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Author Topic: Gravel vs. Sand  (Read 14248 times)
Ziggi
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« on: January 04, 2008, 08:40:34 PM »

is there a difference between gravel and sand in terms of both fish and plants?

I know Cories do better with sand because of their barbels or wiskers... but are there any other reasons besides asthetics?
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Taylor
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2008, 08:44:06 PM »

I'm a huge fan of sand, I have sand in all of my tanks. The one thing that is difficult about it, is that plants take some more time to take root, as the fine sand particles are difficult to grasp. I also think that sand is much easier to clean than gravel, I prefer it in many ways.
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elizabeth
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2008, 09:13:36 PM »

i have alot of older set ups with gravel and if i could i would change all of them to sand .. the fish love to sift through it and it looks so much more natural.. some of my colored gravel really looks outdated compared to my white sand tanks..

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elizabeth
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2008, 09:27:23 PM »

That picture is very interesting. I would call that fine gravel, not sand. I guess I need some education on what people mean by sand. Pictures would be great!
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elizabeth
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2008, 09:34:31 PM »

Your right that one is fine gravel with sand ... sorry ..i just meant in comparison to this .. Wink

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elizabeth
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2008, 10:50:28 PM »

Here you go, Dani!



"Paver Sand" by Kolorscape... $2.99 at Home Depot. I like it more than playsand; it's brown, slightly coarser, and contains a smattering of pebbles. Overall it looks very natural.

And that's my rainbow shark's butt back there. lol.
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gomezaddams
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2008, 11:43:02 PM »

I'm kind of leaning toward sand.I have pool filter sand in a few of my tanks and its a nice natural color and easy to clean.I got a bag of black t-grade 3m colorquartz in a trade and have to say its a very attractive substrate.Its a little more expensive than playsand or poolsand but I'm thinking of switching my showtank over to it.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/ColorQuartz/HomePage/Products/Crystals/
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2008, 12:02:16 AM »

Just for diversity - or maybe perversity - I'll opt for gravel.  Easy to keep, easy to grow plants in, available in several natural mixes with which I am quite comfortable.  In gravel, I have never had a substrate go sour.  In sand I have.  With gravel I can grow swords larger than a 50 gallon tank, in sand the substrate always goes foul around them and they decline after a few years and may disappear if not rescued and moved to a different tank.  In gravel I do fine with Crinums, in sand I have never had one establish. With gravel I have never had filter problems, with sand I have destroyed Eheim pumps. Guess what I have in 24 of 24 tanks?
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Danni
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2008, 12:17:18 AM »

Emily, I like the look of that sand. Very nice. I really like the fact it has larger pebbles in it. Really adds to the look.
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Ziggi
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2008, 04:41:37 PM »

wow, see in my 20 gal long I have gravel, but I'm setting up my 10 gal for experimenting with plants soon and was thinking of using sand since I do kinda like how it looks and I'd like to get some Cories... Right now I have black gravel but I was going to trade that for either sand or a brown gravel like my 20 gal long... (decisions, decisions)
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tetralovingfamily
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2008, 05:45:09 PM »

My most recent tank, I switched to sand -- mostly due to the purchase of some Kuhli loaches.  Well, I now love sand.  My plants grow well in it, but probably only because I have the trumpet snails in there to help keep things stirred up.  I also make sure to stir things up when I do my water change.  This keeps the problem of bad spots or anaerobic spots from occurring.  I also started using root tabs in this tank as well... really helped out my amazon sword and other plants...they now are growing like mad, even in my low light Smiley

I did leave just about a cup of gravel in there, which the Kuhlis will dig up here and there, and to me it looks nice like that.  I just used the play sand.  I plan to use this again in other tanks in the future.
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Stella G
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2008, 08:25:04 PM »

I have a medium gravel in one tank, a small gravel in one and eco-complete (very sand-like) in a third.  Of the three, the only one I wouldn't do again is the medium gravel.  The bottom feeders have a harder time eating and a lot of food falls down in the spaces.  The eco-complete and the fine gravel seem to make me and the fish much happier.   happy
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tetralovingfamily
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2008, 08:57:11 PM »

I just wanted to add... at first, I found sand to be much harder to clean with the gravel vac, but after I got the hang of it, I actually found it to be easier... and faster.  There is a bit of a trick to learn at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is easy.
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Whartonloser
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« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2008, 05:02:14 PM »

Am thinking of sand......SO what is the trick to vacuuming sand> I have a python and it is relentless when it starts pulling out waste.............
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Zach
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 05:40:26 PM »

I got some regular playsand for my tank.
is it safe to just put it in as is?
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Wizzy
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 05:51:43 PM »

Lollll well I have half sand and half gravel in my tanks as I couldnt make my mind up so used both.
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Markalot
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« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2008, 05:55:23 PM »

I have tahitian moon sand in my 10.  Looks great till dirt (poop, dead plant material, anything) collects on top.  Weekly vacs of the surface just can't get rid of all of it and if you get too close ... whoosh.  Typically I'll vac most of it up, but then when filling some dirt I missed in a corner will scoot around and mess up my pristine sand.

I will never use sand again.  Looks great though!  Maybe it's just the black sand that shows up too much dirt?
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M a r k
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2008, 06:11:59 PM »

IME, black shows dirt and debris perhaps worse than blinding white.  It least it doesn't show hints of algae as white does.  But I do like the look of black, just not the work. 
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secorneli
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2008, 07:47:35 PM »

Great minds think alike Wizzy  Smiley  I used both too....I put sand in the front of the tank and gravel in the back.  Gives the tank more dimension, IMO.
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Corwin
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« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2008, 08:03:08 PM »

lol that is also what i have done sec, sand 'pool' in the front, and the 3 back sides are lined with gravel (fluorite) for plants. i love the look, very natural to me ^ ^!
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secorneli
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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2008, 08:17:39 PM »

Hi Corwin, a little OT, but I made my first prototype of a rock cave, thanks to your inspiration.  It is curing right now and should be ready for Saturday!
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Corwin
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2008, 09:30:41 PM »

awesome be sure to post a pic of it!
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40 Gallon:
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Jinxstir
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2008, 10:51:58 PM »

I have changed all my tanks from gravel to sand. If you hold the python at a slight angle works great for cleaning.
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2008, 11:12:26 AM »

To pick up on Wartonloser's question, so to clean sand, do most of you do what Jinxstir does, and hold their vacuums on a slight angle?
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