Easy questions - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Spanish Fork, Utah
Posts: 34
Easy questions

Is there a thread or can anyone tell me the basics of sand substrates?
How much to use?
What kind?
Minit is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 06-23-2012, 10:50 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Well, I think there was a thread about many different kinds of substrate, not just sand.

Sand (any sort) does not hold nutrients for the plants.

Fine sand or blended particle sizes tends to pack down, and the fine particles can drift up into the water and cloud it. Play sand is often like this.

Sand that has been sieved so the particles are pretty much all one size are less messy and allow better water movement through the substrate, and do not pack down. Pretty much all the sand and finest gravel sold in aquarium stores is like this. Of the non-aquarium sands some are like this, and are worth looking for.

Pool filter sand is one such good item. It is a local product, so varies in color. Local PFS in my area is off white with black specks. Usually this sand is graded to 30 mesh, or 30 grains per inch. Very close to 1 mm diameter.
Lapis Lustre is a large company and sells many different sized sands in bags, often available in rock or masonry yards. One of their products is actually called 'Aquarium sand'. That one is pretty coarse.
Blasting sand is the material used in sand blasting, and is another sand that has been graded so it is all one size.
A swimming pool material, not called sand, is a decorative quartz that is added to the interior finish and makes the walls of the pool different colors. An old product like this is Colorquartz, originally made by 3M. They do not make it any more, but similar material is still available. Talk to a pool contractor to find out more.

Sand is most often a silica type of material. This is neutral, has no effect on the water chemistry.
It is also possible to get material that is sand-like particle sizes, but will add minerals to the water. This is great if you want to keep hard water fish like most live bearers or Rift Lake Cichlids. Not great if you want to keep soft water fish.
Coral sand, oyster shell grit and limestone based sands are like this.
Diana is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome