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Sand Vs. Gravel?

Discussion in 'FreshWater General Discussion' started by fishguy07, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. fishguy07

    fishguy07 Large Fish

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    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*thumbsups
     


  2. Dino

    Dino Large Fish

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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,,,).
     
  3. exhumed07

    exhumed07 Superstar Fish

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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.
     
  4. punkrockfish

    punkrockfish Large Fish

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    what is in your tank to begin with (fish and plants)?
     
  5. Hamburgler

    Hamburgler Large Fish

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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. exhumed07

    exhumed07 Superstar Fish

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    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.
     
  7. exhumed07

    exhumed07 Superstar Fish

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    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.
     
    #7 exhumed07, Aug 15, 2007
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2007
  8. sweetpickles7

    sweetpickles7 Superstar Fish

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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. Hamburgler

    Hamburgler Large Fish

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    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. seastaar88

    seastaar88 Superstar Fish

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    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.
     
  11. sweetpickles7

    sweetpickles7 Superstar Fish

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    A good method of getting the sand clean is to take a 5 gal bucket, fill it with the sand, and then with a hose and spray nozzle just power into the sand and clean it.Then just let the water out and do it agian.Then when the water ur letting out of the bucket starts to get clear dump it into the tank. I have never tried ecocomplete so u might just want to listen to seastaar.
     
  12. exhumed07

    exhumed07 Superstar Fish

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    I use black for the clean look of it compaired to the white pool sand. playsand might look good and clean as well. You can also get some of the black and white cichlid sand as well. What I don't exactly recomend is what a friend of mine did. He went to the mississippi and got muddy nasty sand off the shore. he spent 3 hours trying to get it clean and he decided to give up and just throw it in his tank. well his tank looked like the mississippi water for about a month before it finaly cleared up. and u have to think about the pollution that is in the sand as well. but the fish in his tank came from the river in the same spot he got the sand.
     
  13. punkrockfish

    punkrockfish Large Fish

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    i go with whatever fits the fish. do some research, find out what your fish prefer, if they even have a preference, and go from there.
     
  14. skratikans

    skratikans Large Fish

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    i have a hard time cleaning sand...i can never completely get the poop off the bottom without ending up getting sand into the bucket and then putting it back in the tank is a pain..
     
  15. angelmom

    angelmom Large Fish

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    I've done both sand and gravel. I have sand in my tanks now and love the natural look of it. It was not easy to clean being that both times when I was setting up my tanks it was winter. Running your hand through the sand to mix it up while the hose is running through it in the winter is down right painful but makes it so much easier once in the tank.

    Now the other thing you can do is after you put the sand in, (do pre rince it first) use your gravel vac or pyton and suck the sand that if floating around in the water out, then add more water as it gets low. Helped us out alot...as it was getting much too painful to be outside doing it (as you can imagine).
     
  16. Dan Steveo

    Dan Steveo Large Fish

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    so in everyones opinion.. sand is better? i have sand in my 10g which i have just shut down and my 12 litre has sand but only my male fighter. i have always thought of getting sand for my tank but it would have to be black and i would have no undergravel filter.

    can the rocks and slate still stick firmly into the sand? and can the roots of plants still grow through it too? also... i like the look of ecocomplete (exhumed07, is that what you have in your dp?) i was wondering if it is easier than normal sand to maintain.

    its great to be back. i haven't been on mft for a few months now =[
     
  17. tjmino

    tjmino Small Fish

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    I'd also like to hear the answer to this. I'm going to be putting Eco Complete in my tank because of the looks, and it doesn't hurt that you don't need to wash it first.

    But how is it in regards to vacuuming?
     
  18. exhumed07

    exhumed07 Superstar Fish

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    I can't remember the exact brand or the name of the sand that I used but it was not eco complete. all I can remember is the pic on the front of the bag lol. it had the heads on easter island with a float plane flying above it. and I have some slate in the tank just laying down flat and after a few days the sand compacts and gets verry hard. So it seems to hold slate and other rocks/decor. and as for plants it seems to hold them just fine. as it compacts around the root system it holds verry well and it don't inhibit root growth or plant spreading. I don't have alot of plants just a few swords and they hold just fine except in my 10 but that is because my dojo loaches like to dig under it. also with my 10 I have a mix of black sand and real small gravel. the gravel is about as big as the head of a needle. if I had a faster connection and was able to post pics I would. I might have someone post pics for me in the future. when I get the room and the money to get another tank 150+ gallons I'm going with sand all the way.
     
  19. superchode

    superchode Small Fish

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    I had gravel and just covered it up with black sand. I like it this way a ton better, and my fish seem to, too! I'll never use gravel again !
    But I am wondering how to clean it when waste builds up. Can I vacuum it like I did to the old gravel?
     
  20. MrBungle

    MrBungle Large Fish

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    just gotta hold your vac like an inch over the sand and you should be good.
     
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