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Sand Substrate

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Well, I have been sitting on this for a while, and wondering how the hell it could be done.

I am getting slightly annoyed with sand in my tank building up its little "gas" pockets throughout the sand (just something that happens normally with it). I am having a thought of getting an under gravel filter, restricting "holes" on it with some form of "fine" mesh, reducing the amount of sand in my tank (this would require a COMPLETE removal of everything).... Due to the mechanics of a UGF, I suspect that with a "thinner" base of sand, it will allow the UFG to filter through it, which would possibly reduce the build up of gases. I would probably go about with a pair of air stones over power heads......

its something that has been plaguing my train of thoughts for a little while and it's really starting to get to me. If anyone has had any luck with filtering sand or hell even causing enough movement under the surface to keep it aerating out the gases would be great!

call me mad/stupid but if there is a solution, I am definitely keen to look into it!

Chris

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Some people with a fine substrate use reverse ug filtration - instead of using air power they put a power head on pipe network in the base of the tank and blow water down under the substrate - small off takes from the main pipes then blow water up through the substrate keeping it aerated and blowing debris towards a canister filter uptake tube or similar. There are a few websites if you get onto google and have a read. A normal ug filter won't function with sand as it will eventually fill in under the plates.

Only other solution is to have a thinner layer and use a small rake type implement and rake the sand each time you vacuum it.

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inverted UGF

PERFECT! I thought about it, and will definitely look into it!

i also wonder what the chances of getting something that is small and can send vibrations through the sand to "move" it around would be....

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I use play sand from Bunnings, and have never had any issues with it. It gets stirred up enough when I gravel vac that it keeps the gas bubbles under control, and I also have Malaysian trumpet snails, and they like to dig around in it, which also helps.

I didn't think you could use UGF with sand, because it would be too dense to allow waterflow?

I think sand is heaps better than gravel, because with gravel all the poo gets trapped in it, and you can gravel vac forever and it will still be sucking up poo, but with sand it all just sits on top and so it's really easy to remove and then it looks all clean and nice.

Not to mention it's more natural for the fish, because when was the last time you saw gravel at the bottom of a river or lake? Especially for bottom dwelling fish, because most of them spend a lot of time lying on it, so sharp gravel isn't ideal, and a lot of them like to dig around in it too, which they can't do with gravel, so it's stopping them from expressing natural behaviour.

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Thanks Marianne,

The thickness of the sand substrate would be why waterflow doesnt go too well with it.... thicker = more mass = more pressure required to move the sand.

I try not to touch the sand when I am cleaning as it ends up outside which is no use to me there :lol: but i generally will try and stir it up when I am filling it.

I find that if my substrate builds up to over 1.5inch deep it goes dark which is generally gas sitting under the surface......

strangely though, I havent touched the sand for sometime, since i moved all my plants around a fortnight or so ago and It didnt have any gasses built up in it at all last night.

which might remove the need for it to be filtered.

we know what happens when you put a hose in there, so I wonder what would happen if the likes of a spray bar with the right pressure found its way under the sand at aroun the deepest point.... it would move the sand, with the constant flow of water sand wouldnt build up too fast to block it so it would continue to stir the "layers" persae...

unless my brain is playing up on me today...

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If you get the right type of sand (a.k.a River Sand) you can actually have it without it building up gas pockets. My friend has tanks with river sand in them and has no problems with gas pockets. :lol:

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its more to do with the depths of the sand.

mine is over 1.5inch in patches which is where it will build up the gas.

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I have sand as well and think it is sooooooo much better than gravel ( which I have had in the past). As said poop sits on top and easy to clean. I stir up the sand everytime I change the water with the end of my gravel vac. It doesn't take very long for it to settle again. It's not all that good for planting though. It looks so clean and white

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With gravel the crap literally builds up in the gravel but river sand that is fairly coarse is quite good for fish tanks and doesn't cloud up the water as much.

I have one 2ft tank with washed river sand in it - corys and bn don't mind the substrate and the pygmy chain swords and other plants grow quite well in it.... hardly ever needs to be stirred up due to the corys activity and the plants seem to love the fish fertiliser.

Play sand and another fine type of sand I got from Bunnings seems to be a bit too fine at times for plants but would be ok with rocks and planted logs in a tank with the fine sand in a thin substrate layer - might try this myself when i get round to it some time.....

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i found it almost impossible to keep plants buried with my U4 powering through the top level of water, it generally dragged plants straight out of the ground, once they got roots growing properly they were fine, i have a sword thats got roots about 8 inches each side of the plant!

Hmmmmm, spose i should stop being so lazy and trying to make things easy for myself LOL.

overall, I have a lot more pleasure looking at my tank over the others in the household which all have gravel....

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