Betta Fish Care  
Go Back   Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care > Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories
Check out the eBook Betta Fish Care Made Easy
betta fish
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12-28-2012, 12:01 PM   #1 
Meg126
New Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Sellersburg Indiana
Sand vs gravel

I just divided my 10 gal to make 2 fives for male bettas. My question is what's the best substrate for a tank like this as far as maintenance ect. I want something that looks good and I can clean retivily easy. Also I would like to put live plants in with them so I have to take that into consideration.
Meg126 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 12:14 PM   #2 
LebronTheBetta
Member
 
LebronTheBetta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: MD
I have 2 tanks, one with gravel and one with sand.
The one with gravel is easiest to clean as the gravel vacuum won't suck up the gravel and just sucks up the debris and water. When I try to clean my sand however, it's really hard to not suck the sand up. You have to be around 1/2in. - 3/4in. because the sand would raise and so on. Sand is the prettiest IMO but hard to clean.. And I heard gravel is better for stem plants but I'm not sure.. All I can give is advice on the maintenance, sorry.
LebronTheBetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 01:06 PM   #3 
asukabetta
Member
 
asukabetta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
I had both, now I prefer barebottom tanks, however, if I had to pick sand or gravel, I pick sand, very thin sand, sure they get sucked up but its so much easier to clean and holds decoration very well in place and it's very natural zen looking, gravel gets gunk in between and you will need to flip around gravel and such to get it all.

But it depends on your tank.
I recommend from my experience:

Soil - for big cycled planted tanks
sand - also for planted tanks and +5 cycled tanks
gravel for less than 5g.
Barebottom - for small tanks to save time while cleaning 100% and for aquatic animals that poop A LOT. (not the case of the betta)

Reasons why:

Soil and sand are easy to clean but hard not to get sucked up, plus it sucks to have it if you have less than 5g non cycled because you have to do 100% water changes. With a cycled tank you don't do 100% changes thus why they are the best substrate in my opinion

Gravel gunk gets in between but, it's very easy to get rid of with 100% water changes.

Barebottom allows you to see what is dirty very quickly and suck it up, but it may be hard to place decor at times since you have nothing to hold things down.

Last edited by asukabetta; 12-28-2012 at 01:12 PM.
asukabetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 01:46 PM   #4 
Viva
Member
 
Viva's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Some things I've noticed from my own experiences with both types of substrate:

Sand
  • Can be very inexpensive if you purchase play sand, but I've only ever seen 50lb bags which cost more than the 5lb bags of "Aquarium sand".
  • Get's sucked up when vacuuming/siphoning, but only a very miniscule amount. You would never be able to tell the difference, but eventually you probably will need to replace some of the sand after like 100 water changes.
  • Since sand is so fine, waste and debris are easier to see when they start to collect at the bottom...this can be a good and a bad thing.
  • Sand needs to be stirred up more frequently because air bubbles that can be toxic are more easily formed underneath it. Snails that like to burrow, like Trumpet snails and Assassin snails, help tremendously with this.
Gravel/Rock/Stone
  • More variety in terms of color and granule size, but be aware that if you're using larger stones, like river stones, live plants will have trouble rooting in it (but plants like anubias and java fern are happy just floating around or being tied down to a rock)
  • Won't get sucked up during sipnoning
  • Won't notice debris and waste buildup as easily
  • Burrowing snails have trouble burrowing in large grained gravel, but mine are able to do so in my EcoComplete substrate.
As asuka said, you also have the option of a bare bottom tank...though I have no experience in this. I have seen some really beautiful ones, and I want to attempt it sometime. You can also just throw in some marbles or something for the substrate if you don't want that natural look. Their are a lot of options.

All substrate options, be it bare bottom, sand, gravel or stones, have the potential to harbor plants with the correct lighting. Stem plants, floating plants, all types of anubias, java fern, etc. do very well just floating in a tank or just being anchored to a rock, driftwood or an ornament.

I'd say choose whatever you think is aesthetically pleasing or whatever you can get the cheapest. First, put a picture in your mind of what you want the finished tank to look like and what flora/fauna you want to add to help make your decision.

