Is there any benefit to using sand rather than gravel?

Frozen One
  • #1
Is there any benefit to using sand rather than gravel? I use gravel in both of my tanks and I don’t see any issue but sand does look a little bit better. trying to decide what I want to use in my 30 gallon
 
Rainy day
  • #2
It's easier to plant in, it's better for bottom dwelling fish like loaches and corys, and , depending on the grain size, easier to clean.
 
Frozen One
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
It's easier to plant in, it's better for bottom dwelling fish like loaches and corys, and , depending on the grain size, easier to clean.

I want to have lots of plants on the sides of the tank and an open center for the centerpiece fish to swim through. What type of sand would you personally recommend?
 
Triston Wasmund
  • #4
I find that algae grows better and more when you have gravel. As far as sand, any algae on the sand that may occur is easily cleanable. It’s also a lot easier to do substrate cleans with sand. Only negative effect sand really has is the cloudiness of when you put it in. Just a little hassle. Here is my 10 gallon with sand, as you can see it also gives a nice natural look.
 
Frozen One
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
I find that algae grows better and more when you have gravel. As far as sand, any algae on the sand that may occur is easily cleanable. It’s also a lot easier to do substrate cleans with sand. Only negative effect sand really has is the cloudiness of when you put it in. Just a little hassle

Sand is better for bottom dwellers then right?
 
Triston Wasmund
  • #6
Picture didn’t work
Image1522690724.411075.jpg
 
Five 97
  • #8
Sand is easier to clean, all the detritus and fecal matter rests on top of the sand rather than falling through, like in gravel. I use BDSBS because it's cheap and safe for bottom dwellers, I also use PFS in some of my tanks. Sand is more aesthetically pleasing than gravel, IMO.
 
Frozen One
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Sand is easier to clean, all the detritus and fecal matter rests on top of the sand rather than falling through, like in gravel. I use BDSBS because it's cheap and safe for bottom dwellers, I also use PFS in some of my tanks. Sand is more aesthetically pleasing than gravel, IMO.

I agree with all that you’ve just stated lol. Is BDSBS black?
 
Five 97
  • #10
Is BDSBS black?
Yes, it's overall appearance is black, but some people have reported it looking brownish in their tanks. Ive found that the individual granules are often yellowishly clear and slightly reflect lighting, I'm thinking that that may have something to do with how it may look different in different tanks.
It isn't necessarily jet black, but I still thinks it's nice.
 
Frozen One
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Yes, it's overall appearance is black, but some people have reported it looking brownish in their tanks. Ive found that the individual granules are often yellowishly clear and slightly reflect lighting, I'm thinking that that may have something to do with how it may look different in different tanks.
It isn't necessarily jet black, but I still thinks it's nice.

Where would I find the sand?
 
FriarThomasIII
  • #12
Where would I find the sand?
Any place like tractor supply or somewhere like that.
 
Five 97
  • #13
Where would I find the sand?
I get mine in 50lb bags at Tractor Supply for around $9 ea, but you can usually find it at most hardware stores.

Edit: Ninja'd
 
JLeeM
  • #14
Here's what BDBS looks like in my tanks.

20 Long Betta Community

IMG_20180208_223548855_HDR.jpg
IMG_20180208_215006027_HDR.jpg

New 10 Gallon Crayfish Build

IMG_20180329_231115765_HDR.jpg
IMG_20180331_213940694.jpg
 
fishynoob
  • #15

SmartSelect_20190619-163924_Gallery.jpg Hello. Me with another noobish question again.
So... I currently have an almost 200l tank with 30 fish
10 cardinal tetras
10 harlequin rasboras
10 ember tetras

SmartSelect_20190619-163924_Gallery.jpg
(before the cardinals)

I've tried plants too.... I'm killing plants very well so far

I'm having issues with getting them to root and with algae growing.
I'm struggling with ratio of light to dark for the best for plants without giving the algae a free fir all feast?
I think I've managed to get on top of the hair algea. I'm currently battling blue green algae (which I think I've read is actually bacteria??) And diatomes?? (Brown bits) I know algae will always be there and I dint mind cleaning it off the glass I actually enjoy that but its always all over the white sand too.

My tank is fairly new and I'm hoping this is just teething issues.

My water parameters are all in the "good zone"
0 nitrites
0 ammonia
Less than 5 nitrate (is this too low?)

SmartSelect_20190619-161837_Gallery.jpg

My main issue is currently I have white sand during my vigorous substrate cleans to get rid of said algae I now have very little sand left... I must admit I'm quiet glad because its always looking dirty and I'm resisting the urge to do water changes every other day. (Maybe I should? I don't know!) I don't want to shock the fish and thre messy substrate seems to have very negliable effect on the water parameters sometimes my nitrate goes to less than 10 rather than less than 5.

I've been toying with getting some black substrate instead something like this....

SmartSelect_20190619-161708_eBay.jpg

Do you think this will weigh down the roots better on my plants?
Help me do a deeper clean without removing half the substrate?
Help the colours look better on my fish?
If it seems a good idea it comes in 2 sizes 2-4mm and 5-10mm which would be best?

Obviously changing the substrate is a big job so if I am going to do it I want it to be worth it.
If it's not worth it I just need to get more white sand to replace what I'm losing during the cleaning sessions.
 
