Sand as top-off, will it compact with fluorite?
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:18 PM   #1
BrianD
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Sand as top-off, will it compact with fluorite?


I'm planning out my 105 gallon, and I cannot really find the answer I'm looking for through PT search. I plan to use sand from HD, not sure as to the color or type (blasting sand or pool sand) and will go on top of fluorite original color. I assume I'll use about a 1/2" of sand.

Here's my loaded question. Will the sand eventually sink down below the fluorite and potentially become compacted, or will the sand stay on top? Or should I mix the sand with the fluorite at the top 1-2"? I plan to only do this at the front where it is visible and will use the foreground plants. Ultimately, I'll use laterite mixed with fluorite and the bottom inch or so for the whole aquarium bottom, then a layer of just fluorite, then capped off with sand just at the front for visual, any suggestions would be great. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:36 PM   #2
greaser84
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That sand will eventually mix with the flourite. Every time you go to replant or your fish start digging it will show the bottom layer of substrate. I suggest if you want to have sand in the front make a barrier between the flourite and sand, and just use sand in the front. That's the best way to prevent mixing imo.
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Old 06-28-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
That sand will eventually mix with the flourite. Every time you go to replant or your fish start digging it will show the bottom layer of substrate. I suggest if you want to have sand in the front make a barrier between the flourite and sand, and just use sand in the front. That's the best way to prevent mixing imo.
Thanks greaser,
Knowing my past history with planted aquariums, I change things up a lot especially at the beginning, so it looks like I'll need to plan on the substrate mixing up. So is it typical that the sand will just settle below the fluorite, because it's smaller, or will it typically just mix in and stay consistent? Also, from what I read, the sand provides a good way of holding down small cut stem plants with no roots yet so they don't uproot, correct? If this is the case, I'll probably want to mix sand in at the rear as well for the taller background stem plants.
When you mention barrier, would this be a piece of 3" approx. acrylic siliconed to the bottom of the aquarium? I thought about that and I may just do that. Anyway, still brainstorming at this point. Thanks.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:02 PM   #4
greaser84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianD View Post
Thanks greaser,
Knowing my past history with planted aquariums, I change things up a lot especially at the beginning, so it looks like I'll need to plan on the substrate mixing up. So is it typical that the sand will just settle below the fluorite, because it's smaller, or will it typically just mix in and stay consistent? Also, from what I read, the sand provides a good way of holding down small cut stem plants with no roots yet so they don't uproot, correct? If this is the case, I'll probably want to mix sand in at the rear as well for the taller background stem plants.
When you mention barrier, would this be a piece of 3" approx. acrylic siliconed to the bottom of the aquarium? I thought about that and I may just do that. Anyway, still brainstorming at this point. Thanks.
Here's what to expect, the first pic is the front of the tank where the sand hasn't fallen through all the way, the second pic is the back corner where the sand has disappeared completely. The main cause of this was me, I'd constantly move plants and the roots would pull up the floramax on the bottom. I didn't try to mix the sand and floramax when I was setting up the tank, I just put the floramax down and capped it with 1 inch of sand. Its always easier to plant in sand whether its a small cutting or a big plant, however its not impossible to plant cuttings in a larger substrate. The 3rd picture is something I found as an example of how someone used hardscape like lava rock to create a barrier, but any thin plastic will do, just make sure its not visible.
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:32 PM   #5
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Thank you greaser84, I think the separation of sand and substrate is probably the best idea for now in lieu of mixing. I appreciate the help.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:31 AM   #6
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There are several options for separating the materials.
I generally use a row of rocks, built up like a rock wall, and use expanding foam filler as mortar. There is a black expanding foam sold for ponds that works well and looks good. Almost vanishes when it is used right.
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