Mixing Sand with gravel - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Mixing Sand with gravel

Hy,
im going to set up my 20gal high light tank soon, and wondering if my subrate will be ok. Basically im gonna use JBL aquabasis mixed with some other concentrated iron containing powder (probably clay and something else). On the top i ll use 1mm quartz sand mixed with 2-3 mm dark gravel, basically cuz i think it looks more natural (i know at the end the garvel will cover the sand, but still), and if im not wrong sand doesnt compact that much if gravel is mixed with it. (Or am i wrong?) Will this substrate be ok?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 12:23 PM
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Like you mentioned the gravel would wind up covering the sand, and at that point the sand would probably start compacting. I use simple sand and then gravel in a 30-70 split in my tank, so i can't comment more on the mix or the JBL.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response. Anyone else has experience with a similar mix?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-10-2009, 08:32 PM
 
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I have sand on top of a layer of flourite. The flourite is slowly becoming the surface layer. I have malaysian trumpet snails, so I don't worry about the sand compacting.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 02:00 AM
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smaller substrate on the bottom, and larger substrate on the top.. Don't bother mixing because it'll wind up like that over time... Here's an opportunity to design your substrate.. Sprinkle gravel and larger river stones on the substrate.

It does look very natural, like a river substrate.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for help guys.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-17-2009, 04:17 AM
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recently i redid my tank and added pool sand to the gravel i had now i can see my plants grow but only after a month only gravel is visible
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 06:56 AM
 
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mixing pretty final!

from what I have found, about 6 months after mixing substrates I end up wishing I spent a little more money for matching substrate in the beginning because I end up shelling out for it eventually and once you mix them it is very hard if not impossible to separate them again.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 01:42 PM
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Coarse grain sand by reading posts (a lot of them) makes a great base that doesn't pack. Capping with gravel, Flourite, quartz or what ever is a choice to modify appearance. Planning on sand in a new tank using mineralized substrate and will probably cap with 2 -3 bags of Flourite because we like the look of the original with the brick and clay tones. I'm very happy it won't mix, saves me a bunch of money building substrate depth. Posts state also that roots establish better in sand than coarse subs but that I do not know.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 02:26 AM
 
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my plants seem to do better with the mix than with gravel alone. an easy way to seperate it if you need to later is to take scoops out with a strainer and shake them. sand falls out, gravel doesn't
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 05:39 AM
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as everybody has already pointed out, the coarser, lighter gravel will eventually wind up on top. if the coarse-grained material is more sparse than the fine sand this can present a very natural appearance--the same way that particles sort themselves on a riverbed.

it can be beneficial to have an underlayer of finer sand in systems that have high fish stocking loads. with an even layer of coarse-grained substrate a lot of uneaten fish food and other material can become trapped between the particles.
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