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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sand?

If I use sand as my substrate do I need to put other substrate under like eco complete or will the sand plus fertilizer tabs be enough?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 06:29 AM
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Sand tends to pack so its not a great choice. If you mix it with something else it will settle through and still pack. Substrate will be with you a long time so think about what you want before going to cheap.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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It really depends on the type of sand. This is an example of where you will see differences of opinion and controversy. This is what I do know and it is also based on posts from others who have grown aquarium plants successfully in sand.

(1) A sand of 1-3 mm will not normally compact and if you keep your layer to less than 3 inches you should be fine. I even question this as I have a 5 gallon hex tank with a mixture of Seachem Onyx Sand and Pool filter sand(sand is less than 1mm and cap is over 3 inches) and it has been over a year, and I have noticed no hydrogen sulphide bubbles or compaction. Plants are doing great as are the oto and shrimp.

(2)If you have deep rooters(cryptocornes and amazon swords). These will root deep into the sand and the roots will release oxygen. This action alone will prevent compaction.

(3)If the sand is stirred up occassionally, you will not get compaction. This is why people who use pool filter sand exclusively have malaysian trumpet snails, catfish etc., for this purpose and they experience no compaction.

Some people use an undercap of root tabs, laterite, or mineralized topsoil under sand and experience no issues.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for the comments on grain size Homer. I only once a LOOONG time ago used sand in a 29g and it was probably a lack of correct selection but I wasn't happy with the results, I blamed it on sand being silica and inert.
Definition:
naturally occurring silicon dioxide: silicon dioxide found naturally in various crystalline and amorphous forms, e.g. quartz, opal, sand, flint, and agate. Use: manufacture of glass, abrasives, concrete.

Being in Florida we have two common types away from the coast, yellow and sugar. Memory is of using primarily a fine white in color sand with a lot of dusting when disturbed and poor plant growth. Where I'm at now in central Florida locals call it the 'sand hills' dry, black jack and scrub oaks, pine trees and poor ground cover growth.
The plantings I did were in El natural sand collected in the open. But based on what I've read here as well sand doesn't add anything for the plants more than an anchorage point. Gravel, sand and such are primarily capping materials that have other additives placed with it for growth. That being said fines have tended to settle to the bottom for me and the substrate stratified over time with the larger material ending up on top.
Always thought that weird as the bigger stuff would weigh more so it was a gravity defying thing to me.
Eco or flourite, something that had content to contribute to growth I thought to be a better choice.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 06:31 PM
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If you just use sand you could move it around a to release the bubbles. You could put the plants in pots with fert tabs.

Here is link to a thread with those whom have use pool filter sand.

Last edited by Hilde; 04-11-2009 at 06:33 PM. Reason: added link
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