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Old 11-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
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Sand in Planted Tank

I'm changing to a planted tank with gravel. The below is play sand at Home Depot. I have read that you can just spread sand on top of the gravel and it will sink to hold the plants. Is that correct? Secondly, won't it just get sucked up when you vacuum the gravel? Also, is there anything you need to do to the sand before putting it in the tank?



Play sand is a washed, sterilized, dried, screened, and contains no organic matter. It may be used in sand boxes, moulding, traction sand, fish bowls, foundations under brick patios, winter ballast for car trunks, foundation for above ground pool, cigarette urns, gardening, mason sand and pet boxes.
  • Packaged in 50 Lb. heavy-duty kraft bags and 50 Lb. heavy-duty clear poly bags.
  • Play sand comes ready to use and a convenient bag size.
  • It can be used with cement mixes.
  • Play sand is backed by quality controlled testing.
  • Note: Product may vary by store.
  • MFG Brand Name : US MIX
  • MFG Model # : PS50
  • MFG Part # : PS50
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Maltimomma
I'm changing to a planted tank with gravel. The below is play sand at Home Depot. I have read that you can just spread sand on top of the gravel and it will sink to hold the plants. Is that correct? Secondly, won't it just get sucked up when you vacuum the gravel? Also, is there anything you need to do to the sand before putting it in the tank?



Play sand is a washed, sterilized, dried, screened, and contains no organic matter. It may be used in sand boxes, moulding, traction sand, fish bowls, foundations under brick patios, winter ballast for car trunks, foundation for above ground pool, cigarette urns, gardening, mason sand and pet boxes.
[*]Packaged in 50 Lb. heavy-duty kraft bags and 50 Lb. heavy-duty clear poly bags.[*]Play sand comes ready to use and a convenient bag size.[*]It can be used with cement mixes.[*]Play sand is backed by quality controlled testing.[*]Note: Product may vary by store.[*]MFG Brand Name : US MIX[*]MFG Model # : PS50[*]MFG Part # : PS50
This is what I did with my 70g. It has a potting soil and gravel/sand mix substrate. It works really well. The sand slowly, over time, makes it way through the cracks in the gravel. Eventually, if you want to still see the sand, you'll have to add some more to the top. You don't have to vacuum the gravel anymore just 'hoover' over the top because there are no more gaps between the gravel for mulm to get stuck in.
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Old 11-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #3
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Oh and you will still need to give it a really good wash. Play sand still has heaps of dirt and fine sand particles in it that will cloud your tank.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:18 PM   #4
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Oh and you will still need to give it a really good wash. Play sand still has heaps of dirt and fine sand particles in it that will cloud your tank.
+1 Once you get the fine dust washed out, play sand works just fine.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:43 PM   #5
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Be aware that some types of play sand are high in silica, and can lead to diatom blooms. Additionally play sand is well know for having clumping issues as the tank matures.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:44 PM   #6
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The BEST sand to use is swimming pool filter sand ( PFS ) the correct sand rating is as follows, "MESH # 20 " it does NOT cloud the water, it does not drift through the water. if you pick it up and hold it at the top of your water & drop it, it falls quickly to the bottom and will NOT stay suspended in your water. My african Cichlids LOVE this sand and pile it up outside their caves. It is very easy on their mouths, looks nice & is easier to clean than gravel as nothing seeps down deep like gravel. I just skim OVER the sand with my python as not to suck up the sand. everything stays ON TOP of the sand making it easy to vac. One thing with sand is, you need to run your hand/fingers through it and mix it from bottom to top to keep any dead air at the bottom of the sand mixed. the aquascape has changed since these pictures were taken, the tank looks much better than it does here.
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