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Old 10-09-2004, 06:21 PM   #1
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Sand vs Gravel

What are the pros and cons of sand and gravel as a substrate? Which has the lower maintenance requirements (if any). any help appreciated

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Old 10-09-2004, 08:57 PM   #2
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I have had sand and gravel both. I switched to sand mainly for my corys. I like the sand better. It looks better to me, and it seems like the guck (food, poo) stay on top of the substrate and makes for easier cleaning as opposed to sinking into the gravel.
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Old 10-09-2004, 10:06 PM   #3
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The sand will eventually compact , creating anerobic spots which are bad for plant roots , & toxic gas pockets will eventually form . To get around this , you will have to occasionally disturb the sand throughout the tank to prevent this compacting .

On the plus side , it's much easier to vacumn all the waste off the surface of the sand than it is with gravel .

Overall , I'd say that a sand substrate will require more maintenance than a gravel one . But sand does look pretty cool .
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Old 10-10-2004, 09:25 AM   #4
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I love sand for the way it looks, and to me, gravel has to be disturbed with a gravel vac, or you get piles of gunk collecting in it, so it is the same difference. You just don't use your gravel vac in quite the same way.

I take my hand (or just the gravel vac tube) and wave it around over the surface of the water, and the mulm swirls around so I can catch it. About once a month I dig around in the sand, like Canukfan mentioned, to keep it aerated. Plants will do this for you, as will Malaysian Trumpet Snails, which reside in the sand and come out at night.

You need to protect your filter from loose sand particles, as it will damage it, but over time the sand does not tend to circulate in the water at all. I use an AC mini filter sponge over my intake instead of the strainer for the first few months in a sand tank.
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Old 10-10-2004, 12:39 PM   #5
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I agree with everyone else the sand looks great in a tank.
Thats what I have in my 180gal Oscar tank.
It is easy to keep clean and just needs a stir every now and then.
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:42 PM   #6
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my bottom creatures like sand better, because they can dig around in it or rest comfortably. i have horseface loaches who spend all their time lolling in the sand with only their heads sticking out. it's so cute!!!
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Old 10-14-2004, 03:45 PM   #7
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Make sure, however, to give it a good rinse beforehand.
It can take quite a while for the dust storms to abate. Jeff
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:28 PM   #8
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Where do you get the sand from? (Play sand from HD)
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Old 10-16-2004, 02:24 PM   #9
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You can get sand from home depot or toys r us. Some people use pool filter sand, available from any pool supply store. I wanted white sand, so I used quartz sand from the hardware store.
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