Hope this helped!
Viva is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 03:08 PM   #5 
asukabetta
Member
 
asukabetta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viva View Post
Some things I've noticed from my own experiences with both types of substrate:

Sand
  • Can be very inexpensive if you purchase play sand, but I've only ever seen 50lb bags which cost more than the 5lb bags of "Aquarium sand".
  • Get's sucked up when vacuuming/siphoning, but only a very miniscule amount. You would never be able to tell the difference, but eventually you probably will need to replace some of the sand after like 100 water changes.
  • Since sand is so fine, waste and debris are easier to see when they start to collect at the bottom...this can be a good and a bad thing.
  • Sand needs to be stirred up more frequently because air bubbles that can be toxic are more easily formed underneath it. Snails that like to burrow, like Trumpet snails and Assassin snails, help tremendously with this.
Gravel/Rock/Stone
  • More variety in terms of color and granule size, but be aware that if you're using larger stones, like river stones, live plants will have trouble rooting in it (but plants like anubias and java fern are happy just floating around or being tied down to a rock)
  • Won't get sucked up during sipnoning
  • Won't notice debris and waste buildup as easily
  • Burrowing snails have trouble burrowing in large grained gravel, but mine are able to do so in my EcoComplete substrate.
As asuka said, you also have the option of a bare bottom tank...though I have no experience in this. I have seen some really beautiful ones, and I want to attempt it sometime. You can also just throw in some marbles or something for the substrate if you don't want that natural look. Their are a lot of options.

All substrate options, be it bare bottom, sand, gravel or stones, have the potential to harbor plants with the correct lighting. Stem plants, floating plants, all types of anubias, java fern, etc. do very well just floating in a tank or just being anchored to a rock, driftwood or an ornament.

I'd say choose whatever you think is aesthetically pleasing or whatever you can get the cheapest. First, put a picture in your mind of what you want the finished tank to look like and what flora/fauna you want to add to help make your decision.

Hope this helped!

a +1 to this :D
asukabetta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2012, 10:50 PM   #6 
Blue Fish
Member
 
Blue Fish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: East Tennessee
I prefer gravel.

I tried sand, because, like others have said, it is so very pretty...but I could NOT find sand of any type that didn't cloud my water like there was no tomorrow, and one of my repeated attempts killed my filter. So, I've got a 50lb bag of sand that I have absolutely no use for. :P Rather annoying, but I'll live. ;)

You can get some very small, white gravels, and they're not as pretty as sand, but they're close. :)

I've heard (but I have not had it confirmed) that sand does not assist with the BB for cycling that you need. Gravel does assist with the BB (beneficial bacteria) a great deal though, so that's another consideration. (the gravel provides surface area the BB need)
As for cleaning, gravel is easy, and you don't need a ton of it in the bottom of the tank. I've got about a half inch in mine, an no problems cleaning. :)

I've done marbles in the past, and they are actually harder to clean. The larger marbles allow debris to get down in there and you may not realize just how nasty it can get in the crevices until you dump the whole tank. :)

I hope that helps!! Apparently there is a way to do sand properly...but I haven't figured it out yet, so if you go that route, make sure you get some information about putting it into your tank/dealing with the cloudiness. :)
Blue Fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2012, 01:41 AM   #7 
acadialover
Member
 
acadialover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Seattle, WA.
Look in the planted tank section maybe for ideas. I have used both. I love how sand looks but you have to hover the suction over it, and slightly crimp the line....
I am, as we speak setting up a five gallon as a natural plant setting like the first thread in the planted tank section. I got all the plants and organic soil today, and I got sand to op it off...
acadialover is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Gravel or sand BettaShawn Breeding Betta Fish 5 08-08-2011 03:16 PM
sand AND gravel mixed? Sand questions Littlebittyfish Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 23 03-01-2011 10:06 AM
sand or gravel? weluvbettas Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 9 05-30-2010 02:49 PM
Sand or Gravel? eMel Betta Fish Bowls, Habitats, and Accessories 22 11-04-2009 07:34 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.