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Old 04-13-2004, 02:55 PM   #1
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what about sand??

I am making a cichlid tank and getting some yellow labidachromis. I want to put sand in the tank. I have a 38 gal tank and a AQ 500 filter.
I read in one of the articles that i should have black sand is this the way to go?
And how do i clean the sand will it get sucked into the gravel cleaner?
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Old 04-13-2004, 05:06 PM   #2
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Moved to the FW forum. Good luck...

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Old 04-13-2004, 05:42 PM   #3
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You can use any sand which is FW tank safe. Sand used for SW tanks will affect the water parameters too much. You don't have to use black sand, although the type called "Tahitian Moon Sand" is completely inert and looks lovely (I use it in my planted tanks).

As for cleaning the sand, you hover the siphon over the sand; not dig into it. The detritus is generally lighter than the sand and will be sucked up.

You do want to be aware of anaerobic pockets however; most sand will compact, and unless you have a well planted tank (not an easy thing in an African tank), some type of creature which aerates the sand (snails for example, although not sure what types would work well in that tank and not take it over), or aerate the sand yourself on a regular basis (sticking a chopstick into it for example), there may be problems with hydrogen sulfide.
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Old 04-13-2004, 07:14 PM   #4
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Saw this post and had a similar question...
but also, how much sand I heard 2 pounds per gallon of water, is this a good guide? and will aerating the sand remove the anaerobic pockets? how often to aerate? and does anyone know of an invert that would aerate the sand but not take the tank over.
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Old 04-14-2004, 12:21 AM   #5
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I currently have MTS in three tanks, two have sand. They may take-over, too early to tell, but I believe Mbuna will eat the young snails and keep the population down. To aerate without the use of snails, just run your hand through the sand biweekly, or the gravel vac, while it's not vacuuming. Another thing to add since these cichlids dig is to protect your filter by using a sponge over the filter intake.

Quote:
but also, how much sand I heard 2 pounds per gallon of water, is this a good guide?
I'm not sure, I bought 18 kg (~50 lbs) for a 29 gal and have lots left over after making a three inch sand bed that the cichlids moved all over the place
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Old 04-14-2004, 06:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttimmer10
I heard 2 pounds per gallon of water, is this a good guide
A guide can be found on this site under calculators:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/calcs2.php?type=sanddepth

You want to aim for about 2" deep. Like Menagerie said, if you get a 50# bag from Home Depot, and thoroughly rinse it, you'll have more than enough. If you decide to go with the lfs sand, the weight on the bag is pretty close to what you'll get after rinsing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeydude15
I read in one of the articles that i should have black sand is this the way to go?
IMO, no, for two reasons. One, because it doesn't look natural, and two, because it's not an aragonite based sand. Most cichlids like to dig, and they appreciate the rounded particles that are characteristic of aragonite sand (well, as much as a fish can "appreciate" something ). That being said, some people prefer the look of the black sand. I have had black gravel on a different setup, and I must say, it looks pretty cool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hockeydude15
And how do i clean the sand will it get sucked into the gravel cleaner?
Because of the nature of sand, fish detritus will stay on top of the sand. Just take the gravel cleaning portion off the tube (the rigid plastic piece) and just use the tubing. By keeping the tubing about an inch away from the sand, you can pick up the detritus and leave the sand. It takes practice but is very easy once you get it. However, even by using this technique, some sand loss is inevitable, and sand will need to be replaced every so often.

HTH!
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