Adding sand to substrate...? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2003, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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After all the talk about substrate (or so it seems), I have been thinking about my own! All I have in my tank is gravel and flourite (with some random Jobe's sticks). It is not the deepest, I can see 1-2" in the front and 3-4" in the back.... I was thinking of adding some sand, since I have been reading that it really helps with the plants roots, which ultimatly adds to their health.

I mostly thought of this when I saw the black Tahitian Tropical Moon sand (or whatever it is called)! I could add some (20 lbs?) of that to my tank and mix it in with the gravel.. Is the Tahitian sand stuff just regular sand except it is black, or is it somwhat of a "flourite for gravel" except for sand? What do you think about adding some to my tank?

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2003, 09:32 PM
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Go for it, man. I recently added Home Depot Play sand to my 15g quarantine tank and the roots have responded in astonishing fashion! They are even better than in my 70% fluorite 55g planted tank!

- Sam P -
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2003, 10:02 PM
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Tahitian Moon Sand is awesome !!!
I have a bag of the moon sand sitting right next to me and it is going to be in the 56G Angel tank... this stuff is so beautiful and will not effect PH values at all. It *glistens* under lighting and is jet black !!

None of the sands have any nutritional values whatsoever...basically you are chosing the color/grain size when you chose your sand. I am using the cheapo playsand in my 30 and it is awesome ...plants root like no tomorrow and this stuff is very fine...
I was worried about the "compacting factors " but no problems now and none in the future are foreseen.

There are some sands that will raise the PH so again be careful when chosing. But I love using the sand and have no regrets at all... If you rinse it well it will be an easy , clean transformation. Since your tank is established allready just rinse it well and keep adding it slowly over entire bottom...when I add sand to my tank I use a 2 Cup size bowl...fill it with sand and SLOWLY lower it to bottom of tank and pour it around plant stems or wherever I need it. Very little dust enters water column that way...if the tank clouds a little ... do not worry it will clear overnight.
If I were you though I wouldnt even bother trying to mix it in , just put a nice layer over and it will eventually go in by itself.
And if you are going to order the Moon Sand.....
I wouldnt want one grain disappearing into the substrate ! Its just to pretty ... :hehe:
They split my order and only sent me the 1 bag of Moon Sand on Saturday...the 60lbs of AragAlive will be here tomorrow...

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-10-2003, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like it is a go-ahead plan once I tell my parents (though they have the authority to veto these kinds of things). I willd definitely be using play sand at least, but would like to use the moon sand if I can get some. I will look around locally to see if they have some first (probably not). I think what I will do is add it to my tank and just pull the plants up to make up for the deeper substrate.

Any suggestions on how much to use for my 55 gallon? Will 1, 2, ?? 20 lb bags work... I can't wait to add it! Just sitting here for my CO2 regulator!

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 02:10 AM
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AAARRRGGGHHH!! Why do you guys do this to me! Now I have to have this stuff. Black monn sand would look so cool over my red flourite. and around my rocks. I'm going to order a bag.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Lol! If it makes the tank healthier, there isn't much argument towards that.... I saw some at my LFS after music lessons and the price was outrageous!! $37 a bag (20 lbs)!!! I am getting it half-price from the same place Buck ordered it!

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 11:02 AM
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Ok sand type people, how do you add the sand to an existing tank? I'd think that the sand would cloud the water as you added it to the subtrate. Maybe it the sand is already wet it's easier to work with?

Buggers, I guess I'll add sand to the list of items I still need. I'm going out at lunch to look for flourite and fert sticks so I can work on the substrate tonight.

Tom

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 02:07 PM
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Wich grain size decides if it is sand or gravel? I got some sand/gravel in my 30 gal, but is 40-90 mm in grain size sand? The plant are very healthy(except) my sword, and the roots looks very good.

Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est - Life is more than just to be alive

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 04:41 PM
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I think the best way to add sand to an established tank is to use a clear hard plastic tube. You can buy various sized diameters at your local fish store and hardware stores. Anyway put the tube in your tank so the tube is touching the bottom of your tank and pour the sand down the tube onto your existing gravel.
Works great....
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Like Buck said, if you lower it into the water slowly with a cup and then pour it, it is easier and less messy. I found this out when I was adding flourite to my tank, the key is SLOWLY!! If you took some water from the tank and put it into the cup (via a turkey baster, or any other method) that would probably help.

Sand would definitely not be 40-90 mm, since that is a bit less than 0.5-1 cm, and a cm is way too big. 1 mm might be very coarse sand, otherwise I am not sure.

Looks like I'll be ordering the Tahitian Moon sand from fostersmith. I can also get my pH controller calibration fluid from them quite conveniently!

Any idea on much much to use again? I know I want at least 2 bags, but 3 bags (60 lbs) be too much? Any ideas here?

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-11-2003, 09:01 PM
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Tim I doubt that you would use 3 full bags ... I would start with 2 since you are only "decorating" with it...at 17$ a bag it isnt a cheap decoration... :hehe:

They only delivered me 1 bag of the AragAlive substrate today and the other 2 are in route somewhere but this stuff is almost as black as the Moon Sand !
I had emailed them for list of ingredients in the substrate... sounds Iron rich which is what I was hoping for... here is the physical makeup...

Dear Glenn,
Thank you for your email regarding the AragAlive Planted Aquarium Substrate. The make up of the AragAlive Planted Aquarium Substrate is as follows:

iron 141625.02ppm
magnesium 23116.30ppm
calcium 33065.61ppm
potassium 5296.37ppm
zinc 77.78ppm
sulfur 360.81ppm
manganese 975.71ppm
sodium 12910.97ppm
aluminum 43152.08ppm
silicon 4498.92ppm
chromium 278.09ppm
cobalt 33.41ppm
barium 336.91ppm
strontium 278.09ppm
nickel 32.80ppm
titanium 4486.78ppm
vanadium 239.01ppm
lithium 8.37ppm
boron 2.26ppm
cadmium 1.61ppm


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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-12-2003, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well, my main concern is actually NOT decoration, but improving the contact the plants' roots have with the substrate, so for healthier growth ultimately. I am also doing it because it looks nice, but probably wouldn't do it if there weren't health benefits...

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-13-2003, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SNPiccolo5I am getting it half-price from the same place Buck ordered it!
What place is that?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-13-2003, 07:49 PM
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http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...=6&pCatId=3753 <----- This is the link

They have just about anything you need for a good substrate , prices could be beat elsewhere on some items but I couldnt find the AraqAlive Planted Substrate anywhere else...
Im STILL waiting on 2 bags , this is the only thing Im waiting for to get my 56G cycling , everything else is here and ready !
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2003, 01:07 AM
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Buck why are you cycling a planted tank? No need to cycle it. Just set it up. Load it with a bunch of fast growing stem plants, and turn on the lights. In about three days start adding your algae crew - Ottos, Amano Shrimp, and so on. About a week after that start adding your other fish. You will never see any ammonia, or nitrite. In fact you might find yourself adding nitrate in a week or two in order to keep the plant growth going. It's called a silent cycle. Be sure however to add some mulm or gravel from an established tank or even filter media.
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