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FAQ: Can I use SAND as substrate? How to convert?
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Raul-7
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Joined: 12 Mar 2003
Location: Torrance, California

PostPosted: 2003.11.27(Thu)13:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other Cichlids love burrowing into the sand to build nesting sites! So if you plan on having a decent aquascape you shouldn't go with the shell-dwelling species. Actually, the use of shells is a another subsitute to stop them from digging...
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Trill the man
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Daventry, Northants, England

PostPosted: 2003.12.11(Thu)5:01    Post subject: Adding a little fine sand. Reply with quote

I already have a course silica sand for my substrate. However, for the enjoyment of my cories, I would love to add a patch of fine play sand in the centre where my cories can play etc. How would I go about doing this? Is it possible Confused ?
I am wondering if the fine sand would just get mixed up with the course sand, is there anyway to keep the fine sand in place, ie putting small pebbles around it? Thanks Smile .

Another quick question, what bunch plants would do well in my 20G long, course sand substrate, with only 2wpg and a liquid fertilizer? I wish to add a variety of bunch plants for a nice natural look.

Cheers, Phil Wink
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2003.12.11(Thu)15:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just remeber the small particles work their way to the bottom of the tank. You might want to put some rich substrate under the sand, but other than that you should be good. Do a search in this section for sand. I'm sure you have some intersting finds.
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Trill the man
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Daventry, Northants, England

PostPosted: 2003.12.12(Fri)6:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks Irons, will search now. A quick question though, if I only use bunch plants, ie dwarf hygro', wisteria, water sprite, (any other suggestions?) will I have to add root tabs to my sand? Thanks,
Phil
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Trill the man
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Daventry, Northants, England

PostPosted: 2003.12.20(Sat)9:08    Post subject: Plants+sand. Reply with quote

I have a corse silica sand as my substrate. I will soon be getting an external filter, a new light (to make 55-60w) and DIY CO2 Very Happy . I will therefore be changing the look of my tank (20G long).

It has a wall made of driftwood/bogwood at the back, and I wish to add dwarf anubias to the top of the wall, and infront:

Hygrophila polysperma
Chinese Ivy
(maybe) Elodea
Dwarf ambulia
Hygrophila difformis

The main question is how do I keep my plants in the sand, and will they grow okay Confused ? I have a few vals' in there now, and they are not growing well in the sand. The crown in above the substrate. As these were tempory anyway, I am not to greivous, but how do I make sure my future plants grow well?

My substrate has no added ferts', and is only 1.5-2inch deep. Is this okay, or should I add more? If so, to what depth? Confused
Will weekly liquid ferts' be okay?

I know this is a lot of questions, but I really want my plants to be healthy and so keep my fish happy when I get some Smile .

Thank you, Phil Wink
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2003.12.20(Sat)10:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plants will root in the sand.... most aquatic plants take in nutrients through their leaves. A few root tabs will not hurt, but are really not needed for stem plants.... your vals though would greatly appreciate the root tabs.
Ambulia needs iron so be sure your liquid fert is iron rich.

Fred
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Trill the man
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Daventry, Northants, England

PostPosted: 2003.12.20(Sat)13:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, thanks naclh2ofly Wink . Is there a way to make sure the plants will stay in the sand before they root, or will I have to just hope they stay or keep replanting untill they do root?

Thanks, Phil Wink
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2003.12.20(Sat)15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

It can be umm... challenging to keep em in place at first, but most stem plants grow & root quickly. You should not have too much trouble.

Fred
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Max
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Joined: 11 Jun 2003
Location: Milwaukee

PostPosted: 2004.01.13(Tue)17:48    Post subject: Sand Reply with quote

I have a 40 G set up and I recently added some shell dwellers. I want to move about a 3rd of my substrate and add sand for them to dig in on one side. What I am wondering is if my pH will lower because of the sand? It is currently a steady 8.2.
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Plantbrain
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Joined: 10 Dec 2003
Location: The swamp

PostPosted: 2004.01.13(Tue)18:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you have rift fish, use reef sand, CaCO3 which will harden and buffer most water, you already live in a high hard water region, limestones etc, but your tap might be from the Lake which is softer than the well waters in WI.

Dolomite, ag grade from farm places also works dany and is my personal choice, it has Ca, Mg and Co3. I'll add K2SO4 also for ther SO4 and K+ components and then you have rift salt pretty much.Also available at the ag stores/nurseries. About 20-30$ for a 50lb sack which is a few life time's worth and much cheaper for the dolomite(2-4$).

Generally both the dolomite or calcite/aragonite, crusghed shell sands are great and will buffer to about 8.2 or so.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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