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Old 04-05-2005, 01:17 AM   #1
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Sand as substrate?

Anyone using sand as freshwater substrate? I would like to use sand in my 29 gallon and keep some kuhli loaches and community fish. However I wasn't sure if sand was ok for loaches or not.

Anyone have any advice? TIA
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38 gal SW, CC, 40lbs base rock, 5lbs live, emporer 280, bio-wheel 330,tronic heater, 2 O. clowns, 1 firefish.

29 gal FW, boring...soon to be salt I think.

10 gal SW, 20lbs LS, 20lbs base rock, 1 unhappy domino damsel (he was in the 38...switched the percs and the damesel recently).
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Old 04-05-2005, 01:27 AM   #2
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I have sand in the 150 and 29 gal tanks and absolutely love it. I have never kept loaches before but I have heard from others on this forum that sand is actually better than gravel as long as you use a rounded gravel like pool filter sand.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:17 AM   #3
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60 lbs. of sand is what rests at the bottom of my 55 gallon. Not only is it easier for my eels to dig into, but it looks 10 times more colorful when using the 50/50 lighting setup I have. Just be careful of the aerobic pockets, but changing the water and loosening up the sand is all you have to do to prevent that.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:20 AM   #4
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MTS snails also help in turning over the sand. We have them in the 29 gal. In the 150, that's another story because the cichlids will eat the snails. That, you have to do by hand.
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:53 PM   #5
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I would also recommend pool filter sand if you don't want to spend the money on sand from the LFS. I have set up 3 tanks with PFS and it looks great and the fish really seem to like it. I'm sure loaches would love sand too!
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:08 PM   #6
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I have black sand in my 55. Check out my gallery for a pic. I LOVE the sand. I will never go back to gravel.
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:52 PM   #7
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Same feelings Meredith. Sand is just so much easier to maintain and looks alot nicer.
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:29 PM   #8
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Noob question - there *are* certain fish that won't like sand, right? IOW, it's only appropriate for certain types of inhabitants?
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:46 PM   #9
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I don't know of any fish that don't like sand. If there are, please, let me know. It would be kind of interesting to know if some fish don't actually like the sand.
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:06 PM   #10
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I have a bag of pavestone sand. Which some guys online have been using in freshwater tanks. I may try using it.

It was $2.50 cents for 50lbs at HD.

I have been looking for tropical play sand for my 38 gallon with no luck.
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38 gal SW, CC, 40lbs base rock, 5lbs live, emporer 280, bio-wheel 330,tronic heater, 2 O. clowns, 1 firefish.

29 gal FW, boring...soon to be salt I think.

10 gal SW, 20lbs LS, 20lbs base rock, 1 unhappy domino damsel (he was in the 38...switched the percs and the damesel recently).
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Old 04-05-2005, 08:13 PM   #11
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You can use play sand too. Its available at all home stores or lanscaping stores. Extremley cheap, like $5 for 50 lbs. I'm planning on using it for my next set up. I've never actually seen pool filter sand, is that cheap too? I'm guessing you can buy it at pool supply stores.
I just use black sand in my shell dweller tank, and I love it! Sand takes just a little more prep than gravel, but its worth it.
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:20 PM   #12
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I lile pool filter sand because of the size of the grains- large enough to not get sucked up by the filter. My PFS was about $10 for 50 lbs. I've heard of people that had problems with play sand getting sucked up in the filter, so I don't know if I would try that.
BTW I don't know of any fish that doesn't like sand.
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:50 PM   #13
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I used play sand in a ten gallon i set up to put the pest snails i pull out of my main tank that i dont have the heart to kill

And it has turned into a beautiful planted sand tank
no problems with the play sand
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