Play sand substrate questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Play sand substrate questions

I have a 250 litre tank, looking gorgeous but because of the over abundance of fry atm I'm really struggling to keep the bottom looking nice. We put a couple of shrimp in that promptly disappeared to the back and were rarely seen again. Then 2 crabs that were suggested by my aquatics centre. Again the have gone hiding somewhere leaving the mess at the front still untouched. We have a pleco as well. So surely I should be covered for bottom feeders? (Even though as I haven't seen the shrimp in a week now I'm guessing they may have passed on...)

I absolutely LOVE the look of a natural sand bottom but am really struggling with how to maintain it without huge amounts of work. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 12:09 PM
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Is this a planted tank? What type of fish do you keep?

But at my LFS they said...
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 02:11 PM
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I would suggest getting some MTS to burrow in the sand and keep it aerated. As far as cleaning the bottom, I have some cory cats and loaches that keep mine vacuumed and clean.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-15-2012, 04:29 PM
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I suggest going black sand ! The poop blends right in!

Or.. go for the river bed bottom look and mix light/dark sand together. That way the poop semi blends in :3

Fish Shrimp tanks are like cups of coffee, one is never enough.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 07:29 AM Thread Starter
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This is a planted tank, Whickerda. Couldn't tell you what kind of plants but a really nice variety and a lot of them. Sooo beautiful! We only have live bearers in the tank other than the bottom feeders mentioned. The population is a bit out of control at the moment which isn't helping so need to look at getting something more aggressive to help...er....take care of some of my fry.

I've seen a lot of people on here praising the virtue of MTs so will definitely look into that, and yeah, Diwu, good idea about mixing the sands. Would still look natural but the poop will be less obvious.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 08:42 AM
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What's on the sand that you are trying to get rid of? If we're talking about actual fish poop bottom feeders don't eat that.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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It's a combination of poo, plant detrius and probably a bit of excess food. Poo is vacuum only then I guess?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 03:41 PM
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Yeah, I think so. I have play sand in several tanks and have the same problem.

Mine are infested with MTS and it doesn't help. I occasionally get patches where the sand under the top layer gets black. I just suck the discolored sand out with the gravel vac. I figure play sand is Cheap if I need to add more. Do you get that too? I have baby Mollies everywhere too lol
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 05:49 PM
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Decaying detritus and poo will not be appetizing to most bottom feeders. It's tough to keep sand only bottoms clean. Really you gotta just vacuum, vacuum, and keep on vacuuming.

I only occasionally vacuum the bottom btw. I have a mixture of flourite, kitty litter, pea gravel, and sand for a substrate and my tanks are loaded with MTS. I just let the stuff fall in the cracks and get mixed in unless a bad buildup develops then I just vacuum that spot.

Many people would not like the appearance of my substrate though. My philosophy is that if people are looking at the substrate then there must not be anything interesting in the water column to look at and I'm doing something wrong.

But at my LFS they said...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Whicker, your tanks are gorgeous! And I actually really love the look of your substrate as it looks so natural!! I think maybe I need to re-evaluate my substrate and add a bit more of a mix to make it not so obvious when there is poo. But kitty litter?? I would have thought it just turned kinda like concrete in the tank??

Oh, and total newbie question...but are MTSs the kind that come in on my live plants? Or can those be anything?

@Angel, I definitely get that think with the black stuff in the sand. Thought it was just me or the bags I got. And yeah, I just hoover it out but am thinking I need something slightly lower maintenance!!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-16-2012, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Oh nvm about the MTS. Just looked it up and it's definitely not the kind of snail that came in on my plants!
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