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Tan Sand

Yes. Estes tan reef sand. My tank was originally a fish-only tank, and I chose this sand because I wanted to keep loaches. I looked at regular silica sand under a microscope and was shocked to see how much it looked like shards of glass. The Estes reef sand, however, while still made of silica, had nice, rounded grains. The loaches love it, and I still think it was a good choice at the time. I love the look of it.

http://www.frontiernet.net/~sandfort/Karl/Aquaria/30_asian.htm

I've been trying to grow plants in it for about two months. Not having much success. The plants don't seem to like it, and algae becomes dominant. There must be some trick to it, though, like selecting the right plants. I dunno, I'm going to keep trying to grow plants in sand. I'm sure other people have done it.
 

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If it is purely silica sand grains, then there is nothing in it for plant nutrition. Silica is more or less inert, depending on who you ask. If you look at many of the current aquscapes, the designers use 'white' or bright silica sand in the foreground where plants will not grow. The area where plants will grow is generally a substrate which includes nutrition for plant roots to take up. The various options in the US (apart from making your own substrate) are products like Flora Base and Flourite. You can add laterite, peat, pumice, charcoal etc. Do a search on this board for substrates and you will come up with some interesting articles.

Or check the articles on substrate here.

Andrew Cribb
 

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turtlehead, did you see my pics?

Andrew, I did the reading. I think what I'm trying to do is too difficult for a beginner, but the tank has the sand in it, so I guess I'll just keep experimenting. I've got floating plants in there, and they're doing OK. Maybe more rhizome plants like Java Ferns and Anubias.
 
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