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Old 10-27-2009, 05:47 AM   #1 
eMel
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Sand or Gravel?

Hello, fellow Bettamaniacs!

I've been thinking about how best to keep my tank healthy for my finned friends and got to thinking about sand as an alternative to gravel. With the tendency for food to creep down into the gravel, I started to wonder if sand would prevent food from getting into those little places where it can affect the water quality, though I understand it can still be a bit of a mess to vacuum.

Does anyone have any guidance? Would sand really contribute to a cleaner tank or am I being a bit too hopeful? :)

eMel
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:07 AM   #2 
1077
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I use sand in three of my tanks. Food and waste stays on top of sand and is easily removed with vaacum or turkey baster for smaller tanks. Trick is not to place the vaccum too close to the sand or it will get sucked up with the waste. It's really pretty easy to prevent this once you do it a couple times. Have also found that if sand is no deeper than one inch, there is little chance of any nasties building up under it. Some folks with deeper sand beds stir the sand with their fingers or a plastic fork AFTER vaccuming to prevent said nasties from collecting under the sand but as mentioned,, if the sand remains at one inch to an inch and a half, there is little need for concern. Don't want to stir the sand before vaccuming or else you run the risk of burying that which you wish to remove.
Takes aprrox one pound of sand per gal of water to cover the bottom with approx one inch ,maybe an inch and a half of sand. Sand needs to be rinsed numerous times before using to prevent clouding the water. The more it is rinsed, the cleaner the water will remain. Some clouding may occur but usually settles in a few hours. Hope some of this helps.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:08 AM   #3 
ChristinaRoss
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i agree completely with 1077, i too, use sand and love it
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:13 AM   #4 
Kim
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I had sand in a few tanks and while I loved how it looked, I found it would get covered in a carpet of green algae fast. However, since I no longer keep live plants I don't have algae problems anymore and I may try it again someday. I think gravel is easier to clean though.
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Old 10-27-2009, 12:52 PM   #5 
ChristinaRoss
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i have alot of live plants in my sand and i dont get any green algae
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:17 PM   #6 
DewDropFay
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I don't think you should have any problems with the sand unless you or the fish stir it up all the time, but as long as you keep any suctioning instrument at least an inch above the sand it should be fine.
So it doesn't get covered with gunk, just mix it up a tiny bit after you've suctioned.
However, I find it easier to rinse out gravel when I break down a tank, and that way i can reuse it without worry of pathogens, though you could just as easily buy more sand and chuck the old one lol
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Old 10-27-2009, 06:08 PM   #7 
HennaFlowers
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I use a mix of sand and gravel. Just a tiny bit of sand that I stir up so it settles somewhat on top of the gravel. Mainly because it looks more aesthetic with the Taj Mahal palace. :D
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:06 PM   #8 
Jupiter
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I love sand. It's generally cheaper, better looking, and easier to clean.
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:04 PM   #9 
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I plan on having sand in my 2 2.5 gallon tanks, when i get around to planting and filtering them... i need money... lol. :)
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:42 AM   #10 
ChristinaRoss
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sand s very cheap, i got mine at home depot
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