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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with sand as a substrate? I am setting up a 29 gallon for my rams and am planning on using a sand substrate. I was thinking I could get by with water column fertilization since the sand is inert. Any other suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I think ill end up using some laterite in the bottom inch of sand, with a two inch cap. Does anyone have any recommendations on substrate depth when using sand? Will there be any problems with using three inches of sand?
 

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I'm not too knowledgeable about substrates, but I think using three inches of sand might be a bad idea because of how it can compact and easily form anaerobic pockets. I've used sand in tanks before, but never put down more than about 1/2".

Then again, maybe you could have a deeper layer than 1" if you had burrowers in your tank. Malaysian trumpet snails come to mind, but I've read that they don't actually burrow too deeply - maybe 1" at most. I've seen freshwater mussels at a LFS.

The other problem with MTS's is that they are carnivorous - not that they'll actively seek out moving fish and attack them, but they have a reputation for going after eggs. So if your intentions were to breed these rams, MTS's might not be good to keep in the same tank.

Hopefully, somebody who knows more will chime in on this one. I've only ever used a very thin layer of sand and specifically for non-planted purposes.

-Naomi
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ive read about compacting, but Im thinking that the plant roots will keep it aerated. Dont know though if anyone has experience it would help :)

Thanks!
 

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I know that D. Walstad high recommends *against* sand. She has a forum on the Aquabotanic site, and I think this same question was recently asked.
 

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I had sand in an Oscar tank one time and it turned into a big disaster so I wouldn't put sand in any of my tanks again and would reccommend not doing so.

The substrate turned anaerobic and we had bad problems with the fish gasping at the top of the tank. At this time I was pretty young and new nothing about test kits so I don't know if the problem was related to ammonia or nitrite or whatever. All I know is once the sand was removed everything was fine again.

HTH,
Robert.
 

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sand is awesome take some time to read all the faq's at wetwebmedia.com
anaerobic pockets can be bad, but just like saltwater it's aso good
you know the fish cycle right
ammonia to nitrite to nitrate well anaerobic bed ares turn nitrate into nitrogen gas which is freely released in the exchange so the key is maintenance and depth. at least 3" 4" or 5" is better depends on your tank too. the top 1/2 to 1 inch needs to be stirred every two weeks and the top vac'd by stirring about 1/2 incha bove sand. also good feeding schedules, definitley for the advanced aquarist.

people say it will cause gases but i assure you the roots thrive in these anaerobic zones of lower oxygen, aereate the sand, and i've never had a gas pocket problem i follow maintenance and the tank will look awesome.
i can personnally reccomend tahitian moon and quikrete premium playsand from HD
 

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I hate the use of the word sand. Here in the Pacific NW when you buy sand you get rock flour. It has a grain size between powdered and granulated sugar. Other places in the US when you buy sand you get a rock material with a grain size between 1-3 mm which actually a great substrate.

Technically both are sand, but they sit on opposite ends of the definition. If you can get the coarse sand it works just fine. The roots from the plants will help prevent dead pockets. If you get the crap they sell out here you will have nothing but trouble with it. I would still place a thin layer of peat under the sand and some laterite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I ended up using pool filter sand and mixed in laterite in the lower layer. It seems to be working really well, and anything I put in there just takes off. the crypts love it! time will tell about compacting and whatnot. I will probably just stir it up occasionally to prevent any problems.
 

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good point i am using quikrete premium playsand in one tank, it ranges from some sugar to some 1 or 2 mm pebble like parts. like i said without anaerobic pockets, theres no anaerobic bacteria and nitrates will not become nitrogen and be released. again stirring the top 1/2 to 3/4 inches is the only way you cannot avoid this except by horseface loaches and malaysian trumpet snails. everyone hates them, BUT. they will not breed if food is not present AND in the tank i use them in theys tir the substrate ALL night and yet dont kill my anaerobic pockets and when they get out of hand i scrape and strain them off the glass and out of the ssand to control population. so it depends on your perspective like most anything
 

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gnome said:
The other problem with MTS's is that they are carnivorous - not that they'll actively seek out moving fish and attack them, but they have a reputation for going after eggs. So if your intentions were to breed these rams, MTS's might not be good to keep in the same tank. -Naomi
Wow I am getting some MTS but will need to put them in a different thank than I'd planned to because of your information.. I am also getting some apple snails that lay underwater and I would hate to be serving the eggs for dinner.

I am just setting up my second tank and this one will have an aragonite substrate. I am trying to figure out how to rinse it and to what degree. :? I read about someone on a different site who thought her water bill would be significantly higher because of all the rinsing. I have only rinsed and put in about 8 cups. It looks so clean as I stirred and rinsed but now it looks like a major bacteria bloom since it's been in the tank. :(

AND I think my filter is too powerful. I have a circle of bare tank bottom underneath the waterfall :( :( :(

I thought the MTS would be good to stir the sand but now I have problem. So do people just stir the sand by hand?

Just one of those days I guess....
 

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urville said:
good point i am using quikrete premium playsand in one tank, it ranges from some sugar to some 1 or 2 mm pebble like parts. like i said without anaerobic pockets, theres no anaerobic bacteria and nitrates will not become nitrogen and be released. again stirring the top 1/2 to 3/4 inches is the only way you cannot avoid this except by horseface loaches and malaysian trumpet snails. everyone hates them, BUT. they will not breed if food is not present AND in the tank i use them in theys tir the substrate ALL night and yet dont kill my anaerobic pockets and when they get out of hand i scrape and strain them off the glass and out of the ssand to control population. so it depends on your perspective like most anything
I can understand needing to deal with population control. How do you euthanize them?

Thanks, Theresa
 

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How is it some sites have such a fine powedered sand with what seems to be no problems mainly this tank. Btw anyone know what kinda sand this is? I saw this plant tanks on www.plantella.com can soemone tell me how to resize images nothing annoys me more then huge photos.

 

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I had sand in an Oscar tank one time and it turned into a big disaster so I wouldn't put sand in any of my tanks again and would reccommend not doing so.

The substrate turned anaerobic and we had bad problems with the fish gasping at the top of the tank. At this time I was pretty young and new nothing about test kits so I don't know if the problem was related to ammonia or nitrite or whatever. All I know is once the sand was removed everything was fine again.

HTH,
Robert.
rs79 says: In nature some Cryptocorynes (ie, pontiderifolia) grow on limestone gavel. Some plants grow in the worst smelling black anaerobic muck imagainable. Lots grow in just plain fine sand.

Many have tanks with just sand substrate.

Perhaps there was another reason your fish were having problems.
 

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dawntwister......

Do you realize that all of the comments in this thread were made more than 3 years ago? Robert B hasn't visited APC for more than 2 years.
 

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dawntwister......

Do you realize that all of the comments in this thread were made more than 3 years ago? Robert B hasn't visited APC for more than 2 years.
Nope. Thanks for the ups.
 

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Ha, ha, I know (knew) Robert well and he was referring to play sand he used in his Oscar tank. I heard the story a couple of times and he advised me against using play sand in my tank but I didn't listen. 3-4" of play sand just do not seem to work out very well. I only had my tank up for about 3 months with the play sand but when I took it down, it was the worst smelling substrate I had ever smelled!
 
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