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Old 02-13-2004, 03:28 AM   #1
dogg76
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i put a one inch layer of play sand over my gravel and was wondering if this would cause any problems?
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Old 02-13-2004, 12:50 PM   #2
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Nope, I use playsand all the time. It helps with planting small plants like glosso. It is inert so it won't help or harm your nutrient levels.
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Old 02-13-2004, 04:09 PM   #3
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Using this in the 5G that I just recently set up for cuttings. I've used it in the past before without any problems, and decided to stratified the substrate (had leftover fluorite and lots of Canadian peat). Bottom 1/4" peat, next 1/2" fluorite, topped by a 1" playsand. Gonna start tossing in the MTS (from other tank) in the next couple of days.
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Old 02-13-2004, 06:25 PM   #4
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what are mts? i have some kind of small snails with a shell shaped kind of like a dunce cap. they burrow in the sand. are these helpful? also what do you dou about the fish poop that just sits on the surface of the sand? i was thinking of putting some more gravel over the sand in some spots so the poo would have a place to go.
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Old 02-13-2004, 06:47 PM   #5
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MTS are Malaysian trumpet snails, which is similar to what you described. They're great for stirring up the sand and work the mulm down to the bottom where it is available for plants to uptake through their roots.

I haven't even bothered to do anything with any fish poop, which I really don't see as the tank is farely heavily planted and the fish that I tend to keep are relatively small. I would just leave it alone since the digging MTS will just slowly move it through the sand.
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Old 02-15-2004, 05:38 AM   #6
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what about gas pockets? i have the sand over a 2 inch layer of gravel. the gravel has been in the tank for over a year. does this prevent water circulation through the gravel bed? could it create anaerobic bacteria? also how many snails do u think it would take to keep the sand stirred up? sorry for all the questions.....just dont want to create harmful conditions in my tank.....guess i should have researched it more before i put it in. i like the way it looks though, the clown loaches and cory cats seem to like digging around in it.
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Old 02-15-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
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For gas pockets, I just went poking around the substrate after I filled it up to make sure that there were none. The sand will eventually work itself down into the lower reaches of the substrate since the grains are much smaller than plain gravel. You do have to worry about the sand compacting over time, but that's where the MTS comes in. They help turn the sand over and thereby aerating the sand bed. The amount of snails depend on the size of your bed, but even if you don't have enough, give it some time, since these guys breed like rabbits. Eventually you'll have enough that you'll start pulling some out.
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Old 02-16-2004, 02:49 AM   #8
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I have a 100% sand substrate and it works great.
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Old 02-17-2004, 09:13 PM   #9
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Urk what kind of plants do you have in your tank?

I was going to get florite but at 23.99 a bag it's kind of pricy.
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Old 02-17-2004, 10:14 PM   #10
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I have Crypts, anubias, cabomba, rotala, vals, ambulia, chain sword, Hygros. I have crypt wendii, spiralis, lucen, balansae. All roots are healthy.
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Old 02-17-2004, 11:11 PM   #11
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The one thing to watch is what the play sand is made from. In many coastal areas it's beach sand with salt and shell bits. Also in some areas of the country it's crushed coral or limestone.
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Old 02-18-2004, 02:40 AM   #12
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Yeah my sand is non calcareous. It is topdressing sand from my golf course, high quality.
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:54 PM   #13
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I just setup my tank a day ago. I put 2" of Flourite and 1 3/4" of PlaySand. I must say that it made planting easy! No fighting with the plants to keep them down there.

I kneed the sand a bit when I only had an inch or two of water in the tank to try and remove the air pockets. I was a little paranoid doing this as I didn't want to crack the bottom of the tank.

As others have mentioned, I've been warned that the Flourite will eventually mix with the sand and make it's way up as the sand is very fine.

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Old 02-19-2004, 02:11 PM   #14
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I use silica sand I got from the local sand blasting supply house. Very fine grain much like the 'pet store' colored sands. It comes in a very light tan or black. Looks really nice and it was $12.99 for a 50 lb bag.
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Old 02-21-2004, 10:21 PM   #15
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I use laterite and Playsand from Home Depot

Playsand, 50lbs. $2.50
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