Using Sand for Aquarium Substrate - Oscar Fish Care

Bottom dwelling fish are ideal candidates when adding to a sand substrate aquarium
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There are clearly many more different types ofsubstrate than plain gravel and coral sand, and each lends the aquariumvery specific advantages. An aquarist wanting to keep a school of Congotetras, some , and a few mormyrids and will find that a substrate of peat will workwonderfully with some large pieces of bogwood and a few epiphyticplants like . The resulting tank will be dark,mysterious, and very atmospheric.
Pour Imagitarium White Sand Aquarium Substrate to create a foundation that makes colors pop
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Sand substrate doesn’t allow water to flow through it as well as gravel does. However, if your tank includes fish that like to burrow and scavenge in the sand, they will do the job of filtering the substrate. Sand has a couple of other benefits when compared to gravel. Many aquarium owners think it looks more natural, better mimicking the lakes or riverbeds that make up fish’ natural habitats. In addition, closely packed sand substrate needs to be changed less frequently. Because there are smaller gaps between the sand particles than between gravel particles, old food and plant matter tend to stay on top of the substrate rather than sinking to the bottom where they can rot and decay. National Geographic™ Aquarium Substrate at PetSmart. Shop all fish gravel, sand & stones online.
Photo provided by FlickrAquarium Sand & Gravel Substrate for Saltwater & Freshwater Tanks
Photo provided by FlickrSand Substrate Maintenance | My Aquarium Club
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Now that I knew this sand would have no ill effects on my water parameters and I knew I could achieve the look I wanted in my tank the next step was to make this substrate more plant friendly. This is the expensive part... I chose Flourite as the base layer which can be used by itself or used in a "mix" as I did to ensure the plants would get some benefits from the rooting base as opposed to straight sand or aquarium gravel.Many people ask whether it's possible to change from gravel to stand, or vice versa. There's no need to strip the whole tank down if you want to change the substrate. It is however rather time-consuming, especially if you have a large aquarium. Simply remove all the substrate and then just replace it with the new substrate. However, put it in carefully and make sure that you switch your filters off if you are replacing the gravel with sand as you don't want it damaging the impeller which drives the filters and pumps. Having said that, good quality filters should be able to handle a little sand getting inside. It's also a lot easier to carry out this procedure if you remove half of the water from the aquarium.Many of the lakes in Africa are all sand so it would make sense to use sand if you're keeping these type of fish. I think fish find sand easier to move around and it may actually reduce the risk of injury to their mouths as well. Some fish such as Jurupari, also known as Eartheaters sift the substrate, probably looking for tasty morsels, you can actually see the sand falling back through their gills, I think they would have a pretty hard time doing the same with gravel. There are quite a few readily available sands that people use in their aquariums. The most common are probably play sand, this is often sold in most building and hardware stores, it's typically used for sandboxes and in the building trade. You also have Silica, also sold as blasting sand. There is also sand that is known as Black Beauty. This is actually iron slag and not sand, but people still use it quite often in their aquariums. Then you have Coral Sand, this is mainly sold in fish stores. Black Tahitian Moon Sand is also available fish stores.Some plants and animals you may keep in your aquarium have strong preferences for either sand or gravel substrate. For example, many species of cichlids need sand substrate in order to thrive since eating particles of sand help them digest food. Goldfish, on the other hand, risk suffering from an intestinal blockage if they accidentally ingest sand and so should always be housed in gravel substrate. Aquarium plants also have preferences for sand or gravel, so make sure to research the needs of the plants and animals in your tank before committing to sand or gravel.