Crimson_687
  • #16
Diatoms are common in tanks that are very new or very old. Just part of everything coming to a working order
The fish are pale because they are new. Shipping is very stressful for fish. They need time to adjust to a new place. If the substrate does not hold the plant, you can attach it to a plant weight, a stone, or anything that sinks and bury it. If you are really concerned about substrate, you can also get plants that intake nutrients from their leaves, thus not requiring substrate
For changing substrate it’s Better to do all at once then in parts. In parts, some will always mix and escape you, and those little bits will become frustrating. Take out all the fish into a large bucket, keep as much water as you normally would for a water change, keep your filter media moist, and take out the old substrate and put in the new one
 
fishynoob
  • #17
Thank you for your fast reply I just realised I've posted in the wrong area.
Glad to hear that diatoms are normal and I'm not screwing things up. I'm so nervous about this tank as it's designed with a mentally disabled person in mind and I had a disaster last time I kept fish (I grew to confident make a stupid mistake and lost 3 tanks and hundreds of pounds and fish!)
I must admit the harlequin look much better now than they did in that photo I've fallen in love with them a little bit!
I might have to look into these plants that take nutrients from.the leaves. Using a big stone is an idea too. Do I have to be careful about what stones? Is it worth getting those baskets for plants or will that restrict them by making them too high? Keeping my filter media wet won't be an issue as I have an external filter with shut off valves designed for that sort of thing.
 
Crimson_687
  • #18
Aw that’s very kind of you and good luck with the tank!
As for plant weights I use the ones attached to plastic plants. I used to have a couple of them before I switched to planted and figured I could make a use of them. I just pull the weight off the plant and remove excess sealents from it. Leaves a nice hole in the center for easier attachments
 
fishynoob
  • #19
That's a great idea! I do have some old plastic plants that I was going to just bin. Love a good repurpose!
 
Crimson_687
  • #20
That's a great idea! I do have some old plastic plants that I was going to just bin. Love a good repurpose!
You can also use the plastic plants as floating plants once the weight is removed
 
Tol
  • #21
I love the natural sand look! I have to admit, that having changed to Black Diamond Blasting Sand, I love it even more. It may not be quite as natural, but the colors of the plants and fish really pop now. I used the medium grit and it is a bit heavier than the pool filter sand I had before, which makes the plants stay put a lot better. Also helps to use a black background to make everything stand out more.
 
Anders247
  • #22
I love the natural sand look! I have to admit, that having changed to Black Diamond Blasting Sand, I love it even more. It may not be quite as natural, but the colors of the plants and fish really pop now. I used the medium grit and it is a bit heavier than the pool filter sand I had before, which makes the plants stay put a lot better. Also helps to use a black background to make everything stand out more.
^ Was just about to recommend that.
 
Tol
  • #23
Just adding the back background made a big visual difference for me. I used non-adhesive Con-Tact Solid Grip 48 in. x 18 in. Black Drawer/Shelf Liner. My tank is 18" tall so I just taped it on the back with some black electrical tape and cut the other end off to the length. worked out nicely for $6. Black Diamond Blasting Sand was $8 or a 50 lbs bag. Not sure how available that is across the pond, but definitely nice if you can find it. Some pics of the differences:


old2.jpg
old.jpg
new.jpg

Obviously some re-arranging of plants, the second and third shots are with a new led, the first had a fluorescent. Ignore the window reflection in the 3rd one, lol
 
fishynoob
  • #24
That black really does make a big difference doesn't it! I don't think I'll be able to change my background any time soon it's too close to wall and too heavy to move! Oooo and the difference between pics 2&3 it might be worth me doing it you know. I may wait to try and get my algae issues under control and then go for it. I need to get more fish soon as well. It will be awkward as there is absolutely no chance of me getting the cardinals outbid that tank now they are there they are so skittish and fast lol
 
Tol
  • #25
That black really does make a big difference doesn't it! I don't think I'll be able to change my background any time soon it's too close to wall and too heavy to move! Oooo and the difference between pics 2&3 it might be worth me doing it you know. I may wait to try and get my algae issues under control and then go for it. I need to get more fish soon as well. It will be awkward as there is absolutely no chance of me getting the cardinals outbid that tank now they are there they are so skittish and fast lol

When I changed from the 2nd to the 3rd, I actually was changing them to a new tank. The neons were tough to catch, but the Otocinclus were even harder. It's like they teleport from one end of the tank to the other. I never realized quite how fast they are until I tried to catch them. I remember thinking, how tough can it be to catch some fish from a 29 gal with a couple inches of water, no plants, and no decorations? Apparently the answer to that is VERY tough. lol
 
fishynoob
  • #26
! I was watching the guy who nets them for a living try to net 10 cardinals out of a tank full of them. He had a really tough job!
 
Crimson_687
  • #27
When I changed from the 2nd to the 3rd, I actually was changing them to a new tank. The neons were tough to catch, but the Otocinclus were even harder. It's like they teleport from one end of the tank to the other. I never realized quite how fast they are until I tried to catch them. I remember thinking, how tough can it be to catch some fish from a 29 gal with a couple inches of water, no plants, and no decorations? Apparently the answer to that is VERY tough. lol
I used a very, very, very big fish net and I emptied the tank ornaments then put the net below them. Caught my entire school of rasboras in one scoop (they thought it was feeding time...) my Otto cats were difficult bc they stuck to a corner and refused to move. My shrimp crawled directly in the net lol
 
Tol
  • #28
I used a very, very, very big fish net and I emptied the tank ornaments then put the net below them. Caught my entire school of rasboras in one scoop (they thought it was feeding time...) my Otto cats were difficult bc they stuck to a corner and refused to move. My shrimp crawled directly in the net lol
Yeah I need a wider net for sure. Some of my Otos actually jumped up out of the water slightly and latched on to the sides. Crazy fish.
 
Crimson_687
  • #29
Yeah I need a wider net for sure. Some of my Otos actually jumped up out of the water slightly and latched on to the sides. Crazy fish.
You can also use the 2-net method
 

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