Sand question....input needed. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Sand question....input needed.

Hi,

I was going to post this in the Substrate forum but not much traffic there and I really need answers quickly.

Story: I got my girlfriend to finally set up a tank (29 gallon) and she wants to breed shrimp. Yep, I also influenced that idea.
She really likes light colored sand so I'm wondering if anybody has experience with this stuff. I wouldn't buy it in a pet store since those little bags cost a fortune but would rather go to Home Depot and get a 50lbs bag.

Any suggestions about the sand and shrimp? Is it too much work or would gravel work better. She will only be keeping a whole load a Anubias Nana that are tied to a large drift wood.

I just don't want the sand to turn into more work then necessary so anybody that used it please share your opinion.

Thank you soooo much
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:03 AM
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Sand will work. So long as you make sure it doesn't contain shell bits that will mess with the water chemistry, which in a shrimp tank really isn't an issue. And use only a thin layer.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Sand will work. So long as you make sure it doesn't contain shell bits that will mess with the water chemistry, which in a shrimp tank really isn't an issue. And use only a thin layer.
Why only a thin layer? I was planning on dumping 3 inches worth Is that too much?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:11 AM
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Rex is right - use only a thin layer, especially since you're not actually "planting" anything in it.

I've used home depot sand before and had no issues with livestock.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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But why only a thin layer... I dont' doubt your input but I would just like to know what is the purpose of keeping only a thin layer.
Thanks
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:30 AM
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Unless your sand is pretty coarse it's going to compact. And that is bad. In the substrate section of my guide I have a picture of what I consider to be the MINIMUM grain size to use.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Would compacting be an issue if there would be no plants growing in the substrate?

I saw the picture of the sand that you are talking about and we'll try to look for that when we take our Home Depot trip on Tuesday.

Thanks
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 01:22 AM
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Yes compacting would still be an issue, without anything to stir the substrate you will get a nice black anoxic layer full of hydrogen sulfide, which might be enough to kill shrimp if you disturb it.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Damn, that's not good.

Thanks for all the answers. We'll try to look for the bigger kind but if there is none to be found then regular gravel will do.

Thanks
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 02:34 AM
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in my shrimp tank i put gravel in the back of the tank and shored it up with wood and rocks to hold it , in the front i put a thin layer of sand of the same color and mixed a little gravel with it . One thing to watch out for as already meantioned is some sand is may contain calcium or silicate and that will change your water chemistry also have you ever tried to vacume sand.?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 03:01 AM
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http://www.exo-terra.com/EN/products...ed_sand_i.html

this sand is heavy and won't get sucked up unless you gravel violently. I have used it in fish tanks about 3/4 inch thick with no problems.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 03:13 AM
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I have used Tahitian Moon Sand in tanks before 2+" thick before with no compaction issues. Possibly because the grains are more rounded than other types of sand? It stays loose enough that when my loaches get startled they can disappear into it in a split second with nothing but their nostrils sticking out.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 12:57 PM
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If only anubias are going to be planted, I'd agree with rex and others about the shallow layer. Which is too bad, as a deeper layer creates more stability in the tank . . . . maybe about 2" and get some malaysian trumpets to stir it up?

In my 10 gal shrimp tank, I have about 1.5" of pool filter sand, also known as silica sand. It was about $6 for 50 pounds at a pool supplies store. I like it well enough, grain sizes are bigger, but as for the cherries I regret not getting a darker substrate. A black sand would really bring out the colors in a significant way!
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 02:01 PM
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I should have mentioned in my earlier post that I do have sand in two of my tanks, but one is a shallower layer stirred by trumpet snails and the other is a layer of sand over some Schultz's aquatic soil. While the combination sand and Aquatic soil is about 3 inches thick it has no compaction issues and it grows plants like gangbusters.

I don't know if anyone else has experienced this or not but my tanks with sand have taken much longer to cycle completely when compared to my flourite and aquatic soil only tanks. It took about a month to get my sand based shrimp tank cycled, thank god for seachem prime! And that was with adding filter mulm twice, once at first and again after two weeks. Just wondering.

Somebody set us up the tank!
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2006, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank God I posted this here and read the comments. It seems that sand is too much of a pain in the butt to use in my girlfriend's first tank.
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