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Old 01-25-2018, 04:39 PM   #11
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I'll take a different approach.

@bkiggy what type of sand are you changing over to?

Play sand = dirty and fine grain = possibility (can be debated) for nasty anaerobic pockets and compaction

Blasting sand/Pool filter sand = less dirty and larger uniform grain size = less chance of compaction and anaerobic pockets

Now, most sand is completely inert with little Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) so, you will have to supplement fertilizer just like regular gravel either into the water column or into the sand bed or both (I'll recommend both).

So yes, sand can grow plants by itself. (Many other possibilities including dirt with sand cap and planted tank specific sand ex: fluorite black sand $$)
Flourite, or eco complete which ever I can find
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:42 PM   #12
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Dirt is addictive! play sand is worse to deal with by far!
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ZxC View Post
I'll take a different approach.

@bkiggy what type of sand are you changing over to?

Play sand = dirty and fine grain = possibility (can be debated) for nasty anaerobic pockets and compaction

Blasting sand/Pool filter sand = less dirty and larger uniform grain size = less chance of compaction and anaerobic pockets

Now, most sand is completely inert with little Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) so, you will have to supplement fertilizer just like regular gravel either into the water column or into the sand bed or both (I'll recommend both).

So yes, sand can grow plants by itself. (Many other possibilities including dirt with sand cap and planted tank specific sand ex: fluorite black sand $$)
Or Caribsea substrate
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:45 PM   #14
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Dirt is addictive! play sand is worse to deal with by far!
Maybe just flourite, eco complete , or caribsea by itself ....... which ever is the finest
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ZxC View Post
I'll take a different approach.

@bkiggy what type of sand are you changing over to?

Play sand = dirty and fine grain = possibility (can be debated) for nasty anaerobic pockets and compaction

Blasting sand/Pool filter sand = less dirty and larger uniform grain size = less chance of compaction and anaerobic pockets

Now, most sand is completely inert with little Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) so, you will have to supplement fertilizer just like regular gravel either into the water column or into the sand bed or both (I'll recommend both).

So yes, sand can grow plants by itself. (Many other possibilities including dirt with sand cap and planted tank specific sand ex: fluorite black sand $$)
I would like to NOT have anaerobic pockets
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:54 PM   #16
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I added vermiculite to my dirt mix totally fixes the anaerobic spots and has a very high CEC. But if not capped thickly enough it does float
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:40 PM   #17
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I would like to NOT have anaerobic pockets

Beneficial processes occur in areas of low oxygen such as denitrification and the reduction of plant unavailable ferric iron to plant available ferrous iron. There is no real need to try to keep it oxygenated. If the plants are growing as they should they will oxygenate the root zone.

Have faith in the microbes.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:02 PM   #18
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Beneficial processes occur in areas of low oxygen such as denitrification and the reduction of plant unavailable ferric iron to plant available ferrous iron. There is no real need to try to keep it oxygenated. If the plants are growing as they should they will oxygenate the root zone.

Have faith in the microbes.
Very true, my comments were mostly aimed at dead spots with deep substrate. As long as there is plenty of plant mass actively growing, there shouldn't be anaerobic pockets.

That said, why take a chance with dirty sand? I wouldn't risk it with other options such as blasting sand and pool filter sand available.
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Old 01-25-2018, 07:18 PM   #19
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I would like to NOT have anaerobic pockets
Luckily enough its not an issue with playsand yes yes, I get it, debatable issue. But not something I observed or perceive as an issue.

Perhaps I got used to it but I'm not sure what are you guys talking about when you say 'messy'. As I said cloudiness (the really fine particles) were gone after one week. I can stir things up and the only issue I will have is pulling up ecocomplete with the plant roots, so I have a few of those on surface. I really like the light yellow color of it, great at holding plant roots untill they reach down into the black stuff. Of course I don't insist on you using it.
I have larger grain white aquarium sand in 10gal (my son "keeps" that tank) ,not sure what that stuff really is but that one is indeed a mess. Waste is very visible on it and picking it up takes real patience.

At any rate, big fat raspberry to you guys from me and my playsand digging cories
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:54 PM   #20
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No worries I still have the messy play sand in one of my tanks and I haven't ever had any issues with it past the first week!
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