Sand substrate and gas pockets

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by nhaiflich, Jul 21, 2014.

  1. nhaiflichValued MemberMember

    I added sand to my 55 gal today. I'm counting down the days til my new cories come out of qt. :) I have read that gas can build up and if does and pops its toxic. That you should move the sand around to prevent it. My question is if my plan is ok or not. I do weekly water changes with a vac. When I'm done, if I were to stick my fingers straight down to bottom in about 100 different places would that prevent the gas buildup? Or would raking fingers through it to the bottom be better? And is once a week enough or do it more? Thanks in advance!

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  2. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    As long as your sand isn't too deep you shouldn't have a problem with anaerobic pockets.
    I saw a tip on here about sticking a chopstick or something similar so it sticks out about an inch from the end of the syphon so as you vac you're gently stirring the sand.

  3. nhaiflichValued MemberMember

    Its only an inch and a half tops in the deepest parts. Don't think that is very deep so correct me if I'm wrong please. Otherwise, thank you!

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  4. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    That should be fine, just give it a stir every now & then.
    Your corys will appreciate the sand :)
  5. Falcon JJValued MemberMember

    I have never, ever experienced the gas buildup. I poke into it and stir it up just a bit once a week while doing water changes, but nothing too crazy. In fact, I will admit, I was completely unaware of the toxic gas buildup for the first few months I had sand (newbie mistakes) and nothing bad happened. My cories LOVE the sand btw, and yours will too. Good choice.
  6. natpodu77New MemberMember

    Yeas, I have had sand for a few years now, and although I read something about "toxic bubbles" I have never experienced them. But I also have a population of Malaysian snails that tunnel through the sand and do a great job with keeping my sand loos, not compact. Every so often I will use the gravel cleaner in the sand, but that tends to make a big mess as it leaves little valleys everywhere...but my Dojo loaches love to investigate and redecorate to suit their needs! :D
  7. Jake98Valued MemberMember

    I second this I have never had issues with my sand substrates most around 1.5-2.5 inches deep. In fact de-nitrifying bacteria are anaerobic.
  8. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    I think the issue is the size of pocket of gas and how built up it is.

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  9. JunneFishlore LegendMember

    I'll have to agree- I've had sand in my fluval 6.6 gallon for 2+ year with no ill effects.

    I have sand in my 72 gallon. I believe it happens when you have really deep sand beds but I don't know of any home aquarium that has 5 inches or more sand in it!
    Besides having bottom dwelling fish to help stir it up, usually when you clean, that helps stir it up as well if you are concerned.
  10. Adam55Well Known MemberMember

    The pockets are definitely a possibility, but it's not something to get too worried over. Just give it a stir every so often. And be careful if you go with trumpet snails. You'll be overrun with them.
  11. PhishphinWell Known MemberMember

    If, in the future, you add more sand or layer sand in another tank, you can also mix in a porous substrate. I had some leftover ADA "sand" (About 1 cm in diameter) that is pretty porous and inserted a bunch into the inert sand substrate of my 15 gallon tower (the inert sand was very small and would easily become compacted). If you can allow for the movement of water/gases in a finer substrate by adding a porous material, you will avoid the dreaded pockets.
  12. natpodu77New MemberMember

    I agree with the trumpets, but they were not an intentional addition to my tank, the assassin snails on the other hand...necessity!
  13. JunneFishlore LegendMember

    Assassins are great but they also breed out of control ( well at least mine do/did )
    I ended up giving handfuls of them away to fellow fish loreans and even to my lfs ( for store credit ) ;)

    I just finally got rid of ALL of mts snails AND assassins!
  14. nhaiflichValued MemberMember

    Thanks everyone! I wasn't going to get any snails as don't know much about them. And have seen many posts where people said they are breeding like crazy! I'm having enough breading with my dalmation mollies to worry about! Lol The bag of sand said recommended 2 lbs per gallon. That's a ton of sand! Heehee. Got 20 lbs of sand and 20 of gravel in it. The gravel is smooth and will only be in there for a bit while the fry grow out. Put it in there for the 4 day old swordtail fry who love to hide in it. Here's a pic just cuz:p

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    Attached Files:

  15. delta5Well Known MemberMember

    Nice use of colors.
  16. Bmur05Valued MemberMember

    I like the contrast and the way you broke up the different elements. Nicely done

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