White Substrate Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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White Substrate Question

Hi friends,

I have white pool filter sand now in my 90 gallon but looking for something that can hold plants like flourite but dont see any light colors. Any suggestions?

Thanks

PV
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 11:35 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "hold plants" I have pool filter sand in my aquarium, I don't have any complaints about it.

Standard 10 Gallon (20 x12x12).
Low tech, Sand substrate.
Eheim 2211, and Aqueon Quietflow 10.
Finnex Stingray LED, 20" above substrate
2 Anubias Nana Petite, Christmas moss.
4 Halequin Rasborahs, 5 RCS.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-18-2012, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a deep sand base maybe 1/2" or so, just to cover the bottom. I would like to root plants and thought sand was too soft for that?

Thanks for the reply.

PV
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedVirgin View Post
I don't have a deep sand base maybe 1/2" or so, just to cover the bottom. I would like to root plants and thought sand was too soft for that?

Thanks for the reply.

PV
I have rooted a few plants in black sand before. You need at least 1.5 inches I felt tho...

Come to think about it I did it in white sand as well... not that color matters lol. I HATED it... omg I constantly fought with algae tho and u really have to keep it clean... their poop makes a mess lol


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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I was looking for a light color flourite (or similar) substrate with nutrients like Eco-Complete but not finding anything. Even a very small pepple for aquariums.


Thanks, maybe more sand will do it.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-19-2012, 01:48 AM
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Go look at the local rock yards, landscape centers, masonry stores, soils places and so on. Get samples of anything that you like (Bring some little zip lock baggies and a sharpie pen to label them).
Then test the gravels and sands you find. Some lighter colored materials are limestone in origin, and may add too many minerals to the water (if you want to keep soft water fish).

Also, look in the swimming pool industry. There are quartz materials that are added to swimming pools to make them colorful. This material is aquarium safe, and very dense, it will hold the plants down quite well. It will look like a coarse sand. One of the brand names is Pebbletech.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 03:55 PM
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Sand tends to compact, becoming hard, and plant roots then have a difficult time breaking through it and spreading. When compacted it is also likely to go anaerobic.

Most sand is made of shells or coral, so it is very alkaline and will raise the pH, or made of quartz. They contain no OTHER minerals, and provide no nutritional value for plants. Unlike clay gravel, sea sand cannot absorb nutrients from the water, (CEC).

Quartz sand will not affect pH, but it does not provide any minerals that plants use, and it has very LOW CEC, the ability to attract nutrients from the water and hold them

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Last edited by Robert H; 07-22-2012 at 04:15 PM. Reason: forgot
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:09 PM
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"...reactor sand, runway traction sand, torpedo sand, pump sand, pool filter sand, play sand, sewage sand, mason sand..."
are all a silica/quartz type of sand.

If you get a graded product, all the particles are the same size, and this will not compact in an aquarium. Pool filter sand and blasting sand are the most commonly available products like this.
Play sand is a product with mixed sizes, and lots of fines. This is the one that will compact in the aquarium. It is generally safe to use 1" to 1-1/2", but by the time you get to 2" deep that is a bit risky.

Sand made from limestone, coral or similar origin is also available, and this is the material that will work in a marine tank or hard water fresh water tank (Rift Lake Cichlids are the most obvious example). These materials add minerals and carbonates to the water, and raise the pH. Aragonite Sand (found in fish stores) is one of the most commonly available products.

Many of the minerals in lava or other rocks are locked up in a way that they are not available to plants, so these materials are not really nutrient sources, even when the material has been ground into sand-sized bits.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:13 PM
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Here is a link to the Pebbletec company product line. If you can find a swimming pool contractor who installs these products you can probably get a few bags of whatever color you want. For a freshwater tank, I would not add the sea shell option.

http://www.pebbletec.com/products/pe...olor=jet-black
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 04:33 PM
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Cool Diana!

Quote:
Sand made from limestone, coral or similar origin is also available, and this is the material that will work in a marine tank or hard water fresh water tank (Rift Lake Cichlids are the most obvious example). These materials add minerals and carbonates to the water, and raise the pH. Aragonite Sand (found in fish stores) is one of the most commonly available products.
Why not just say "alkaline" instead of too much minerals! Its not like you can have too much iron! I get confused easily!

All minerals, even those in clay are oxidized and not readily available until organic acids break them down, but silica, quartz sand, has nothing for plants.

But if all you want is a rooting medium, plants will take root in ANYTHING. Glass wool...anything that root hairs can adhere to.

That Pebbletec is some nice looking gravel... Is it epoxy coated?

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Last edited by Robert H; 07-22-2012 at 05:07 PM. Reason: forgot
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