Alright I was curious, How many of you use sand as a substrate? Is it easier to clean? Does it cloudy the water something awful? Do Bettas even like sand? Part of me feels like My Gus will try and eat it or something Ha!
Sand is a wonderful substrate. It's easy to clean, because the gunk 'floats' on the surface of the sand. Hold your siphon/vaccumm over the gunk, and it gets drawn in... no need to dig around in the sand and stir it up!
A small amount of sand will get sucked up, but most of it falls back to the tank floor as you siphon.
Fine sand substrate is especially good if your betta will have cory cats or loaches as tank mates, as they like to dig in the sand for their food. The bettas I have in the sorority tank with a sandy bottom might pick a bit of food off the sand, but otherwise, they don't seem interested in it.
It is reccomended that the sand be rinsed well before placing in the tank, to cut down on cloudyness. I totally didn't rinse mine... and the tank was only cloud the first day or so.
I've had gravel and sand substrate, and sand is by far easier to keep clean.
I think the brand I used in my 20H was Carbisea? I was looking for especially fine grain sand, for my loach to sift through her gills. They make several different types, including sand for fresh and salt water.
Someone on the forum used brillant blue sand to make a SpongeBob themed tank... so, there are a lot of different sands to choose from! You just have to be careful that the sand you get doesn't have any additives or composition that would harm your fish (hermit crab sand, for example, has additives. Sand for salt water tanks can be made of argonite or corals. Some sand is sharp and rough; others are more suitable for a betta's fins).
Do you research on the web, to make sure you get the right sand for your fishes' needs. I know Petco and Petsmart sell sand online. Either one would be a place to 'sift' for facts on sand. :)
I use playsand from home depot. I have bought sand from petco in the past though and it was nice too (caribean naturals I believe). The stuff from petco doesn't take as long to rinse clean. It takes a few minutes more to clean the playsand..but it is nice if you happen to vaccum a little up and notice it's getting low..It only costs 2 dollars at home depot for a 20 pound bag so 2 dollars goes a long way!
Well this thread totally answered my question about sand!
I have some in Revenant's tank. I was so worried it might be harmful, like they suck it up through their gills or something, asdfasdfasdf
I'm just being a worry-wart, though. Since Rev's my first straight from Thailand.
But I am curious about where you find sand that isn't fine grain and still good for bettas?
Rev has fine grain, lightly covered with white gravel and a few BiOrb rocks (whatever those things are actually called, lol).
Sifting it is super easy... and it's really easy to suck up all the sand too. |D Thus, the gravel over it.
So I'm just wondering. >>
I love, love, love sand! I have it in my HM's tank, and since he likes to dive bomb his substrate, I feel that sand is a definite cushion compared to gravel, haha. It looks fantastic and it's very easy to "set" things in his tank so they don't float loose or anything. Currently, he's back in his 3gal to see if that helps reduce his tailbiting issues, and the sand looks even better in it with glass stones.
I'm planning on doing a sand/gravel combo for my female PK's tank this summer. I have Caribbean Naturals (it's the "golden" sunrise or sunset or whatever one), and it sets off my betta's colors very nicely. :)
i have tahitian moon sand. i think that's caribsea. it's the black one. i rinsed it very well, otherwise it's dusty and clouds the water. otherwise, it sinks nicely, i love the way it holds my plants, and i can vacuum it easily because everything sits on top. and the bettas tend to look at it awhile and then ignore it. i once had one try to eat it but he figured it out and spit it out. so i definitely like it!