ESTES sand as planted substrate?
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:00 AM   #1
Bonsai
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ESTES sand as planted substrate?


Hi All-

I recently converted my 29g to a planted tank and I'd like to make my 120g planted also. However, the 120g has Estes Sand as a substrate and I was wondering if anyone used that before for planted. It's not as fine as play sand ... more similar to the Tahition Moon Sand in my 45g. I did have a generic Amazon Sword in there at one point and it seemed to have rooted well .... until I put in that darn apple snail! I will have pressurized CO2 and I currently have the Aqualight Freshwater 260w (48") lamp on it with the Plantguild Power Reactor. I think that I may need to add root tabs (or Jobes - if I can find them) because there are no nutrients in the sand, right?
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Old 09-04-2004, 04:05 PM   #2
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Never heard of that sand. Take some dry sand and pour vinagar on it to see if it will change ph.
Make sure the depth isnot to deep or you may get anerobic pockets
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Old 09-04-2004, 04:38 PM   #3
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I mixed black Estes Marine sand with my Eco Complete in my 29 gallon and it works fine. It does not raise Ph in the long term, although I had a bit of a row over this with an online fish company (they have on the add "raises ph" but I was informed otherwise by a lfs and after using it, find it to not raise ph (I have very soft water, kh of 1). However, I would advise mixing with Eco-Complete or some other more plant-useful substrate.
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Old 09-04-2004, 09:27 PM   #4
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The sand doesn't alter the PH at all ..... I've Estes sand for years now so I know that it doesn't do that. My concern was whether the plants would root well in the sand. Though I'd hate to mix flourite with the sand, it appears that that is what I must do (as suggested by PISCESGIRL). Unfortunately the Estes is a marine blue color (got it really cheap!) and I have a few bags of red flourite to toss in there. It'll look completely unnatural but the green foliage, surprisingly, stands out well against the blue.
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:27 PM   #5
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MIXING flourite with sand in my opinion is not a good idea as you will have a mess.
Possibly having the flourite as a bottem layer yes. Mixing eco complete yes. I think if you ever decided to moove suff around you would have a huge algae outbreak
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:58 PM   #6
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I've spilled flourite in the sand before (potted plant) and it has always managed to rise above the in short time. I figure that I will that problem to contend with. But this (potential) algae outbreak doesn't sound too pretty. What is your logic for the algae outbreak? I'm new at this so I just don't understand. I only plan on mixing 75% sand vs 25% flourite.
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Old 09-10-2004, 09:12 PM   #7
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Please help me!!

Is the CaribSea Aragamax Reef (fine, oolitic) sand safe for Corydoras freshwater fish? I added about 1 inch to my freshwater, 46 gallon tank (15lbs of Estes, 30lbs of Aragamax). Itís extremely cloudy right now so I canít add fish to begin a cycle yet. I'm worried because it's been hours and it hasn't gotten any less cloudy. Can you suggest a way to clear-up the water? Someone told me on a forum that the cloudiness is most likely due to the sand buffering the KH up and that Iíll have a harder time keeping plants and some fish with this sand. Is this true? Why? Should I switch to a less fine sand? Lastly, when I move ornaments in my tank I get dust clouds. If I have small glider fish like Cory Cats on the sand will their gliding/wobbling around cause then to kick up dust clouds behind them?

Please reply soon. Thanks for your help in advance.
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Old 09-10-2004, 10:23 PM   #8
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I don't have experience w/ the CaribSea Aragamax Reef but I've used play sand (from Home Depot) which is very fine also. The cloudiness took several days to clear completely.

You should start a new new thread about the Caribsea Ara. so others (who may have used it) can add their input more readily.
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Old 09-10-2004, 10:51 PM   #9
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I'm lazy... with a plan... I got one hose sucking out water while the other hose puts water in... clearing it all up really fast and it's rinsing out the sand in it's only little way. I even got the water level to stay put while it does this change. It may take hours but I'd rather that then weeks. I'll post a new thread with an update.
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