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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want my biotope to be as natural as it can be. I already figured out the plants(Crypts, Aponogeton, Hygro, Riccia, Java Moss, maybe Java Fern) and water parameters(ph: 5.5-6.5, dKH: 4*, dGH: 4*, temperature: 27-29* C). I need to figure out what would be better for the "enviroment" Im creating. Sand is more natural looking for a Black Water River of South East Asia but theres also the gravel on the banks of the river so any help will be appreciated. I was reading the sand is not a great substrate to use with plants as it compacts.

Thanks,
James

EDIT:
As far as my current gravel and flourite that will be used for my friends tank. I also found this but this makes it even more confusing.

Wet Web Media said:
Now, add some gravel to create a bank, building up a back corner to resemble a bend and terracing it (to make it stay in place) with small rocks and big pebbles. The base of the tank should be littered with small rocks and big pebbles, and trust me, you'll need more of them then you think you will! Next, cover the gravel, pebbles, and rest of the tank with some silver sand. This mimics the look of sand deposited naturally in the river, so brush off the sand that collects on very top of the rocks. Next, position a large piece of bogwood or sinking driftwood so that it resembles an exposed root in the riverbed. Place some pebbles at the base of the wood and across the entire tank. Next, plant your plants in the pattern we discussed above.
Biotopes Part 1, Wet Web Media
 

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i'd say use very coarse sand. it wont compact as much as other kinds of sand, and with pebbles waste will get caught and will rot.
 

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Use ADA decorative sand for the foreground. Perfectly white sand looks really unnatural.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Use ADA decorative sand for the foreground. Perfectly white sand looks really unnatural.
I can get either the 14 lb bag of sarawak sand(which imitates the malaysian sand I believe) for $33.32 including shipping or an 8 lb bag for 21.75. I would like to maintain one substrate across the surface so would the 14 lb be better? Im really trying to keep this as much on a budget as I can and I was thinking that the pool sand, or the black tahitian moon sand, or the moonlight white sand would be more cost effective.
 

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Jameson let me know if you want regular sand, I know where to get it-- small bags for under 2 bucks!!!!:hihi:
 

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My pool filter sand is called silver sand. I went looking for pool filter sand at the local store and they gave me about 5 50lbs bags that had split. They were glad to see it go. You might check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yoko- Haha, I found this very coarse sand that is like 1.99 but they are like 1 lb bags or so. What color does it come in. There are many "regular sands". There is like australian red sand, charcoal grey sand(found in like europe or something like that), and white sand. I been reading lol.

Dawn Haze-What kind of local store? Like home depot, osh, walmart?lol. I'll be interested in trying to find some free sand like that.
 

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It's like.... sand...... haha

"Horticulture" Sand from Capitol Nursery on Freeport Blvd

As seen HERE, with your plants :angel:



My inbox has room now foo!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's like.... sand...... haha

"Horticulture" Sand from Capitol Nursery on Freeport Blvd

As seen HERE, with your plants :angel:



My inbox has room now foo!!
Thats the kind of sand they have at OSH. Do you know if its safe with fish? I got to search for this on the web. And the Anacharis seems to be living....and you had your doubts.

P.S. yoko-"yoko has exceeded their stored private messages quota and can not accept further messages until they clear some space."

Clear your inbox:proud:
 

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fine sand that works

I buy fine sand from Ocean Aquarium on Cedar alley off Van Ness in San Francisco. 20 lbs is $10 which is not as cheap as play sand, but the owner of the store, Justin, has experimented with a lot of sand and found that this one works. He says he tried play sand and it turned black and stinky within weeks. I think the secret to his sand it is obviously sifted so the grains are all one size, whereas play sand has dust in it. This sand is easy to work with, does not affect water parameters, holds the tiniest plant clippings, keeps the water clear. Another reason I like it is that the grains are so small that if some BBA grows on a grain of it you can gravel vac it up. (Not so easy on flourite!)

If you are coming into SF from Sacramento sometime you must see this amazing little store. It's a great place to get unusual fish and plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I buy fine sand from Ocean Aquarium on Cedar alley off Van Ness in San Francisco. 20 lbs is $10 which is not as cheap as play sand, but the owner of the store, Justin, has experimented with a lot of sand and found that this one works. He says he tried play sand and it turned black and stinky within weeks. I think the secret to his sand it is obviously sifted so the grains are all one size, whereas play sand has dust in it. This sand is easy to work with, does not affect water parameters, holds the tiniest plant clippings, keeps the water clear. Another reason I like it is that the grains are so small that if some BBA grows on a grain of it you can gravel vac it up. (Not so easy on flourite!)

If you are coming into SF from Sacramento sometime you must see this amazing little store. It's a great place to get unusual fish and plants.
This summer may be a time for me to go. My mom may take us down there. Thanks for the tip!
 

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James, I would stay away from super fine sands as they will make a mess. I used a 50# bag of "play sand" from Home Depot (~$4.50) once and it was ok. The consistency was somewhat course, but still small enough grains to not appear that way. It took on a whiteish-yellowish color in the tank. Probably more towards the yellowish side even. It's good for a budget, but there's certainly better options.
Has anyone tried silica/pool filter sand? That's another that people seem to like. Cichlid folks, that is.
 

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that sarawak sand is pretty. Get some Malaysian trumpet snails and maybe dig around occaisionally with a chopstick if you are worried about compaction.
Love to see pics of what you do....
 

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Nice idea Cali James. :)

You should get a kuhli loach or two in there! One of my favorite Asians (well, Killies, and dwarf puffers are pretty high on that list too!).

regards,
joel
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
monkeygills said:
that sarawak sand is pretty. Get some Malaysian trumpet snails and maybe dig around occaisionally with a chopstick if you are worried about compaction.
Love to see pics of what you do....
Got the Malaysian Trumpet Snails. They are cool and my betta watches where they go. I would defiitely do it once I get the money to buy some but Im picking up the other nesseceaties like the Wood, Plants, stones, and the money.

Nice idea Cali James. :)

You should get a kuhli loach or two in there! One of my favorite Asians (well, Killies, and dwarf puffers are pretty high on that list too!).

regards,
joel
Thanks. I want Kuhli Loaches but I cant find them :(. I thought you were suppose to keep three or more. Hmm, lots to do before I get fish :).
 
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