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Old 10-03-2012, 01:42 AM   #1 
jeremywadejunior
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Question Sand vs. gravel

I want to do a zen garden theme for my next tank, but I've never used sand before. (I'm planning on either using sand or white/tan gravel, but the sand would look more authentic I think..) How are water changes done with a siphon since the sand will just get sucked up?

Also, does the sand stay in place? If I "rake" it to make the ripples in a zen garden, will they somewhat stay?

Thanks guys!
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:49 AM   #2 
ao
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there are very fine gravel or sand with larger particles :) you might want to try one of those...
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:57 AM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aokashi View Post
there are very fine gravel or sand with larger particles :) you might want to try one of those...
Thanks! I'll look for those!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:05 AM   #4 
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I agree with Aokashi, you might want to try large-grained sand before fine sand.

For fine sand, waste settles primarily on top, so I siphon it off with a turkey baster whenever I see it and during water changes. Unplanted areas have to be poked around with a chopstick from time to time to avoid bacterial gas bubbles forming under the surface. I would NOT recommend using fine sand if you're buying a small unfiltered tank that requires frequent 100% water changes. That could be incredibly messy.

As for your last question, sorry, but I have no idea if the zen garden ripple look will stay put, especially after a water change or in large-grained sand.
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:19 PM   #5 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deso View Post
I agree with Aokashi, you might want to try large-grained sand before fine sand.

For fine sand, waste settles primarily on top, so I siphon it off with a turkey baster whenever I see it and during water changes. Unplanted areas have to be poked around with a chopstick from time to time to avoid bacterial gas bubbles forming under the surface. I would NOT recommend using fine sand if you're buying a small unfiltered tank that requires frequent 100% water changes. That could be incredibly messy.

As for your last question, sorry, but I have no idea if the zen garden ripple look will stay put, especially after a water change or in large-grained sand.
Thanks for the input! The tank will be 2 gallons with a filter, but sounds like it might be kind of tricky to maintain with fine sand.
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:12 AM   #6 
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Sure thing :)

I used to have a filtered 2 gallon and used fine gravel/coarse sand. It looks far better than normal gravel and is so much easier to clean for 100% water changes than fine sand. Sounds like it would be a better choice for you, it's a good compromise in terms of looks and function.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:55 AM   #7 
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Caribsea's Torpedo Beach "sand" would probably work perfectly for you... it looks like sand but it's more like fine gravel.

My experience with vacuuming sand is since the waste all sits on top, it's pretty easy not to suck up too much of it with the vacuum - unlike gravel you don't stir it up to vacuum, you just try to get he stuff sitting on top. You will get some sand in the process, and it's impossible to avoid it, but it's not really enough to worry about.

Sand will stay in place but it depends on the filtration and water currents in your tank. The finer the sand the more it's effected by water flow. I have sand in 5 tanks at the moment, and I have very fine sand in one (Caribsea's Moonlight sand) and it's the only one that gets a "hollow" from the filter current. The rest (some are Caribsea's Tahitian Moon, others use Black Diamond blasting media which is similar but a little coarser) seem mostly unaffected by water current.
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Old 10-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #8 
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Are the medium sand safe for betta?

Here's a link of this product
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:12 PM   #9 
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Pool filter sand :) Completely inert, perfect grain size, and soooo much cheaper than "aquarium sand".

I bought a bag of it (I think it was 50lbs for less than $20) and so far, I've got it in 4 tanks (20g, 5g, and two 3g's) and still have leftovers.

Never tried the ripples - I think they might stay if you don't have a filter, or are using a sponge filter; pretty sure the output on a HOB or in-tank filter would ruin the effect.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:17 PM   #10 
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This is what you want if you're buying sand at Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...1#.UG4nS_k5yN0

I just bought some for our hermit crabs to mix up more substrate for them :)
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