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Old 01-30-2011, 08:08 AM   #1 
Fawnleaf
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Sand vs. Gravel

What are the pros and cons of sand and gravel? Personally, I have tried both and I don't see the appeal of gravel in tanka over three gallons. All my little tanks have gravel but my sorority has sand. It used to have gravel but it got so filthy that I got sand. In my opinion, sand is cleaner and so easy to clean. I just use my syphon to suck up the stuff on the bottom and once a month wipe the sides of the tank for algae. So, why do you use gravel? (if you use sand, why?) how many of you have tried sand?
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:47 AM   #2 
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I'm also very interested in this question, as I've been toying with switching to soil/sand since I have a lot of plants.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:15 AM   #3 
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The one thing I do realize about sand is that sometimes it can drastically alter the PH of the water. So when purchasing sand, you need to check the package to be sure it is safe for fresh water and that is it PH neutral.
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Old 01-30-2011, 06:34 PM   #4 
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well, i use gravel but i hate that almost all gravels have paint on them and after about 2 water cleanings, your vacuum sucks up the flakes. But IT JUST MAKES ME MAD THAT THEY PAINT THEM!!!!!

So, gravel is easy to clean, but the paint comes off.

plus 100% water changes are easier
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:10 PM   #5 
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Really? I think sand is easier to clean because stuff doesn't get caught between the grains. With sand you just syphon off the top layer, and I have tried both gravel and sand.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:44 PM   #6 
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The one thing I dislike about sand is that whenever it gets shifted it takes time to settle, clouding the water and getting into the filter.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:28 PM   #7 
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well, i have never used sand, because it seems so hard to clean. (im a hypocrite) But i suppose i wouldn't have to worry about it getting into my filer because i don't have one!!!!!
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:34 PM   #8 
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So when you siphon/vacuum a tank with sand substrate, do you actually siphon up the top layer of sand? Have you ever had an issue with needing to put down more sand to compensate for the loss? Or is it minimal...
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:19 PM   #9 
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I have the best of both worlds. I have a sand substrate that has been coated and does not cloud the water when I'm cleaning. Also, sand is much cleaner than gravel. Food particles and waste will dwell below the surface of the gravel. Food particles stays on the surface of sand, and this makes it a lot easier for my shrimps to eat leftovers. I rarely ever have to siphon my tank because my ghost shrimp cleaning crew always gets the job done.

Here is the link of the sand I bought.
http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/...ht-black-sand/

And here is my tank
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:24 PM   #10 
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The last post pretty much sums up my feelings. And to the earlier question i suck up a slight amount of sand. And if I suck up too much I just put it back. I have had my sand for a few months and syphon the sand once a week. I haven't eve noticed the loss in sand. I haven't even had to put the sand back in the tank. It is sitting in the bucket in my room. Also my ammonia levels have gone down solo much since I switched because of how much cleaner the sand is. On the day I made the switch, the tank water was so muddy I had to throw it out and refill the tank completely with new water. In conclusion, I think sans is better. :)
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