Tips on sand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 05:16 AM Thread Starter
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Tips on sand

Are there any things I should watch out for with using sand. What's the best kind. I think I'm hooked and want to plant all of my tanks, but want to make each one look different. Next option sand!!!

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How comes shoppings so stupid, looks at all this stuff I haves, what do I do's with it.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 05:50 AM
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Start your search at either the local spa/pool center of the borg. I get mine from the local reptile store as I do not need much. Watch out for sand that contains shell. Any larger pebbles will rise to the surface with time but it is really great stuff. The corries are always sifting it. There is also a black sand used in sandblasting that I have never used.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 05:58 AM
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Sand for sandblasting can be quite sharp for some bottom dwelling fish. Most of the play sand is good. You can soak a teaspoon of sand in vinegar to make sure it's not bubbling (aragonite/calcium/limestone sand)
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 04:31 PM
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It seems that sand would also be good to mix with more nutrient-rich substrate, like flourite. I have a small group of corydorus julii (3) and just plain flourite but am thinking about mixing some play sand in there to make it not so abrasive --- I've heard it can damage their barbels.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 04:47 PM
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I have the black sand that you get from sandblasting places in my 75G, its called Black Beauty. NEver had any problems with it and my bottom dwellers are doing just fine. I am however thinking of changing it out and going to a tan/brown sand instead of the black.. I cant decide though. I like the black, but I have seen alot of scapes done in tan/brown and it looks good too... decisions decisions
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danmhippo
Sand for sandblasting can be quite sharp for some bottom dwelling fish. Most of the play sand is good. You can soak a teaspoon of sand in vinegar to make sure it's not bubbling (aragonite/calcium/limestone sand)
Vinegar is not strong enough to produce a reaction with many carbonate based materials. Use muriatic acid instead.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringram
It seems that sand would also be good to mix with more nutrient-rich substrate, like flourite. I have a small group of corydorus julii (3) and just plain flourite but am thinking about mixing some play sand in there to make it not so abrasive --- I've heard it can damage their barbels.
Ive got 3 in my tank also and im using 100% Flourite, no problems here.
Sand will eventually sink to the bottom and you'll be left with a top layer of flourite. I would just go with sand all the way if you are going to use it.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Vinegar is not strong enough to produce a reaction with many carbonate based materials. Use muriatic acid instead.
Huh? if whatever is in the sand does not dissolve in acetic acid (vinegar), should you even worry about testing it with muriatic acid? I doubt typical tank pH will ever get that low!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by danmhippo
Huh? if whatever is in the sand does not dissolve in acetic acid (vinegar), should you even worry about testing it with muriatic acid? I doubt typical tank pH will ever get that low!
Not true. You could take some of the harder carbonate based materials and put them in vinegar and you would get little or no obvious reaction in the short run. But over time you would notice that the piece of material was smaller.

Water is the universal solvent. And leaving the harder carbonates in the water for a week or two is going to raise the pH and hardness even when vinegar doesn't show a reaction.

Vinegar is actually a VERY weak acid. And many forms of carbonate are just hard enough to not show a strong reaction in a short amount of time.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 01:49 PM
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I see, thanks for clarification.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-21-2005, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc
Ive got 3 in my tank also and im using 100% Flourite, no problems here.
Sand will eventually sink to the bottom and you'll be left with a top layer of flourite. I would just go with sand all the way if you are going to use it.
This is also important because sand tends to compact over time, so you need to stir it up occasionally. I would think that this effect would be exacerbated by having the sand as a bottom layer under flourite. I would also not use any more than you need for whatever plants you're using.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-24-2005, 03:17 AM
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i wouldn't use sand... for my 10gallon, of course sand looks nice but it clouds up the water pretty bad... all the grains of sand are stuck in my AC200 and i basically have to clean the whole thing out and buy new cartridges and it hasn't even been 2 months... main reason for that is all the debris of sand in the water gets sucked by teh ac200... so it gets soaked into the carbon activated pouch as well as the sponge if it manages to ge tthrough... its really bad i would have to say.. (i used regular sand not play sand or anything-- general purpose sand)
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-24-2005, 05:23 AM
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Yeah, if your running a HOB filter, you have to make sure that the intake isn't close to the substrate or you could end up with a ruined impeller. That said, I've had no problems with the AC150 on my 20 long, which uses a sand substrate. All the plants in it are doing really well, too. I've used sand, flourite, and ecocomplete. Sand's fine if that's the look you want. You just have to take a little care with it.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-24-2005, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ringram
It seems that sand would also be good to mix with more nutrient-rich substrate, like flourite. I have a small group of corydorus julii (3) and just plain flourite but am thinking about mixing some play sand in there to make it not so abrasive --- I've heard it can damage their barbels.
I've seen that being quoted so many times, it's amazing.

Flourite really isn't that abrasive and I can show you plenty of pictures of some kept with it.

Have used playsand in the past (10 gallon) and am running pool filter sand right now. Has a nicer color (doesn't look as dirty ). Not too worry about compaction either since there's a ton of MTS in there right now.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-24-2005, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibn
... Has a nicer color (doesn't look as dirty ). Not too worry about compaction either since there's a ton of MTS in there right now.
"Doesn't look as dirty?" Where the heck does y'all's playsand come from? Around here the stuff is blindingly white!

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