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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Question Just sand?

Hi everyone...

While I'm new to this forum I have some experience with planted tanks. I have used laterite, big gravel, small river gravel and fluorite in the past with several degrees of success depending on the substrate and my experience. In this new tank, t first I thought about using fluorite and sand (per Buck's recipe...) but I do not want to find the sand in the bottom eventually as some people have reported.

So, I was wondering about using just sand and would like to listen from those who have gone this way.

I am about to set up a 20H tank with 2x65 watts & CO2 DIY supplementation.

Any input would be highly appreciated.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 10:47 PM
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Welcome to the Planted Tank!

Even though sand looks pretty in pictures, it is difficult to clean and keep clean, difficult to plant larger plants with positive buoyancy in it, and since it is sterile, has a low CEC, and allows for no nutrient exchange due to its tight packing it is a difficult substrate for plants too.

On the other hand, many ppl use it with good results! I am sure some will post them here as well.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-17-2004, 11:30 PM
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I too would like to go to sand in my rebuilt 20l, but was not sure if it was a decent method for growing plants.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 07:32 AM
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I use sand only in 2 of my tanks and I am growing crypts and swords like there's no tomorrow. I can't speak for any demanding plants however


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 08:34 AM
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Well, if you don't care about the dark color, you can use Onyx sand. They are excellent for plants and my favourite now. But if you want the light color ones, I have no idea. The most complaints I read are about keeping them clean as Wasserpest said.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies. As I said I am still not convinced of what I want to do. I know Fluorite works but I wish it was somewhat softer on delicate roots.

I guess I'll just experiment a little more. Thanks anyway.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-18-2004, 06:08 PM
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I mixed flourite and tahitian moon sand (black sand) on my latest aquarium and really like it.

Matt
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-08-2004, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'll figure I could update you all. A month ago I set up my 20 gallon tank with play sand. I have a coralife lighting fixture equiped for two 65 watt 10K bulbs although I am only using one... don't know if I really need to add a second one with the same specs.

I am adding 8 ppm (I know, very low...) of CO2 via a DIY reactor connected to my Aqua Clear 200 (soon to be replaced by a Dupla diffuser) and have added Seachem Flourish tabs to the sandy substrate.

I have planted several species; Rotala macrandra, Rotala indica, Cardamine lyrata, Ludwigia peruensis, Ludwigia broadleaf, Red Myriophyllum, Green Myriophyllum, Alternanthera rosefolia, Echinodorus tenellus, Glossos, Aponogeton ulvaceus and a couple of crypts. Of all those, the casualties have been the Alternanthera and the Red Myriophyllum. The rest are showing various degrees of development but overall I do have to say they are doing very good. Most of them pearl every evening; even the tiny glossos... amazing!

So... yes, sand does work. If I can get the CO2 to diffuse better, I am sure I'll be able to have even better results.

This is not my first planted tank but it is the first with sand and the first time I actually add CO2 and I do have to say the difference (because of the CO2) is remarkable.

Mary.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-22-2004, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisty
Hi,

I'll figure I could update you all. A month ago I set up my 20 gallon tank with play sand. I have a coralife lighting fixture equiped for two 65 watt 10K bulbs although I am only using one... don't know if I really need to add a second one with the same specs.

I am adding 8 ppm (I know, very low...) of CO2 via a DIY reactor connected to my Aqua Clear 200 (soon to be replaced by a Dupla diffuser) and have added Seachem Flourish tabs to the sandy substrate.

I have planted several species; Rotala macrandra, Rotala indica, Cardamine lyrata, Ludwigia peruensis, Ludwigia broadleaf, Red Myriophyllum, Green Myriophyllum, Alternanthera rosefolia, Echinodorus tenellus, Glossos, Aponogeton ulvaceus and a couple of crypts. Of all those, the casualties have been the Alternanthera and the Red Myriophyllum. The rest are showing various degrees of development but overall I do have to say they are doing very good. Most of them pearl every evening; even the tiny glossos... amazing!

So... yes, sand does work. If I can get the CO2 to diffuse better, I am sure I'll be able to have even better results.

This is not my first planted tank but it is the first with sand and the first time I actually add CO2 and I do have to say the difference (because of the CO2) is remarkable.

Mary.
I have also enjoyed great sucess with sand.. One suggestion is to add a few root tabs.

Jason

120g, Flourite & Sand. DIY Stand and Canopy. CF lighting 3wpg, Pressurized C02, DIY reactor. 2-XP3's, 500watt heater.
Heavily planted
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 03:13 PM
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hey all,

I was wondering what kind of sand i would look for as a partial substrate. What brands would you suggest and do I but this at my LFS?

This isnt common beach sand we are talking about, is it?

Thanks,
Dan
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 04:32 PM
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You don't want common beach sand in the Pacific NW. The reasons for that answer are the salt, shell bits, and mostly it's just too fine. What you really want is some fine gravel or coarse sand. Check a pool supply store for pool filter sand. Or hit the industrial supply houses and see what they have.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 06:41 PM
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Hey Rex,

thanks for the info. ill look for the pool filter sand.

BTW, I lived in Portland for 2 yrs (Oct 00-02) and then moved to Seattle.

Thanks,
Dan
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-26-2004, 06:50 PM
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hey Rex,

I just called a rock and sand place here in seattle and the guy told me that they carry "20-30 mesh silica sand." Will this work as sand for my tank or is this totally wrong? He said they use it in pools and the mesh refers to the size of grain I believe.

thx,
dan
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 12:16 AM
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I get my sand in 10 lb bags from Animal Talk in Seattle. I think it is recomended for lizards but it works in my tanks. Cories love it!
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-27-2004, 12:27 AM
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Not sure if that will work or not since I'm not sure what the mesh sizes are. I went down to the local industrial supply house (LaGrande) and they had some small bags showing the sizes of all the sands and gravels they carried.
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