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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Sand

What kind of sand? Is it good for plants? Low tech ok with sand? And do I still put the ferts in the sand for the big Swords?

I was wondering all this stuff cause I see some amazing sand tanks and it looks like itís the better way to go for the college student budget. Any thoughts ideas and help please write.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 09:50 PM
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if you're looking to do a planted tank, you can go with eco-complete which has a sand like texture. you can buy inert sand for about $4 for a 5lb bag if you know where to look but a 20lb bag only cost about $20 so its not too much more expensive pound for pound. i've grown swords in my tank with eco complete without using any ferts at all, only diy co2 and with less than 2wpg.

you'll like the eco alot better than the inert sand, trust me.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 10:07 PM
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If your budget is extremely tight, I would consider a soil substrate like Dianne Walstad recommends. here is a link that gives an overview. You can look at the low tech section for some ideas or APC has an 'el natural' section that is worth looking at.

If you want to avoid the soil, go with a layer of peat, I personally use .5 inches of it premoistend, (however this is way more than most people are comfortable with) most people use just a dusting of it. Then cap it with Soilmaster select or Schultz aqua soil.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 10:49 PM
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Sand will work just fine as long as it's not to fine. In my Guide I have a picture of the minimum grain size that most people consider acceptable.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 11:42 PM
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I went with bulk "gravel" from my lfs in the small size (about the size noted on Rex's site) and paid .15 cents a pound for 125 lbs. It is inert, no coating and looks nice. Best thing was it was cheap as hell. The bag was labeled "Sand" and I have bought the same product 15 yrs ago for my Arowana tank and it was about the same price.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 04:11 AM
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I bought a bag of silica sand from the local hardware chain store and loved it....beware though , sand is packaged pretty close to wherever they distribute it so beware of things labeled as playsand and such as they can contain a lot of organics. Go for the silica sand if you can find it, I got mine for $6 and it was a 50 lb bag.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah see eco would be nice but is 40$ hear a bag and it will run me up to 320$ and that sucks. Id love to do it but my eyes thats way to much.

Is it the substrate and how big the stones are that makes it hard for the plants to rut in it? What makes it the best for plants to grow in a tank?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 07:49 PM
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The Soilmaster Select Pro "Charcoal" that lumpyfunk suggested goes for $11-$16 per 50 lb bag, so it is VERY affordable. It looks incredibly similar to ecoComplete and grows plants very well also! It is sold by Lesco and used on baseball diamonds. If you google "Lesco" I'm sure they have a location nearby.


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 10:38 PM
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Half a bag of the SoilMaster select at $15.08 for a 50 pound bag did my 90 gallon. So, I would think a whole bag would do 180 gallons. I love it!

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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is this the Soilmaster Select Pro "Charcoal"? http://www.greenmediaonline.com/uplo...510_st_ps3.asp
are these amarican prices or canadian?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 03:18 AM
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Yes that's the stuff! The prices I quoted were in American dollars, what I paid at a local distrubutor.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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I just hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg hear. like I said eco is 40$ a bag hear witch i think is a rip off. But I'm not the price maker. Do you still have to use ferts for like swords?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 10:38 AM
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I used a lot of peat and jobes fern and palm spikes. You can see the setup here
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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wow amazing tank. like what you did. I have discus and my temp is around 86f so I need about 3" for the swords. so will I have any complications well trying to get my tank set up like that with the stuff you mentioned.
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