white sand in a freshwater tank?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by rbelchak1988, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. rbelchak1988

    rbelchak1988Valued MemberMember

    I recently decided White sand would look really nice in my tank ( i think it would bring more color to my discus, and I am starting to dislike the black and blue rocks I bought). Is this something I can do, and if so is there special stuff to get anything special I should get for the tank,
  2. Furallicah

    FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    I use white pool filter sand in my aquariums. Just rinse it off good and its ready to go. Just remember when you remove the rocks you are taking some of the bacteria with them so be prepared for a possible mini cycle.
  3. OP

    rbelchak1988Valued MemberMember

    Is there an issue of sand getting into the filter or does it pretty much stay settled at the bottum? and I was reading on a different site it may be a good idea to get a special pump to keep the water moving across the top of the sand? and how exactly do you clean the sand
  4. Furallicah

    FurallicahWell Known MemberMember

    On my 25gal sand substrate tank I use and HBO filter and a 10-30i Tetra Internal filter. (Home to goldies) Anyways, any filter will do for a sand bottom tank it doesnt matter. Just take out the filter/turn it off when putting sand into your tank to keep the sand from entering and allow it to settle before adding the filter back in/turning it back on. Cleaning sand is quite simple just hold your vaccum pump about 1/2 inch above the sand and all the waste will come up with it. When you do vaccum remember to stur up the sand some as it can trap air bubbles under it. Other then that I find sand better then rocks for substrate. I love it.

    There is a video of my 25gal goldfish tank set up and my 10gal crayfish set up. Maybe that'll help.
  5. OP

    rbelchak1988Valued MemberMember

    Looks great and just makes me want to switch to a sand tank soo much more. I'll just have to do a little research (my girlfriend thinks she read something that said some fish can't have a sand bottum), and then I need to start removing about half the fish from my tank.
    The final plan for my 55gal tank is to keep the discus, silver dollar, killifish, bosemani rainbow, and all my loaches (kuhli, dojo, horseface, and blueberry) and my 2 blind cave tetra (beavis and butthead). Then change to sand instead of the rocks and add like 3-4 more lotus lillys I think is what they are called. O and I can't forget my pink kisser gourami.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  6. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Good advice given above. All fish can be kept over a sand substrate though some forms of sand have sharp granules and are not suitable for use in aquariums. Pool Filter Sand is suitable. You should be aware that the lighter the colour the substrate the more your fish will wash out thier colours. Darker substrates give better contrast & make fish feel more comfortable. You can get black sand but it comes at a price. i would go with a natural brown sand if you want sand but still good colours in your fish. Good diet is also extremely important for having good colours. Probably more so in Discus than any other fish.
  7. pepetj

    pepetjWell Known MemberMember


    Santo Domingo
  8. OP

    rbelchak1988Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the info, I had a major issue with my first discus getting what I considered comfortable with my tank it took about 2 months before it held full color (would randomly turn black as night) then one day It was bright colored stayed that way for like a week then something happened and m tank dropped 8 degrees overnight and I lost the discus, it turned jet black and just looked sad and was dead that night, my other discus is fine tho but ya my black rocks im sure aren't helping the discus with color at all. Would I be fine just heading to a nice beach close by and picking up some good looking sand?
  9. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Best to avoid beach sand. It will contain salts & probably bits of shell etc which will raise the PH & KH of the water. That's bad for discus usually. If you want sand you would be best buying it. Pool Filter Sand only cost a few dollars for a big heap of it anyway.

    What are the water parameters in your tank? Usually poor colours & health issues can be traced back to water quality issues or fish kept in water that is the incorrect compostion for them.
  10. leeishom

    leeishomValued MemberMember

    look up quickrete commercial medium sand. ive read that its pre-washed and it looks great in tanks.
    i might use it for my aro. tank.
  11. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I too am searching for white sand, and saw something about quickcrete sand. I was afraid it would turn to cement in the tank :)
  12. leeishom

    leeishomValued MemberMember

    Wow. That would be unfortunate.
  13. bassbonediva

    bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    If it's just the sand, not a concrete mix, there's no way for it to turn into cement.
  14. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Rbellchek and Welcome to Fish Lore.

    I have moved your thread to the Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand section of the forum.
    Thanks! I hope you enjoy the site.
  15. ldbrown3138

    ldbrown3138Valued MemberMember

    Pool filter sand is prewashed and clean. Any mix you buy at a home store will have to be rinsed prior to using in your tank. I spent several hours washing a 25 lb bag of play sand. It was cheap to buy but required much effort to make it tank ready.

    Sand makes a really good substrate, wastes don't disappear so they are easy to see and vacuum out of the tank. If you use a powerhead low in the tank, it will keep the debris swept into one location for easy removal.

    Speaking of Discus, I always kept my discus in bare tanks. I painted the tank bottom (underside) flat black and the background a medium blue. The fish looked awesome and it was easy to keep the tank clean. Of course, I was interested in breeding the fish so I didn't want a substrate.