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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!

I have a 5 gallon tank with a VT betta and what I think is an apple snail (new guy). I have fake plants; I am a college girl and I feel that fake plants are easier to move around when I come home for the long holidays. I currently have black gravel, however I find it hard to clean. I want to buy new substrate. I was thinking about getting a bag of sand. I think there are different kinds, but I'm not sure which kind I should get. Can anyone give me more information/tell me about their experience with sand as a substrate?
 

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Sand is a wonderful substrate. Due to its compact nature detritus hovers on top rather than mixing with the sand. If you want something colorful, crayola play sand is great and doesn't lose color, neither is it toxic. otherwise you can go for normal silica sand. I got my sand at petland discounts and their sand doesn't cloud the water and sinks straight to the bottom :)
you will need to stir the sand about once a week, to keep toxic gas forming in anaerobic pockets or something like that. Malaysian trumpet snails will also help plenty
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok! Thank you. Also, I'm worried about the sand getting into my filter. I've heard it can cause problems. What should I do if sand gets in the filter?
 

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I use CaribSea Super Naturals: Premium Aquarium Subtrate for my male betta tanks. It is a very fine sand that looks great and seems to go through a filter just fine. Right now I don't use a filter because it was to much work for me, and my betta to swim. :p So even though I don't use one now I had no problem with this sand. Some do say that every filter is different with sand so all I can say is good luck and hope this helps!
 

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I use alot of different substrates and it totally depends on what you want to accomplish with it. By far the cheapest substrate is to go to home depot and get some play sand or tube sand. The trick with that will be to rinse the sand very very well. Start with about 3 inches in a bucket, rinse and pour it about 15 times and you'll have about 1.5 inches in the bucket. That sand then will be safe for your filter and will not cloud your water. If you want to be super serious about your betta though, most bettas appreciate softer water (as do plants) and certain substrates like Red Sea Flora Base, Amozonia or Fluval Shrimp Stratum soften water and buffer down PH. It depends on how serious and awesome you want your tank, a betta will survive fine with sand and harder water, but may be happier and you might experience better plant growth with a flora base.

Oh and to correct my first statement, the cheapest is no substrate, which for me also helps me keep my breeding tanks super clean. Sometimes I do bare bottom tanks and use terra cota pots with flora base substrate and plants. Then a good floating plant like water sprite that dangles a good amount of roots.
 

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I've used stoney river aquarium sand. Only found in petland discounts so far. It's such great sand! doesnt cloud at all, and I never rinse it before use (I guess that's bad huh? lol)

but this is what my tank looked like after pouring it straight in from the bag. Completely clear! oO I was surprised
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hm ok. Thanks for your input! I guess I'll check out Home Depot and PetSmart and see what they have. I don't know if I'll end up getting sand since I move to and from college. Has sand been messy to handle for y'all?
 
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