New to Sand and in need of some direction

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Pearpearl, 12 Jul 2019.

  1. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

    Messages:
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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hello my fellow hobbyists.

    I am new to sand as a substrate and I'm very confused about what type to go for. Most importantly is that it's inert because my stocking (Discus) are sensitive to changes to PH. But what I'm finding frustrating is the "blown around in the current factor.

    I have a 130Gal tank and use power heads and an FX6 for circulation. Both the return outlet and PH are closer to the surface of the tank but I'm worried that once in the tank the sand will be constantly displaced.

    Any advice would be grand.

    Thanks
     
  2. Keith GH

    Keith GH Member

    Messages:
    709
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    Pearpearl
    My question to you is why use it? I assume being a Discus it will also be a planted tank.
    I would then suggest a 1-3mm natural gravel and use a quality Fert Tabs.

    Keith:wave::wave:
     
  3. alto

    alto Member

    Messages:
    4,454
    Discus are not great fans of current - add a couple sponge filters and they’re happy like ...

    Their body shape is a clue ;)

    ADG does some fantastic hardscape only aquariums
    https://www.aquariumdesigngroup.com/

     
    dw1305 likes this.
  4. Aqua sobriquet

    Aqua sobriquet Member

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    Location:
    Dorset
    A friend of mine had Silver Sand in his 250L tank with good flow and never had any problems.
     
    dw1305 likes this.
  5. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    8,267
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    I'm a sand fan. Any dead leaves, or faeces, sits on top of it and can be syphoned out.

    Having said that I'd definitely have a sponge pre-filter on the intake, if sand gets into the filter it will cause rapid impeller etc wear.
    Same for me, I'd wouldn't want a whirl-pool effect. Lots of water tun-over is fine as long as the flow is diffused.
    You just want 100% silica sand, it won't raise hardness, it is totally inert. Pool filter sand would be ideal.

    I'm really keen on <"Structural Leaf litter"> as well.
    Changes in pH is a bit of a funny one, pH is a really strange measurement, you want soft water for Discus and that will always show variations in pH. This is totally natural and exactly what happens in nature. There is a more complete explanation in <"TDS and remineralising...">.

    I'm not a Discus keeper but I like a planted tank for all "black-water" fish. A lot of what you read about Discus in the wild about them living in water with no aquatic plants etc isn't really true. Discus are collected at low water, because you can't collect them otherwise, once the water rises they've dispersed through the flooded forest, which is a true wetland, just with very big plants.

    Have a look at this thread on <"Apistogramma forums">.

    cheers Darrel
     
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  6. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hey guys

    I don't have a whirlpool effect in the tank. An FX6 and a mid power range power head is not going to create anything more than the gentlest of currents. Right now the flow is just enough to prevent dead spots. I tried quoting all of you but for some reason it's not working for me?

    Does anyone have any links to sand I can purchase that fit my requirements?
     
  7. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    8,267
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    Should be a few on <"Amazon">.

    If you shop around you can probably get 25 Kg delivered for less then £20.

    I like the finer 0.4 - 0.8 mm grade (16/30 grade), but you can get 0.8 - 2 mm (8/16 grade) as well.

    cheers Darrel
     
  8. jkh13

    jkh13 Member

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  9. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

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    Location:
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    Thanks guys

    @dw1305 the sand you linked me to doesn't specify whether or not it's inert but the grade info is crucial so thanks

    @jkh13 I don't have the grade size with any of the sand in the link.
     
  10. sparkyweasel

    sparkyweasel Member

    Messages:
    674
     
  11. sparkyweasel

    sparkyweasel Member

    Messages:
    674
    Not all inert. Their coral sand for instance, raises hardness and pH, for when that's what you need.
     
  12. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Finally got quotes to work

    I've exhausted amazon and haven't found a single product that is the grade I need and inert with some reviews. It's harder than it seems and I'm usually really good at looking for things but this seems like some type of conundrum.
     
  13. sparkyweasel

    sparkyweasel Member

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    674
    What grade are you after?
     
  14. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

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    Location:
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    The larger grade or as @dw1305 put it "0.8 - 2 mm (8/16 grade)" basically anything that does stir as easily as I've seen in some youtube vids.
     
  15. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    Messages:
    8,267
    Location:
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    All the filter sands should be inert, the only thing you have to look out for is that they are "silica sand", because a lot of people are selling reclaimed glass. It doesn't matter for a sand filter whether its quartz or glass, but it looks a bit strange in the tank.

    cheers Darrel
     
  16. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I'm still yet to find a product that comes close. I need about 25KG if anyone has a link to sand which is of the heavier/larger grain please post it here.
     
  17. alto

    alto Member

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    4,454
  18. sparkyweasel

    sparkyweasel Member

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    674
  19. Pearpearl

    Pearpearl Newly Registered

    Messages:
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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Hi @sparkyweasel

    Thanks for the input. Unfortunately I searched the vendors site but found no sand which is lighter in colour.
     
  20. X3NiTH

    X3NiTH Member

    Messages:
    839
    How about this sand from Sika it's pure kiln dried Quartzite (SiO2), largest grade is 0.6-1.2mm, here's the MSDS for it. Looking at an image of the finer grade it looks quite light in colour.
     

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