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Old 01-02-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
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Goldfish and Sand?

I have been looking around on and found a lot of info on this topic, but everyones opinion seems to be split. Some say it is fine for Goldfish, and some say it isn't. I am trying to grow plants in my Goldfish aquarium and I am thinking about switching to sand because the plants will grow better and it will look more natural then the blue gravel that I have right now. Does any one have any opinions on this or have any experiences that they have had with Goldfish and sand?


Thanks!
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:25 PM   #2
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As far as substrate goes, you can either have something that is too big for the fish to swallow (& get stuck in the throat) or fine enough that it will pass through. Unless you choose something sharp like blasting sand (cut fish's mouth/fins) or something with uneven grits like concrete sand (some particles will be just the right size to get stuck in the mouth), sand should be just fine. <Most people use pool filter sand for a planted tank .... not so fine as to cause compaction & not too coarse.>

Personally, I use Schultz Aquasoil, which is a bit more coarse than PFS, at around 1/16" size.
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 01-02-2009, 09:04 PM   #3
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What about play sand or silica sand? I saw these at Home Depot the other day for like $4 for a 50lb. bag. Would this work?

Thanks for all the help. I am still really new to all of this, so I can really use the help.
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Old 01-03-2009, 11:22 AM   #4
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It depends on the composition of the sand ....

I had some play sand that was so fine that it compacted down hard as rock (within a month) ... I ended up digging up all of it & used it to build my patio since my kids couldn't dig through it. <I had a huge sand pit for them ... got 4 cu yards of the stuff!> Anyway, fine sand that compacts down tight isn't good for plants, and you risk anaerobic pockets developing due to lack of water circulation.

For my kid's sand pit, I eventually got some "Premium" play sand that was much better. <Still quite cheap ... about $20 a yard.>

The reason people use pool filter sand is that it is coarser (so won't compact down & clog the filter) & it is the ideal grit size for planted tank. You can try some HD play sand. It might be coarse enough to use. OTOH, they also sell PFS at about the same price (although it is available seasonally only.)

One thing about non lfs substrate is that it might alter your water parameters. If you have relatively hard water, that won't be an issue. However, some carbonatious sand may raise the GH/KH of soft water. Better to test a sample before you set up the tank.
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