Which Type of Sand and Why? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2004, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Which Type of Sand and Why?

OK I've read and studied about adding sand to your DIY CO2 energized tank. I have some questions and am looking for advice.

I have different kinds of sand here in Wisconsin that I can purchase ...

Play Sand @ $1.98 for a 50lb bag
Tube Sand @ $3.89 for a 70 lb bag [whatever Tube Sand is?]
Silica Sand @ $2.96 for a 50 lb bag
Blasting Sand @ $4.99 for a 50 lb bag [for sand blasting]
All Purpose Sand @ $2.99 for a 50 lb bag
Black Blast Sand @ $4.39 for a 50 lb bag
[I believe "black blast sand" is like "Black Beauty" for sand blasting]

I personally like silica sand, it looks the nicest but am wondering if it is too fine for holding down plants?

Play sand looks dirty and somewhat mixed with small gravel.

What I want to do is set up a couple of tanks with peet moss [very thin bottom layer], laterite [next middle layer] and sand of about 2.5" to 3" deep for the top layer.

I would like to hear some feedback and personal results.

Thanks ahead of time guys ...

O and here's the specs for setup tanks

Tank 1

10 Gallon
DIY Canopy with 45 watts of full spectrum lighting
DIY CO2 with small DIY reactor / diffuser
Aqua Clear Power Filter

Tank 2

30 Gallon High
DIY Canopy with 60 watts of full spectrum lighting
DIY CO2 with DIY reactor / diffuser
Whisper Power Filter
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 08:55 AM
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Id stay away from the silica sand as silcates feed diatoms which can become a real problem ( http://imageevent.com/audiomaster/algae/ ) I also think it would be too fine, not just for holding down plants, but would compact over time and cause nasty sludge in the substrate.

Id just stick to small gravel or fluorite, or if you really wanted to use sand, you could mix it with one of those two.

The day we would limit ourselves or adapt to the music scene, is the day Opeth dies. -Mikael Akerfeldt
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotaylor
Id stay away from the silica sand as silcates feed diatoms which can become a real problem ( http://imageevent.com/audiomaster/algae/ ) I also think it would be too fine, not just for holding down plants, but would compact over time and cause nasty sludge in the substrate.

Id just stick to small gravel or fluorite, or if you really wanted to use sand, you could mix it with one of those two.

What?

Please back this up. It's the first I have ever heard of this and I have silica sand in my tanks. In fact all my tanks are made from silica sand.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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What do you guys recommend for the additives / nutrients to the silica sand [which I personally like best].

I have read about mixing flourite with sand, eco-complete with the sand and even adding plant stakes or plant tabbs to sand.

What I would like to do is keep the sand clean. I really don't want to mix it with larger grains of gravel [flourite or eco complete] ... I thought about a bottom layer or peat moss, next level to be laterite and then top layered with sand.

Any Feedback???
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2004, 07:35 PM
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He is right about Silica Sand, but it applys more towards saltwater as it is not as much of an issue in freshwater.

Personally I use playsand and I am very happy with it. It does not look dirty and looks real, i.e. real river/lake bottom.

The coloring is good and the mix w/ small gravel really comes out nice.

125 Gallon AGA w/ Overflows
Filtration: Ehiem 2026 Filter, Dual "Ghetto" Overflow Internal Filters
Lighting: 1x96W Current USA CF - 2x96W Generic CF
Co2: Pressurized Co2 - Rex Grigg Regulator, SMS 122, and Rex Grigg Reactor.
Plants: Pogostemon yatabeanus, Foxtail, Bacopa, Egeria najas, Anubius, E. 'Ozelot Red', Ranalisma rostrata, Hornwort, Rotala Indica, Ludwigia Repens, Vals, Cabomba, Lilly, MoneyWort
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 02:01 AM
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sand?

you forgot one sand . Pool filter sand . It is much larger grained than playsand so it will not get stirred up easily and stay in the water column.Costs about 7.00 for 50lbs available at pool and spa supply stores.. It does not need alot of washing, does not compact much if at all . Iwould use this and seachem onyx sand (black) in my next tank for a nice look and trace elements in the substrate.
Here is a macro shot i took on a penny.
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Ps I have it in two tanks right now and I love it.

Newest Tank
16G Aquastar High Tech
Milwaukee Co2 and PH controller
Co2 Art inline difuser
36 Watts Nicrew Led Mod.
Seachem Onyx sand
Botia Kubotai and dwarf rainbows
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
What?

Please back this up. It's the first I have ever heard of this and I have silica sand in my tanks. In fact all my tanks are made from silica sand.

Rex,
I had a hell of a time with diatoms during the first month of my tanks establishment ( here's the thread from the algae forum https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7241 ) and traced it to silicates. As soon as I stopped using Fullertons tap water for my water changes, which is swimming with silicates and millions of other weird particles im sure, they went away. Now for all I know, it could have been a completely different problem (you can read the thread and give me your thoughts about it) but silicates are the devil to me now so I would just naturally shy away from silica sand. But as enchanted said, this could just be a problem with salt water, especially if you use it in all your tanks as you said, Rex.

The day we would limit ourselves or adapt to the music scene, is the day Opeth dies. -Mikael Akerfeldt
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 04:12 AM
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I would think there is a huge difference between dissolved silicates in the water vs silicates in the sand. And like I said glass is made from silica sand. So if having silica in the tank is going to cause diatom algae I think we would all have acrylic tanks.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 09:04 PM
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Running the following for my 10G.

1" of peat, 2" of fluorite, and finally 2" of playsand to top it off. Works pretty well right now. In the process of setting up a 90G and will probably run a similar setup, but with less fluorite and more sand.

That pool filter sand looks pretty nice and I might have to take a further look into it.

Eric


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-31-2004, 10:51 PM
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why do you have 5 inches of substrate in a 12 inch high tank....
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 01:32 AM
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Started out w/just around 3" (1" of peat and 2" of fluorite), but the glosso wouldn't stay put so I topped it off w/an additional 2" of sand. Makes it a lot easier to plant all of the foreground plants so far, from glosso to Hemianthus callichtroides.

I also wanted the depth for the crypts.

Eric


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 11:54 AM
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But the sand will fall to the bottom over-time, so the flourite is going to show. How do you solve this problem, as I plan to use black sand and want to use Flourite under-neath it without having to see the Flourite ever so often. Do you simply use enough sand to "submerge" the Flourite in it?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-01-2004, 03:55 PM
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Depthwise, I have the same amount of sand as I do fluorite (2"). It's been doing well and there's no apparent mixing of the two. I've done a couple of total overhauls on the tank (including moving crypts with deep root systems) and it still looks the way it does when I started. I've just been real careful when I do so and pull the plants out slowly.

Eric


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-03-2004, 02:26 AM
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i recommend you get pool filter sand....it looks great and the grain is bigger than those on your list

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