Question about sand as a substrate. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question about sand as a substrate.

I really like the look of natural or play sand as a substrate in a planted tank but I have heard that it is not a very good cap for dirt. Im getting ready to set up a new 29 gallon tank and would like to use the sand as a substrate. I wasent sure if it was possible to cap other substrates such as eco complete or fluorite with sand or if there was any way to grow good plants in straight sand. I am also still considering dirt. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 05:50 PM
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Sand as a substrate is not the best, but it can work.
Sand does not hold fertilizers the way better substrates do.

You will have to test each material to see what stays on top of what, but I have found a couple of general rules:
Fine stuff will sink through coarse materials (obvious example: sand will sink through gravel)
Heavy stuff will sink through light stuff (Sand will end up at the bottom if it is used to cap a lighter material)

If you decide to use sand, use pool filter sand. It behaves much better in an aquarium. Uniform particle sizes do not compact, this allows water to flow through bringing oxygen and water column ferts to the roots.
Use slow release root tablets.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 06:06 PM
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I used play sand in my tank. It worked great. The only downside is that you have to rinse out all the clay from it. Tedious but cheap.

Opportunity is often missed because it's dressed in coveralls and looks like work.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-14-2012, 01:43 AM
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Yes, it is possible to cap Eco or organic miracle gro with sand.
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