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Sand a good route?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by TigerBarb313, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    I have been thinking about getting a new tank, and was wondering what the pros and cons of sand were. I was thinking of a 55g with either corys or kuhlis on the bottom.

  2. bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    Once you go sand, you'll find that you will wonder why you ever bothered with gravel.

    -Sand is easier to keep clean (no more poop falling down in the cracks of the gravel where you can't get to it!)
    -Personal opinion, but sand can definitely look more natural
    -In my experience, plants seem to prefer sand
    -Cories and kuhlis would both appreciate being able to burrow in the sand (something they can't do with gravel)

    I had pool filter sand in my 55gal and it looked awesome. Took one $8 bag to give me a 3" deep sand bed. My plants loved it, my fish loved it, and I loved it. When I set up my 120gal, I'll be going with Miracle Gro Organic Choice potting soil and black sand.

  3. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    The bottom feeders you want will like the sand better, no doubt. There is a ton of information on the pros and cons of sand. It's rare that anyone makes the switch to sand and isn't thrilled with it.

  4. Matt B Well Known Member Member

    Cories and kuhlis would love to root around in sand if you go that route. I find it more natural looking as well as easier to clean in the sense that waste sits on top, I guess you could also call this a con as it can be an eyesore but thats what turkey basters are for. ;)

    Another con would be you need to stir it to avoid gas pockets, for the most part I let my trumpet snails do the stirring for me. You also need to take some care in locating your filter intakes up off of the sand to avoid sand being drawn in and damaging filter components.

    All in all I'm a sand guy and I can pretty much gaurantee thats all I'll use in my tanks. Imo, if not kept up on properly, gravel can hold alot of detritus and that can cause any number of problems.
  5. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    So taking care of sand is actually somewhat pretty easy? Waste can be removed simply wit a turkey baster? And stirred with snails?
  6. monkeypie102 Well Known Member Member

    I have 1 gravel tank and recently switched to sand for all my other tanks I set up ;) my Corys love at burrow in it all the time ... my brother has a cory in gravel and its barbels are gone, risk with cories in gravel.

    you only have to worry about gas pockets but getting a group of MTS and/or poking it every once in a while will help with that... my plants don't seem to mind one way or the other what they grow in as long as there is light xD
  7. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    Poking meaning poking around the whole surface?
  8. Matt B Well Known Member Member

    Imo, yes very easy. You can spot clean with a turkey baster or during pwc I just hover the gravel vac a 1/2" or so above the sand to clean the whole tank. In addition to the snails I turn mine once in awhile, no particular schedule here and there once in awhile. I have a sand rake for aquariums that also works well for this.
  9. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    This actually doesn't sound very hard.
  10. chevyguy8893 Well Known Member Member

    I have pool filter sand in two of my three tanks and don't regret it one bit. The pros easily outweigh the cons of sand. The one tank that has gravel I now despise gravel for cleaning and plant growth. My MTS sift roughly the top inch of the sand for food, and the rest of the gas can be vented by poking your finger into the substrate all over. This seems to be the common reply for many who are happy with sand :).
  11. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    Sounds like sand is much more preferred than gravel. I thinkmthismismthe better choice. I should have thought of sand before I put gravel in my tanks. Thanks guys!!!! You have all helped so much!!!!

    Edit:'those Ms are supposed to be spaces.
    "I think this is the"
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  12. Matt B Well Known Member Member

    I started with gravel too, so I had to go through changing that out as well. You'll be very happy with the difference I'm sure. The more rinsing you do to it before putting it in your tank the shorter the time it will cloud your water. I'm a big fan of petco black sand, though expensive, imo its the perfect grain size, settles quickly, my filter won't suck it up and most importantly my cories love burying their heads up to their eyes in it. :)
  13. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    Could I still change it to sand?
  14. JDcichlidlover Well Known Member Member

  15. chevyguy8893 Well Known Member Member

    I believe Walmart does carry it, or if you have a pool supply store nearby that is a good alternative. The PFS I went with was $6 for a 50lb bag from a small store and had next to nothing to rinse out of it, but it is still good to rinse either way. I have also heard of people using black diamond blasting sand from Tractor Supply (the finest grain size), so that may be worth looking into also if you want black sand.
  16. oscarsbud Well Known Member Member

    I have sand in my tanks and love it. I used pool filter sand for one and play sand with Miracle Gro under it for the others. I have an extendable barbecue fork that I just poke around in places about every other day to release gases. That and the snails do the trick. The fish love it and to me it looks more natural.
  17. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    A pool and spa store will have it, or generally anywhere that sells pool and spa stuff.

    I have used 3 brands of pool filter sand and needed to thoroughly wash them all.
  18. TigerBarb313 Valued Member Member

    How much would I use to cover the bottom. How many inches.
  19. JDcichlidlover Well Known Member Member

    I have african cichlids, black sand sounds cool :) ill see which ones cheaper. I'm on a tight budget right now
  20. Jaysee Fishlore Legend Member

    It comes in 50 lb bags, so if you have a smaller tank, only one is needed. If you have a 4 foot tank, 1 may not be enough. For a 6 foot tank you'll need 3 to get a nice sand bed.