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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i just recently switched my substrate from soil with a sand cap to all sand.

the soil just was always messy. always floating up. there was always gases coming out from the soil too. i always poked it with chop sticks when i did water changes but i just didn't like it.

anyway, now i have all sand. i know with the soil and sand that the gas came from having the substrate too deep without rooted plants in there (i was planning rooted plants, that i why i did the soil, but never got around to it...) but i was wondering if the gas only comes from the bacteria in the soil? will the sand produce the same thing?

i have fertilizers buried under the sand and will put rooted plants in there as soon as i get into town. the tank is empty at the moment besides the sand and the water. i am going to add a cooked shrimp today to start the cycle.

the plants will be going in in 2 weeks.

right now my sand isn't much deeper than about 1 - 1.5 inches. can i make it deeper? i would like to have it deeper towards the back of the tank.

will that be ok?

thanks!
 

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Actually the gasses were from anaerobic pockets that formed because the soil had air trapped. I mixed a little gravel and sand with mine. Also if you are gonna try using sand. Mix just a little layer of gravel about halfway through. Not much. Just enough to give those roots some wiggle room as sand can pack down over time.
 

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Sand is not as likely to get pockets. But even if it did they wouldn't be the same because sand is inert. It is only trapped air not gas produced by organic compounds
 

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You can certainly develop anaerobic gas pockets if the sand is too deep. Even with rooted plants.

Probably best to keep depths at no more than an inch or two and get some Malaysian Trumpet Snails to keep the sand aerated. They don't eat your plants, stay small and only come out at night so you'll likely never see them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks guys :)

i would love to get some malaysian trumpet snails but i can't get them in newfoundland. snails are considered an invasive species here.

so, i won't add much more sand then. thanks :)

i will see if i can add a layer of gravel in there. that would mean draining the tank and starting again... :S but, if it is better for the plants... darn! i should have asked first!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the closest fish store to me is 220 km away... :S haha!

i have asked them about snails a few times. the last time i was in there they had apple snails (i think that is what they were) and i asked them about it. the girl there said that they decided that since they always have them in st. john's even though they aren't supposed to they decided to get them in that store too. i will have to ask about mts next time i am in town.

the only snails i have ever gotten from my lfs on plants are bladder snails and pond snails... :rolleyes: darn snails!
 

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Sand is not as likely to get pockets. But even if it did they wouldn't be the same because sand is inert. It is only trapped air not gas produced by organic compounds
inert or not the pockets still form especially in sand that isn't uniform.


However to the OP you shouldn't have a problem with only 1-2 inches of sand, any more than 3 inches and you should expect pockets, to be safe prod anyway. you could also get rabbit snails and they'll aerate your substrate for you so you don't have to poke, you'll be fine with your sand =]
 

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also don't add gravel, just a waste of water volume and time, your current setup is fine and adding more substrate will mean more chances for pockets to develop. the snails you need may be more known as rabit snails around you, give it a try and even see if your lfs can order you some, if you ever go to it. good luck =]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thank you. i will check at my lfs about the snails.

will these snails breed like crazy and take over my tank?? if they will i will definitely take a pass on them. i really hate snails and if there is even the slightest chance they will over run my tank then there is no way i will get them. i don't mind poking the sand every time i do a water change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks.

i was looking them up and it seems that mts multiple asexually (well, they have both sex organs in one snail) so they can breed and breed... that makes me a little nervous!
 

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They won't get out of control unless you seriously overfeed.

I've got about 100 in a 5.5gal (have to overfeed to prevent my Ramshorns from hogging all the shrimp food) and I almost never see them. Not much of a bioload, either.

Really enjoy them because they help keep the white sand in my grow-out tank looking fresh. Without them, it was always covered in the standard tank gunk.

Do a forum search or two for them and you'll see just how tiny and beneficial they are in sand-based tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
thanks :)

i may add a little more sand, it depends on how it looks when the plants are in.

i found someone selling mts from canada on aquabid. i think i will give them a try.
 
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