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Old 12-12-2011, 01:00 AM   #1 
lulupie
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What is better Sand or gravel?

what do you guys have and which one do you think is better?
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:12 AM   #2 
EvilVOG
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Personally i use sand and will never use gravel again. At least not small gravel. Such a pain to clean when you need to clean it.

I also prefer the look of sand, and the fact that waste and dropped plant bits sit on top and are easy to siphon off.

Beyond all that, if i decide i want to change it, i can just throw it out in the garden or something. But i use play sand, and i know some others that use pool filter sand, that costs $4-5 for a 50lb bag.

Also hear very bad stuff about the aquarium-specific sand they sell at the lps, needing an absurd amount of rinsing.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:20 AM   #3 
lulupie
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Personally i use sand and will never use gravel again. At least not small gravel. Such a pain to clean when you need to clean it.

I also prefer the look of sand, and the fact that waste and dropped plant bits sit on top and are easy to siphon off.

Beyond all that, if i decide i want to change it, i can just throw it out in the garden or something. But i use play sand, and i know some others that use pool filter sand, that costs $4-5 for a 50lb bag.

Also hear very bad stuff about the aquarium-specific sand they sell at the lps, needing an absurd amount of rinsing.
is it easy when i want to change the water?
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:29 AM   #4 
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On my 3 gallon, i just toss the sand. $5 for a 50lb bag... i may never run out of sand. So it's a fair amount easier then washing gravel.

On my 20 gallon planted tank however, i don't change more than 75%, but it's very heavily planted, and i'm working on getting it to be a complete ecosystem where i won't have to change the water much if at all.

But some people i've seen have giant rocks or marble-looking things on the bottom of their tanks. I suspect that's the easiest to deal with.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:35 AM   #5 
lulupie
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On my 3 gallon, i just toss the sand. $5 for a 50lb bag... i may never run out of sand. So it's a fair amount easier then washing gravel.

On my 20 gallon planted tank however, i don't change more than 75%, but it's very heavily planted, and i'm working on getting it to be a complete ecosystem where i won't have to change the water much if at all.

But some people i've seen have giant rocks or marble-looking things on the bottom of their tanks. I suspect that's the easiest to deal with.
thank you for your help really :)
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:13 PM   #6 
Jodah
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I prefer the look of sand myself, it's easy to siphon off debris, and I think it looks better than gravel. However there are pro's and cons to both. If this is your first setup, I'd recommend going with gravel only because it's easier for people new to fish keeping to maintain in my opinion. Plus, for smaller setup's, it provides more surface area for good bacteria to colonize and you don't have to worry about anaerobic areas forming. Sand, especially play sand, can compact over time, forming these little anaerobic pockets.

With sand you don't have to worry about food and detritus sitting and rotting away beneath the surface. Everything stays on top making it a bit easier to clean over time. My main problem with sand is the mainly from a user standpoint. It creates a dust cloud if not thoroughly rinsed (I rinse mine for 15-20 minutes till it has been running clear for 10 minutes) The other problem is when adding new decor or fake plants, or live plants, if you disturb it too much you get some clouding till the sand settles again.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:46 PM   #7 
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they both have good & bad things about them. I started with gravel.. then ended up with all sand.. Now I have Gravel in 1 tank.. Pea sized stones (smooth river rock style) in another & FloraMax in 2 more & I believe it is crushed lava rock.

The sand has a great look, but honestly its more work.. Yes debris stays on the top, but if you disturn it while cleaning then your making a bigger mess. With gravel just vaccum it when draining the tank & the debris is still gone.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:13 PM   #8 
Mart2289
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I personnaly think that Gravel is better than sand ...It's more easy to clean...sand goes everywhere.... I don't like it....
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:18 PM   #9 
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I prefer gravel, when cleaning it stays put. I have sand in my 120 and whenever the fish get excited for any reason, there's sand all over and the water looks cloudy.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:51 PM   #10 
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I use both. In my 5 gallon, I have large gravel that I find is very easy to clean. I will be switching over to a very fine black gravel, practically sand, which I imagine is going to be hell to clean but will look great with my white halfmoon.
In my 16 gallon I have a mixture of sand and gravel - sand in the middle with a gravel border. I don't vacuum the gravel because I don't want to disturb the plant roots. The sand looks amazing but is a total pain in the rear. All the dirt does gather on top of it, but I always suck up a bit of sand, and because of all my snails and shrimp there is always dirt on top of it, even after a clean, so it never looks as good as it could.
Although it's aquarium specific, it wasn't expensive and I had the guarantee of knowing it was totally safe. It also didn't take much rinsing at all.
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