand substrate

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Vince66, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Vince66Valued MemberMember

    Ok so i changed my substrate from gravel to sand . I bought aquarium sand at petco. Now im told that i have to stir it up once in a while or otherwise dangerous pockets of gas will buid up in the layers of sand and can be harmful to my fish. How often should i do this ? Getting underneath some of the rocks is going to be a pain :(.
  2. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    You could get some mts. They would stir it up for you. I use a long barbecue fork and stab the sand here and there to release the bubbles. I don't do every single spot in the tank. But that's me. There will be others along with more comments before too long.
  3. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    It really depends on how deep the substrate is. Usually if it's only an inch or so it's not deep enough to build up any gas pockets. For a deep substrate just poke around it periodically during maintenance, it's not a huge deal. Soil tanks release these gas bubbles all the time so it's detriment is a little overrated.
  4. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I NEVER stir the sand in any of my tanks. Ever. I have MTS and leave it at that.

    I think the "threat" is blown way out of proportion. Spend enough time on a forum and you'll see threads about every stupid little thing, but NEVER do we see threads titled "gas pockets killed my fish." I suppose it's possible that that's the ONE problem that everyone manages to avoid. Or is it so easily avoided because it's not really a problem.....
  5. aquaticValued MemberMember

    I second the mts suggestion, as they'll also help clean up the extra fish food and waste.
  6. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    I agree, realistically it would take a massive bubble, or massive amount of bubbles to diffuse in the water sufficiently to cause a big wipeout. A more likely scenario is a stir into a huge anaerobic area released a large source of ammonia causing a spike and then killing the fish in short order. And that's something that I've seen happen but again, is extremely rare.
  7. AlexAlexWell Known MemberMember

    I tend to believe that the gas pocket in sand scenario is a bit dramatic in most cases. I rarely stir my sand and I do not have any MTS in any of my fish tanks.

    I've used sand for about 3 months now and have only stirred one tank once and that was lightly. BUT, on the flip side of that, when I clean my tanks I do slightly stir the sand in a circular motion when using the siphoning end of the cleaner (on the surface of the sand).
  8. carolo43Valued MemberMember

    Just run you hand through it now and then. The biggest problem I had was under rocks or ornaments. If you do not have plants, sand needs not be more than one inch deep.