ADA Cosmetic Sand Quantity?

Joseph Rock

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17 May 2019
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Hi guys,

Looking to get my substrate together for a 150L x 55d x 60h tank I've got on the way from NACD aquariums (will be a planted discus tank build) and wondering how much I would need. Looking specifically at the ADA Colorado sand as I like the reddish tint - tank will have a lot of orangey-red rocks in which I think will complement it nicely and should hopefully look quite natural.

Substrate wise current plan is to cover the whole tank base (bar viewing side edges) with a couple cm of Tropica's plant growth substrate and then cap with the sand (will be fertilising via auto-doser, with co2, and for the most part using relatively slow growing/easy plants like crypts and swords - intention is to maximise plant health but minimise maintenance and fish stress). Might possibly end up with Tropica's aquarium soil in the back corners where I'll be planting the most heavily, but will be having cory catfish in there and can see that combination getting rather messy with the sand/substrate and mixing it all up. Also then means I've got to artfully hide the join between the sand and substrate!

Issue I've got is I can't seem to find anywhere that says what sand quantity a 9kg ADA bag will actually cover, and also not 100% sure on what depth i should go for. Suggestions online appear to be 1" at front going to 3" at deepest at the back, so averaging 2" depth over a 150 x 55 tank comes in just shy of 50l?

Very happy to take recommendations/suggestions for all aspects of initial plans!

Cheers,

Joe
 

Siege

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11 Aug 2017
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Hi joe.

Personally I would not use the ADA sand (la Plata, Colorado) on top of the Tropica substrate.

The substrate is very mucky (think consistency of wet clay/mud once wet) and the ADA sand is a very light sand. It may get mixed up very quickly and become a real mess. It is really designed to be used as a thin cosmetic layer in the tank. ‘Proper’ soil in the planted areas held back by rocks to prevent mixing.

If using the Tropica substrate, instead have a look at capping it with the Hugo Kamishi sands, more of a fine gravel. The ‘Natural Fine’ one is really nice and doesn’t need much washing.

You can google aquarium substrate calculator for how much you need but I reckon somewhere in the region of 60 kg should do the job.
 
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Do you know how many litre you get per bag, you can use an aquarium volume calculator and just use the height of the substrate instead of the height of the tank.
 

Joseph Rock

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17 May 2019
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Location
London
Hi siege,

Many thanks for the advice. On that basis I think I'll look to go for tropica soil in the back planted corners and sand only in the non planted areas in the middle and front and try to keep them separated! When you say "thin" - an inch, two inches? First draft build below of the right hand side hardscape so you can see roughly what I've got in mind!

Matt - that's exactly the issue I've got, I can't seem to find anywhere how many liters a 9kg bag of ada sand fills!
20190311_203235.jpg
 

Siege

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Joined
11 Aug 2017
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1,064
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
No problem Joe.

Re sand. A very thin layer it’s only purpose is to look nice so doesn’t need to be thick. 1 x 8 kg bag will be enough with plenty left over.

When it gets dirty you can Syphon it out.

Check AG scape video, it’ll explain it better than I can.

Don’t forget to use filter floss in between the stones.

 

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