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Sand Vs. Gravel?

This is a discussion on Sand Vs. Gravel? within the FreshWater General Discussion forums, part of the FreshWater Topics category;
I'm upgrading one of my tanks to sand. I was just wondering if thats a good move? Do fish prefer ...

  1. #1
    Little Fish fishguy07's Avatar
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    Default Sand Vs. Gravel?

    I'm upgrading one of my tanks to sand.

    I was just wondering if thats a good move?

    Do fish prefer sand? What are the pros and cons of sand and gravel. Is sand neccessarily better?

    thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Medium Fish Dino's Avatar
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    I prefer sand.

    In most cases, I think it really does not matter to the running of the tank, but is what you think looks better. And, to a degree, what you are doing with the tank ( plants, substrate moving fish,,,).


    200 tanks
    112 species of fish
    31 species of plants
    7 species of freshwater shrimp

  3. #3
    Super Fish exhumed07's Avatar
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    Well I love sand and when it compacts over time it seems to hold plant roots more firmly. also when u have gravel u have alot of voids where waste can collect and contaminate the water if u do not do a gravel vac. but then again u have all those lil voids lol. places for the bacteria to grow. and in my opinion it has a cleaner look to it as well. in my 10 gallong I have dojo loaches which like to bury themselves so the sand makes it easier. then in my 55 I have purly african cichlids and they like to dig as well.
    20 gallon
    shrimp tank
    Sakura shrimp
    4 pygmy cory cats

    30 gallon native tank
    green sunfish
    crawdad
    freshwater muscle

    55 gallon cichlid tank
    1 angelicus catfish
    1 bushy nose pleco
    1 maingano
    4 yellow lab maingano hybrids
    12 yellow lab fry
    5 flametail fry

    55 gallon dirted planted comunity tank
    20 neon tetra
    2 apisto
    4 glass catfish
    3 panda garra
    4 cory cats
    3 kuuli loaches
    1 bushy nose pleco
    1 petricola catfish
    hygro
    crypts
    bacopa
    amazon sword
    christmas moss

  4. #4
    Large Fish punkrockfish's Avatar
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    what is in your tank to begin with (fish and plants)?
    I used to be on here a lot, and then I got a job at an aquarium. Now I have a dog at home.

  5. #5
    Little Fish Hamburgler's Avatar
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    I use strictly sand, given i keep cichlids which do best in it but i dont like the look of gravel. Sand may not hold waste and be as easy to vaccum (well not easy, maybe care free) but with the right setup of filters and pumps/powerheads you can have all the waste get pushed away behind a rock or back in a corner.
    Rinse it well and dump it in.

  6. #6
    Super Fish exhumed07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamburgler View Post
    Rinse it well and dump it in.
    don't forget to turn off ur filters and let the snad settle for about 5 min. I didn't do that in my 10g and had to buy a new filter but I'm just useing hob filters.
    20 gallon
    shrimp tank
    Sakura shrimp
    4 pygmy cory cats

    30 gallon native tank
    green sunfish
    crawdad
    freshwater muscle

    55 gallon cichlid tank
    1 angelicus catfish
    1 bushy nose pleco
    1 maingano
    4 yellow lab maingano hybrids
    12 yellow lab fry
    5 flametail fry

    55 gallon dirted planted comunity tank
    20 neon tetra
    2 apisto
    4 glass catfish
    3 panda garra
    4 cory cats
    3 kuuli loaches
    1 bushy nose pleco
    1 petricola catfish
    hygro
    crypts
    bacopa
    amazon sword
    christmas moss

  7. #7
    Super Fish exhumed07's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
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    Illinois
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamburgler View Post
    Rinse it well and dump it in.
    don't forget to turn off ur filters and let the sand settle for about 5 min. I didn't do that in my 10g and had to buy a new filter but I'm just useing hob filters. not sure what would happen with a powerhead or canester filter.
    Last edited by exhumed07; 08-14-2007 at 09:11 PM.
    20 gallon
    shrimp tank
    Sakura shrimp
    4 pygmy cory cats

    30 gallon native tank
    green sunfish
    crawdad
    freshwater muscle

    55 gallon cichlid tank
    1 angelicus catfish
    1 bushy nose pleco
    1 maingano
    4 yellow lab maingano hybrids
    12 yellow lab fry
    5 flametail fry

    55 gallon dirted planted comunity tank
    20 neon tetra
    2 apisto
    4 glass catfish
    3 panda garra
    4 cory cats
    3 kuuli loaches
    1 bushy nose pleco
    1 petricola catfish
    hygro
    crypts
    bacopa
    amazon sword
    christmas moss

  8. #8
    Super Fish sweetpickles7's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Central Illinois
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    1,239

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    Sand is most certainly the best. I have it in all my tanks. And u can get a 40lb bag of play sand for $2.95.Which is what i used, but i hear that pool sand is much better.

  9. #9
    Little Fish Hamburgler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exhumed07 View Post
    don't forget to turn off ur filters and let the sand settle for about 5 min. I didn't do that in my 10g and had to buy a new filter but I'm just useing hob filters. not sure what would happen with a powerhead or canester filter.
    Good point, although pool filter sand is heavy and large enough to do no harm. But i still dont recommend doing it that way. It all depends on how much you rinse.

    And also get some pre-filters for the intakes.

  10. #10
    Super Fish seastaar88's Avatar
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    middletown, CT
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    Default

    sand is just a huge pain to rinse/clean when you add it. i like the look of sand once it finally clears!

    i love ecocomplete as it was simple to add and pretty carefree to maintain since it's dark.

    i found IME that with light colored sand, the poo and debris showed up easily so you need to keep on top of siphoning to keep it looking neat and clean.
    cheers,
    jan
    -------------------------------------------------
    20LG moderatly planted: empty

    RIP bluegill sunfish 2004-2009

    RIP pumpkinseed sunfish 2004-2007

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