How to maximize using Sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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How to maximize using Sand?

Hi there,

New to the forums, and been to many actually countless other forums for fish advice and planted tanks.

I have my first planted tank in a 10g, with silver tip tetras and GS. Currently I have only a few plants, sand substrate and driftwood.

How would I maximize the sand substrate so that the plants will grow healthy, green and big? I know some forums discuss how sand is the worse possible substrate for plants cause it does not hold enough oxygen for the plants to feed off of.

What are your opinions about that?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 07:21 PM
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my 37 gallon is 2 mm gravel seeded with plant microballs and root tabs capped with kiln dried sand and works a treat sorry about bad pic quality
Attachment 42952

40 gallon dirt tank
5 Gallon planted bonsai dirt tank
1 Bearded Dragon ''Spyro''
Normal Leopard Gecko ''Shadow''
Super hypo tangerine baldy carrot tail leopard gecko ''Moon''
2 whites tree frogs ''Ying and Yang''
1 Royal Python ''Neptune''
1 Veiled Chameleon '' Yoshi''

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inactive33 View Post
Hi there,

New to the forums, and been to many actually countless other forums for fish advice and planted tanks.

I have my first planted tank in a 10g, with silver tip tetras and GS. Currently I have only a few plants, sand substrate and driftwood.

How would I maximize the sand substrate so that the plants will grow healthy, green and big? I know some forums discuss how sand is the worse possible substrate for plants cause it does not hold enough oxygen for the plants to feed off of.

What are your opinions about that?
don't know what forum you were reading on but last i checked plants use CO2! Lol. that being said the thing you have to watch with sand is compaction and anaerobic gas pockets. thats really only if you have deep sand and those issues are easily corrected.

Really the biggest thing in any inert substrate would be to use root tabs

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 05:10 PM
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Correct. Sand is a bad substrate if it is too deep of a bed. It can compact and cause the roots to rot. Alot of people will use it as a capping material for soil, but if you're gonna do that, you better have your aquascape down on the first try, because once the roots form, you're basically done. If you cap soil with sand and try to re-scape, or pull any plants, you really run the risk of mixing soil and sand which is no-bueno for aesthetics or water quality. There are some killer aquascapes that can be done using only sand (about 1" deep), and non-rooted plants. If you stick with some mosses, java fern, anubias, and floaters, you can have a killer aquascape with no nutritious substrate necessary. That's what I do in my 75 gallon.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 05:28 PM
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hahaha I guess nobody has ever seen a deep sand bed.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html
http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/aq...-sand-bed.html
http://www.aquaworldaquarium.com/Art...ent_killer.htm
http://www.aquariacentral.com/forums...Sand-Beds-Work

you just don't stir up that deep sandbed

another way of tanking


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 11:57 PM
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Interesting wkndracer. I've definitely heard of deep sand beds in reef aquariums, and know of their excellent ability of denitrification. Never knew they were useful in that manner with freshwater tanks. But is denitrification as necessary in freshwater tanks? Hell, some people dose nitrate to ungodly levels. Plant mass alone can keep nitrate very low.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 05:15 PM
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Plants use CO2 when they are under lights. In the dark, they use O2. The plants also need O2 in the substrate around the roots, or the roots will rot.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 06:03 PM
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Sand that is pretty much all one particle size has better water flow than sand of mixed particle sizes.
Sand that is too fine has poor water flow.

Pool filter sand (around here, anyway) is a graded sand, the particles are 30 mesh, or about 1 mm in diameter. There is a small amount of dust, but very little. It works well in a tank as far as good water circulation through the substrate.

Play sand (around here, anyway) is a finer material, almost dust, and has mixed sizes of particles. It packs down in a tank and does not allow good water circulation through the root zone of the plants.

Poor water circulation means low oxygen in the root area, so anaerobic organisms can grow. Mostly we do not want these in the tank. Also, plant roots need oxygen, some plants actually move oxygen into the root area and release it into the substrate.

Sand does not hold fertilizers in a way that is good for plants. Finer materials like clay do hold nutrients for plants.

Best way to use sand:
Not too deep.
Pool filter sand: 1-2".
Play sand: I would not use it at all, but if you must, 1/2", and it is only decorative, not deep enough for planting. Rinse VERY thoroughly to try to get rid of the dust. (And you are throwing away as much as half the bag by rinsing- by the time you have rinsed it that well, you might as well go buy pool filter sand)
Add slow release fertilizer in the substrate. Add fertilizers to the water.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-05-2012, 03:26 PM
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Sand has never adversely affected my plant in any way shape of form.
I've never really understood why some people are so against it.
My sand goes pretty deep too in some places.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-06-2012, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips guys, Im testing out one of my 10g tanks with a mix of SAND and Flourish rocks too see how its going. From what I noticed, my 3 10g tanks. SAND, plants tend to not grow fast enough, my Flourish rocks, plants are healthier and green and the tank with both mix is the same as the flourish rocks one.

Kind looks cool with a mix of both sand and rocks.
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