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Old 03-11-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Most all cats are going to dig in the sand. You can also move the sand around gently with a skewer when you do pwcs
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:36 AM   #12
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So, is sand a better option for tropical fish tanks? I always thought that cleaning it would be more difficult and costly (do you need to regularly replace the sand?) and does lighter sand get discoloured over time? Sorry for all the questions but I've just got my 180litre tank and I want it to be perfect ^_^
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:52 AM   #13
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I don't replace my sand. When I do vacuum I do it carefully and just hover above the sand to suck up loose detritus. Light colored sand can show dirt easier I have black sand in all my tanks for now. Tho I have a 3 gal I may try white sand in, because it is lovely. Darker sand may also encourage fish to color up more. They try to match the bottom. Light sand may wash them out?

You just don't want to go too deep on sand or you can develop pockets of bad bacteria and gas. I haven't had issues with this. I have one tank with gravel, but it will be converted to Sand sometime this year I think.

With a Fish Only tank, esp. with big fish, gravel may be better. But for planted tanks, straight gravel can work, but it's harder to plant in and if the size of the gravel is too large, it won't hold nutrients very well and it may be hard for roots to grow. My gravel tank does grow plants, but they seem to struggle compared to my sand tanks.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:58 AM   #14
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if you use Sand Blasting Sand, you may be able to find it very cheap. I'm using Black Diamond Blasting Sand. I got mine free, but I'm told it's super cheap for a 50# bag. Pool Filter Sand is the popular choice for inexpensive white sand. I did top mine with Tahitian Moon Sand so it would be smoother grains and even nicer color.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:40 AM   #15
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I read to clean the sand you mix it all up and wait for it to settle before hovering over to suck up the muck. Does this leave a layer of sand over all your plants/rocks/ornaments? And if so, is it fairly easy to get everything back to normal? and I guess the fish don't get agitated by the sand? (sorry for silly questions - still have a lot to learn!)
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycie
I read to clean the sand you mix it all up and wait for it to settle before hovering over to suck up the muck. Does this leave a layer of sand over all your plants/rocks/ornaments? And if so, is it fairly easy to get everything back to normal? and I guess the fish don't get agitated by the sand? (sorry for silly questions - still have a lot to learn!)
You only mix up the sand like that when you are rinsing it BEFORE you add it to the tank.

I do NOT stir it all up ! That would destroy my plants and their roots and freak out my Shrimp and fish.

When I do want to clean the sand (rarely) I will hover my gravel vac above the sand to gently remove detritus. But turn off filters when you work in the tank or sand may get in them.

I use a sponge over my intake to keep sand OUT of my HOB filter.

My plants use most of the mulm. My Shrimp and Cories and MTS (snails) keep my sand pretty clean.

Weekly PWCs and I trim plants weekly, add a dash of ferts and relax.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:54 AM   #17
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Wow, thanks for your help! I'm not sure I will be able to keep many live plants in my tank. This is a topic I need to research as well. So in terms of those gases building up under the sand and the fact I won't have many plants to take care of the mulm, just having a few burrowing fish and snails etc will keep things safe?
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lycie
Wow, thanks for your help! I'm not sure I will be able to keep many live plants in my tank. This is a topic I need to research as well. So in terms of those gases building up under the sand and the fact I won't have many plants to take care of the mulm, just having a few burrowing fish and snails etc will keep things safe?
It's the snails that actually burrow. The Cories only stick their noses in . Kuhlii Loaches do like to burrow but I don't have those

You can stick a chopstick into the sand to aerate.
You could gently move a bit of sand in random spots.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:18 PM   #19
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Just tossing this out there. Kitty litter for planted freshwater aquariums is cheap and easy. Non clumping, non scented, all natural clay granule kitty litter. And it looks good with a dark background as well. My 55g is all kitty litter.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdubs2
Just tossing this out there. Kitty litter for planted freshwater aquariums is cheap and easy. Non clumping, non scented, all natural clay granule kitty litter. And it looks good with a dark background as well. My 55g is all kitty litter.
Have never heard of that before . Would be interesting to see what it looks like
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