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Old 07-19-2012, 09:44 AM   #1 
LizzyP
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Sand vs. Gravel

Right now I have black gravel in the bottom of my tank. I like the way it looks, but I don't like how it hides poop. -.-

So now I'm considering getting sand, and I have a couple questions.

Is sand hard to maintain? I know you have to clean it before putting it in your tank, how does one go about doing that?

Would I have to drain my tank completely to get gravel out and put sand in? Would that cause harm to fish or any good bacteria in my tank?

How about cleaning? I have a gravel vac, will that work? How do I do it without sucking up all the sand?

I'm sure I'll be asking more questions when I think of them, but please feel free to add more information if you want.

Happy Thursday :)
Lizzy
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #2 
Sena Hansler
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From what I have been told... Cleaning the sand first is the best idea. I think rinsing it would be a good start....

As for care of sand... I've heard both sides. "The sand makes my water murky" and "It's the best!"

To get gravel out is a pain in the butt, I would know! You could drain, it would make it easier. Beneficial bacteria does not float about in the water, but rather is on the walls of the tank, ornaments, the filter cartridge... So, sit the objects, plants, and filter in water to avoid it from drying out and losing the bacteria.

I think some people use oany hose on the end of their gravel siphon to clean the sand. For me, kink the hose or put my thumb over the end to keep the substrate from being sucked up (gravel tend to get stuck lol)
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:07 AM   #3 
vilmarisv
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Is sand hard to maintain?

Sand is not hard to maintain at all. It's the best decision I've made for my tanks, well it's head to head with my sponge filters.

I know you have to clean it before putting it in your tank, how does one go about doing that?

Yes, LOTS of rinsing is needed. You place your sand in a bucket, then top the bucket with water, stir the sand and wait for it to sink to the bottom. Then pour the water out without losing the sand. It will take a good amount of washing depending which sand you get, the cloudiness of the water will tell you how many time syou need to repeat. I get the Petco sand because it's not super fine and I still need lots of rinsing. Once you finally put the sand in the tank and add water, your water may still be cloudy. You could either do a water change using the syphon or leave the sand to settle ehich will happen in 2-3days.

Would I have to drain my tank completely to get gravel out and put sand in?

Yes

Would that cause harm to fish or any good bacteria in my tank?

Some, not all. There's a lot of bacteria living in your filter cartridge (make sure you keep it wet while chaging your substrate) so the bacterial will colonize the new substrate. If you want, you can put some of the substrate in a panty hose and place it on top of the sand for a week or two so the bacteria there move to your sand.

How about cleaning? I have a gravel vac, will that work? How do I do it without sucking up all the sand?

Your vac will work. I took off the cylinder of my vac a long time ago because it's not needed for sand. The tubbing gives you better control to avoid any sand from being sucked up. All you do is move the tubbing gently over the sand without touching it where you see the waste. If there's some stubborn waste that doesn't want to float, just plug the end of the tubbing (out of the water) stir the sand a little with the end that's in the tank, let the sand settle back and suck up the floating waste particles.

WAO! I usually don't give such extensive responses!
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Old 07-19-2012, 04:18 PM   #4 
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If you're still thinking of going with sand, check out pool filter sand. You'll find it at your local hardware store. It's a coarser than play sand, but the texture is just right in my opinion, after seeing it in his fish tanks I'm thinking it's a very good option.



I'm using eco-complete & small river rocks.
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