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Old 09-29-2015, 10:20 PM   #1
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Sand or Gravel ?

Right now I have a light cream colored sand in half my tank and gravel in the other half. I want to switch to one or the other but can't decide. The debris from my driftwood created by my nerite shows up very well on the light colored sand and doesn't look very good. I do weekly vacs but its pretty much littered in the next two days. The gravel hides the debris better. I do however have dwarf sag and water sprite planted in the the tank and wonder if the sand would be better for the plants. I will eventually get shrimp. Right now I have only platy and the nerite both of which don't think prefer one over the other. Any pros or cons I should consider? Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:26 PM   #2
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I recently started a tank with light colored sand and personally wouldn't do it again because of the debris like you mention. I have no problem with dwarf sag growing in standard gravel, I can't imagine there would be an issue with water sprite.
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Old 09-29-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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Are you open to trying a dark colored sand substrate? Won't show the nasty stuff (as much) and does not trap it either. Fine for plants and/or shrimp.
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Old 09-30-2015, 12:37 AM   #4
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I've used white sand before and won't use it again. It's beautiful at first but like said the detritus is like a bug on a white car.

Black sand makes everything pop better.


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Old 09-30-2015, 03:59 AM   #5
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I only ever recommend sand. Yeah, random crap (literally) sits on top and can be an eyesore, but look at it as a reminder to do water changes and break out the gravel vac. Also, since everything sits on top, you know when you got everything. Whereas with gravel detritus can be trapped and rot away, messing with water quality. If you really don't want to be able to see detritus, try Tahitian moon sand. And if you're on a budget, a lot of people here use black blasting sand from tractor supply and they swear by it
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Old 09-30-2015, 06:51 AM   #6
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I like the look of sand more but the waste that sits on it is too much.
During water changes the whole tank hetts blurry from sands floating around for a while.
Plus it gets sucked into my filters and damages them.

These days I just stick with gravel. So much easier for me.

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Old 09-30-2015, 09:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input! If I totally change out the substrate will it crash my bio filter? ~J
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Old 09-30-2015, 10:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sealife View Post
I like the look of sand more but the waste that sits on it is too much.
During water changes the whole tank hetts blurry from sands floating around for a while.
Plus it gets sucked into my filters and damages them.

These days I just stick with gravel. So much easier for me.

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That must be some fine grade sand? In like 10 different tanks with sand of varying brands I've never experienced this unless just dumping water onto it.

Also my cichlid tank with bigger fish is really the only one I commonly actually see waste sitting there.

Maybe it's just me lol


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Old 09-30-2015, 04:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input! If I totally change out the substrate will it crash my bio filter? ~J

Nearly all of your effective working bacteria is in your filter so you shouldn't get a mini cycle when swapping out substrate. Feed on the light side for a few days just to make sure.


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