Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

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Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby gsp_1 on Tue May 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Hey all,

so after dealing with a white cloudiness in my water for 5 months now I've decided my next step is to switch my subsrate from gravel to sand. The cloudiness was discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=30225

So I have my one 3 inch gsp in the tank right now and I'm hesitant to do the switch as in my many years of aquarium keeping I've never used sand as a substrate. My main question is what are the best types of sand to use and how the heck do you clean the stuff? I always use my siphon for cleaning the gravel but to me it just seems like the siphon would suck up all the sand and it would be gone within a few cleanings. Besides that and stirring the sand to prevent gas build up is there anything else to worry about? Thanks for the help.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby Pufferpunk on Tue May 29, 2012 3:08 pm

You think your tank is cloudy because gravel??? Try aragonite sand, if you really want to see cloudy! Messing with the substrate now, is probably the worst thing you can do if there are cycling issues. Although I do recommend aragonite sand for a BW fish.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby Phillyfig8 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:01 am

I have sugar sand in my tank and if you hover the siphon over the sand it will get all the dirt. You will suck up some sand but I have had my tank with sand for over a year and still haven't noticed a loss of sand. Sand is hard to keep clean but I like it better then gravel. Post pics when your done.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby Pufferpunk on Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:11 am

It must be thoroughly stirred (even under ALL decor) weekly.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby DGabbs on Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:49 pm

I have used silica sand in almost all of my tanks over the years and can't complain one bit. Its sold at pool stores and is $6 for a 50 pound bag. Doesn't really seem to shift water parameters and doesn't make water cloudy at all if cleaned properly.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby Pufferpunk on Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:22 am

Silica doesn't buffer the water for a higher "steady" pH & hardness needed for BW systems.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby RTR on Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:12 am

+1 to PP's comments.
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby scpion on Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:31 am

If u are really worried about losing too much sand, what I did was I tied a sock on the other end of the siphon so all the sand and loose debris would collect there. Rinsing the content in a small pail is fairly easy. Then u could dump the "rescued" sand into the tank..
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Re: Switching from Gravel to Sand for the First Time

Postby DGabbs on Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:34 pm

Pufferpunk wrote:Silica doesn't buffer the water for a higher "steady" pH & hardness needed for BW systems.



I have 15 pounds of base rock, and my water right from the tap is already at a really high kH level. If your water needs buffering, than maybe not the best option...
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