Sand on top of gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 03:26 AM Thread Starter
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Sand on top of gravel?

Hey all, I have a question: is it possible to put a sand cap on top of a layer of gravel and for it to stay there? I'm thinking specifically of putting a white sand cap on top of 3" of EcoComplete, so I can have the benefits of good foundation plus the looks of white sand.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 04:54 AM
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Yes, sand will just fall down in cracks between larger substrate. But as with all things sand I wouldnít go over 2Ē total for both. Also donít use a sand smaller than a average of about 1mm or larger.

HTH pool sand on left here fine, other on right is a no go.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:08 PM
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Is there a reason you want 3 or 4 inches of substrate? If you are trying to build terrain features into your aquascape you may want to consider adding mesh bags of pea gravel or lava rock, you can cover it with plastic window screen and then put sand on top of that. It won't fall down into the lava rock that way. Easiest way to get terrain features. If you have 4 or so inches of sand in your tank (which is ultimately what will happen if you put sand ontop of eco-complete - the sand will just filter down into the cracks and it will effectively be 4 inches of sand) then you risk blocking off all water circulation into your substrate which in turn can cause bacteria to begin dying that live there. Later the substrate is disturbed and all the dead bacteria are released at once which can cause all manner of badness to affect your fish.
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