Sand Aquarium Questions

  • #1
Hey, all! I have just a few questions about going from gravel to sand.

Right now, I have a pretty blue gravel in my 55 gallon high tank. I am thinking about switching over to sand instead. Why?

-I have the infamously adorable Cory’s, and although they do just fine on the gravel, I know they would much appreciate sand.
-I have seen pictures of sand compared to gravel and I think sand looks stunning!

Now, here are my questions:

-In my tank I have an under gravel bubble wall. Is this okay to use in sand?
-I have a gravel vac. Is the kind that has the squeeze thing on it that siphons our the water and tosses around the gravel at the same time to clean it. Will the sand be heavy enough to withstand this?
-Will my plants do okay in sand?
-Will my other fish do okay with the sand? I have White Skirt Tetras, a brittle nose Pleco, a Beta, 3 Mollies, Ghost Shrimp, and a snail.

Please feel free to leave answers, ask any questions you may have for me or for others, and and comment! Thank you in advance!
  • #2
I don’t know much but I do know that while using the siphon, it will siphon up the debris on the surface if you hold it just above the sand, like an inch. That was you get the debris and not all the sand!

And your plants should do fine in sand with proper ferts, depending on the plant
  • #3
1. If you put the bubble wall ontop of the sand it will be fine however if you put it under the sand them no
2. I have a tank with sand and the same gravel vac you have, it does suck up the sand but Not that much and if it does you can always grab it from the bucket and put it back in the tank.
3. Both live and fake plants will do fine.
4. My fish seem to like the sand better so I’m sure yours will to!

When you put the sand in the tank there CANNOT be fish in the tank until the sand has COMPLETELY settled. Some will say you can but the sand will get into the fish’s gill’s and scratch them up and you can end up with a dead fish or the sand can get in there eyes and cause some injuries.
For a sand tank I find that clay pots go REALLY good for some decorations and hiding places
Pictures when the tank is done?
  • #4
Your plants might do ok in sand. You might have to supplement it with root tabs if your not using ferts.
  • #5
Only thing to add to previous comments is be sure to wash the sand first to get rid of the extra dust and that will be float around and cloud up your tank if you don't. I have done 2 tanks with Pool Filter Sand now and never had any issues with it being too cloudy or taking too long to settle. Pour water over your hand or something gently at first to not disturb it so much, after you get a bit of water into the tank, then it is easier to avoid.
  • #6
Yep forgot to add that Tol , thanks. I used play sand for my tank. either will work though
  • #7
So, I have a 29gal sand tank that started out as just a cory tank. They love the sand, and it is a lot of fun watching them search through the sand for food. Good choice.

One of your questions was about plants. I have fine grained sand in my tank, and while the cory’s love it, I can't plant in it. To get around that, I purchased small ceramic pots (same ones at the hardware store for outside plants), filled them with gravel, dropped in a root tab, and then put my plants in those. I think having the pots in the tank is cute, and the corys can still search through the gravel for food.

For the gravel vac, I have the same kind. It is inevatable that you’ll suck up a bit of sand, but it usually stays at the bottom of the bucket and I just dump it back in once the sand dries. No big deal.

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