Sand and Gravel

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ranga97

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Sand vs gravel!
Is there a way to keep them both clean?
How can I clean the sand without sucking it up?
 

ccb04

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Doing a vac on either will help keep both clean. Stirring sand is also necessary.

No matter what ... you will suck up some sand. However, here is an excellent link on how to vac sand and it even shows how to minimize the amount removed and how to capture what you do remove and return it to the tank:
 

BritJo

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To be perfectly honest, with my sand I just keep a big bag and add extra as I suck it up. I found adding sand back into the tank, no matter how much I rinsed it was putting grossness back in, and was more hassle than it was worth. Also, the smaller the tube you use, the less you suck up I've found. I actually use airline tubing in my 10 gal because anything bigger I drain too much water/sand before I even get half the tank done lol.
 

Kunsthure

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I don't suck up any sand unless I purposely stick the vac into the sand. I swirl the vac to get the crud up off the sand and up it goes. Sand is *so* much easier to clean IME. Pool filter sand is the best sand to go with for a lot of reasons. A search here will bring up a bunch of threads about it.

-Lisa
 

Jaysee

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I too find sand to be WAAAAAAAY easier to clean than gravel. And it makes for a cleaner tank overall.
 
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ranga97

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ok
I think I'll just get the finest white gravel (hopefully under 4mm). what's the finest gravel that is available in most lfs but not sand?
 

Nutter

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Not sure where you are in Aus Ranga but where I am the finest gravel I can get is called Red Earth & has a diameter of 1mm, more or less coarse sand. Most LFS should carry quartz based gravels with a diameter of 3mm, if they don't have it as them to order it for you. Try to get the natural red. It's the best looking one I've come across & doesn't have that tacky look that the coated gravels do.

I'm the opposite of most members here in that I actually prefer gravel to sand. I like the way I don't have to worry about sucking any of it out of the tank when I'm vaccuuming. That said my 180gal has a sand substrate & the Tanganyikan tank I've just set up has a lime sand substrate to.
 
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ranga97

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I would like white gravel.
What do you think is the best.
 

Nutter

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A dark substrate is usually teh best. I like straight black in most situations but it depends on what fish you want to keep. Black generally offers more contrast to your fishes colours & so the colours appear to stand out more. Some fish will actually get darker colours when kept over darker substrates, such as the Lemon Cichlid (Neolamprolgus Leleupi), which is a very bright yellow fish when kept over white sand but if kept over a dark substrate the fish will darken up. Sometimes so much that the head becomes almost totally black while the body becomes mostly a drab brown colour.
Choose what looks best to your eye & what you think will give the best contrast to your fish colours.
 
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ryanr

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+1 on Nutter's comments. I love my black substrate, sets off all the colours in the tank, both fish and plants.

And too top it off, it also 'hides' the detritus, so it always looks 'clean' [that doesn't mean I skimp on cleaning, but if I miss a week, well it's no big deal to the eye]

(there's a couple of photos in my profile if you're interested)
 

Kunsthure

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I found the opposite with the black sand. I've got black sand in the 5 gallon and it shows every.single.turd. On the pool filter sand I have in the other two tanks, the poop kinda blends in since the grains are many different colors.

-Lisa
 
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ranga97

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Kunsthure, maybe your fish just have a funny colour poop??
how does black look with driftwood and rockwork? I'm only going to get one anubias plant to go on my driftwood.
 
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ryanr

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Depends on the colour of the rocks, but I like the contrast I have in my tank, and the driftwood looks good too...
 

Nutter

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Go to my profile & have a look through my gallery Ranga. You will see tanks with a number of different substrates & designs. Everything from black gravel through to white sand.
 
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ranga97

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Lookin good both of you,
my aquarium has a java fern, could this be helping in dirtying my tank
(through dead leaves?)
 

Aquarist

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Good morning,

I have moved your thread to the Freshwater Substrates - Gravel/Sand section of the forum.
Thanks!
Ken
 

Nutter

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ranga97 said:
Lookin good both of you,
my aquarium has a java fern, could this be helping in dirtying my tank
(through dead leaves?)
Maybe but unikely. If you have dead or dying leaves in the aquarium they should be trimmed off the plant &/or removed from the aquarium.
 
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ranga97

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Ok
can I leave it for a little while because of my broken elbow.
 
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ranga97

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I'm going to get black fine gravel, its final!
 
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