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Old 04-30-2005, 03:58 PM   #1
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Sand?

What kind of sand can I use in an aquarium, can the play sand from walmart work? I want to con vert my 75 gal to sand if at all possible. I dont see any sand at any of the lfs.
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Old 04-30-2005, 06:48 PM   #2
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I think you can use play sand as long as you wash it well. A lot of people here use pool filter sand from a pool supply store, because it is a little coarser and settles more easily. Some people have said it comes cleaner, too, but I don't know. I wanted white sand so I used blasting sand (quartz) from the hardware store.
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:10 PM   #3
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Would I still be able to use my python, or would it suck to much sand up.
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193 gal, with 200 lbs sand and driftwood setup
2 Tiger oscars
2 Clown loaches
1 pleco
1 pictus cat
75gal- Driftwood setup, with 50lbs gravel 25lbs of sand
2 Bluegill sunfish
6 minnows

29-Driftwood setup 30 lbs of gravel
4 Zebra Danios
3 Neons
2 Swordtails
2 Black Mollies

10 gal Driftwood setup with 10 lbs of gravel
1 Dalmation mollies
1 Rubberlipped pleco
1 Butterfly loach
1 Dwarf gourami
2 Panda Corys
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:47 PM   #4
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Go to a swimming pool supply and check out pool filter sand. IT is smoothe and almost white. Play sand is fairly sharp edged.
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Old 04-30-2005, 08:57 PM   #5
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Some pool filter sand is brown. The kind I bought before I bought my quartz was pretty dark.

You can still use a Python. You just wave it over the top of the sand and it works fine.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:44 AM   #6
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I actually push the python about an inch into the sand. It will pull up some sand, but then I just wave the tube around and most, if not all, of it falls back down.
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:21 PM   #7
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Do you judge the amount of sand I will need like gravel 1 lbs per gallon?
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193 gal, with 200 lbs sand and driftwood setup
2 Tiger oscars
2 Clown loaches
1 pleco
1 pictus cat
75gal- Driftwood setup, with 50lbs gravel 25lbs of sand
2 Bluegill sunfish
6 minnows

29-Driftwood setup 30 lbs of gravel
4 Zebra Danios
3 Neons
2 Swordtails
2 Black Mollies

10 gal Driftwood setup with 10 lbs of gravel
1 Dalmation mollies
1 Rubberlipped pleco
1 Butterfly loach
1 Dwarf gourami
2 Panda Corys
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Old 05-01-2005, 06:51 PM   #8
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You will need more sand than you would gravel because the gravel doesn't pack as tight as sand does. It also depends on the dimensions and how deep of a sand bed you want. Given a 75 gal tank, I'd go to a pool supply store and get (2) 50 lb bags of sand. You'll need at least 75 lbs, this way you'll have a little more leway.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:29 PM   #9
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I used playsand from Lowe's in my tank, and it seems to work just fine. My tank is planted, so I used cat litter, then sand. Plants and Fish seem to love it. It's not white, but it's not brown either..... sort of blonde I'd say.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:29 AM   #10
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What are the drawbacks to sand?
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Old 05-02-2005, 08:51 AM   #11
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gets into your filter if your not careful... uhh sometimes plants can get pulled up pretty easily... thats about it, oh wait anarobic bacteria. yeah thats it im sure
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:21 AM   #12
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yep, just make sure to stir it around a bit when you do maintenance, so it doesn't pack down and form pockets of gas. i have loaches who dig down deep in it all the time, so that helps.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:15 PM   #13
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Cool, thanks for those tidbits. Are there any positives to it, other than a "different" look?
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:24 PM   #14
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It's easy to clean, looks nice, and fish love to play in it. You won't get that nasty stuff that falls into the gravel and shifts its way to the bottom of the tank.
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Old 05-02-2005, 01:10 PM   #15
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It is an excellent plant substrate, as the roots can easily move through it, and in a planted tank you won't have to worry so much about compaction and anaerobic pockets. Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) also help as they burrow into the sand during the day. Sand is good for many cichlids as they are natural diggers and sand is easy for them to move around, and they seem to enjoy doing it.

I think sand has a natural look to it and I like to use it when possible. There are also many types of sand sold by Caribsea for different applications, so you might look into that, but it is not cheap.

Sand has a major drawback of showing poop very clearly, whereas in a gravel tank poop tends to be camouflaged by the substrate. This is good because you can easily see what needs to be vacuumed up, and you are less likely to have an unnoticed buildup of debris that causes so many instances of water quality problems.

I like pool sand because it often has light and dark particles so it does not show debris as obviously, but it is still easy to vaccum it up. I use a Python and gently wave the vac tube to get the stuff up into the water where I can get it. I do not put the tube down into the sand because any sand you do suck up will build up in the drain of the sink or tub and cause problems down the road.
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Old 05-02-2005, 04:08 PM   #16
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We hook the python up to the garden hose so it just shoots it outside, so no probs with the drains. Normally only a couple teaspoons are pulled from the tank at each water change. Not much. I don't plunge it all the way to the bottom of the tank, only about an inch or 1/2 inch down.

Another way to help camoflage the fish waste is to mix in a 5 lb bag of black sand for the top layer of the sand. It will give it a peppered look. We do that for all our tanks. Just stir it around with the pool filter sand before adding to the tank. You can also do it afterwards but it will take about a day or two for it to mix together properly.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:37 PM   #17
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Great idea, FF, to mix colors of sand - I have the "peppered" look in one of my ARLC tanks and it is excellent for camouflage.

I did not intend to single you out, FF, regarding sand down the drain. It is just something I did not think about until I started using my python with sand tanks, and I thought it was worth mentioning for those considering sand, since it could really create a plumbing headache.
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Old 05-02-2005, 07:55 PM   #18
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I didn't think you were TG. I just figured that I'd throw it in there that if you use the garden hose, then you don't have to worry about the drain. I understand that if you suck sand down the kitchen sink or bathroom tub, that it can cause major headaches. We just use the garden hose because it has a better suction power than any of the other faucets in the house. And when you are trying to do a 25% water change in a 150 gal tank, you want the best pull you can get. Otherwise you'll sit there for 25 minutes while it drains.
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