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?
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.
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...
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.
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. :)