New to Sand and in need of some direction

Pearpearl

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12 Jul 2019
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Hello @X3NiTH

I have actually looked at this sand from a facebook group and was told it raised PH so I've ruled that particular brand out. I've never, tried sand before and had no idea how daunting the process of finding one that's suitable is. I really need to get a easy to clean light substrate to help balance my tank. Balance in this instance is a reduction in Nitrates. I've already got it down to 5ppm between 6 feeds within 3 days but that's another point entirely.
 

alto

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24 Dec 2014
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You’re thinking that a sand bed will reduce nitrates?

While this is true, it depends upon anaerobic denitrifcation - re the deep sand beds as used in some reef tanks, also slow flow sand filters

Adding a nitrate binding media to your filtration system is likely more efficient
Water changes, manual or automated are also an effective method

Somewhat confused that you’re overlooking the Hugo Kamishi fine gravel/coarse sands
 

Pearpearl

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No @alto

My apologies for the confusion. I don't think sand reduces nitrates, plants do. These discus eat a lot and in 3 days they've already pushed the nitrates high. I've managed to drop the nitrate via plants. Namely pressurized CO2, TMC liquid ferts (without nitrate) and plants. I was using API liquid test (I know they're not a precise as some more scientific tests) and the nitrates were somewhere between 20-40 which I wasn't happy about.

I bought about 60 Vals and they've reduced the Nitrates from 20+ppm to 5ppm in the same 3 day period. But my tank is bare bottom and so to achieve that I had to glue each val to some Manzanita wood. The problem is these plants grow quickly and as they do they become unstuck. A week ago I had about 5 val plants at the surface. Today between 10-20 so I need to anchor these plants in some sand.

Light sand because the pigeon blood and blue diamond discus try to adapt to their background and are turning dark. Also as stated before it needs to be inert and not super fine because super fine sand is easily displaced.

Side note: I watched my Bolivian Rams spawn today in the corner of my bare bottom tank. I'd say there are at least 100 eggs. It's their first ever spawn and they're quite fearless. The 7 discus I have want absolutely zero problems with them and have vacated the area but my amano shrimp can taste them in the water and keep trying to find it and are taking damage in the process.

So yeah. Light, not too fine, and inert sand is what I'm still looking for. I just never knew it'd be this difficult lol.
 

Andrew Butler

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Just offering suggestions, not thought through!
I know what you mean about sand getting blown around and the only way I found to truly stop this problem was to go for a small gravel.
Unsure how you have inlets/outlets but another way I found to vastly reduce the problem was using a spraybar.
Maybe do away with the powerheads if you have a simple layout and add another filter instead?
Unipac do some 2-4mm maybe a little too course from what I'm reading though.
http://www.unipacpet.co.uk/aquatic/natural-gravel/
They also detail some of their sand grain sizes if this helps? - probably not looking at it!
http://www.unipacpet.co.uk/aquatic/aquarium-sand/
 

Pearpearl

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Thanks @Andrew Butler I'll take a look. Yetserday I cam across JBL sand. Super expensive but I was going to give it a try until I recognized that they didn't have any info on grain size. I then went to youtube and saw this...

The first 4 seconds are sufficient.

 

Edvet

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LFS here in the netherlands sell "riversand", natural sand with grains ranging from 1-5 mm. Tried a local LFS yet?
 

alto

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Have you looked at the HK options?
(there should be some in local shops for you to examine)

ADA offers a range of sizes in most of their gravels ( DOOA “Tropical River Sand” is a great size and color for what you want, but I’d look for a cheaper option)
 

Andrew Butler

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@Pearpearl have you thought about getting one that has a few too many large pieces in and running it through a grader?
Just an example of the kind of thing I mean below although there are loads out there with different sized mesh.
https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01H2T6O0G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
At this point I'll take an inflated shipping price just so long as I can get some sand!
Just remember the inflated UK import duties too! :mad:
 

Kev_M

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Just get the sand Darrel linked you to at the start of the thread. I've used it (from different suppliers but the same stuff) on so many tanks for many years. It's inert, very clean, doesn't compact, isn't sharp, and is heavy enough not to be blown around.

If you check Ebay you'll find it a few quid cheaper. Just make sure you confirm with the seller that it's the light variant (there's a darker one in the same size that isn't anywhere near as nice).
 

Kev_M

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Unfortunately not as my current display tank is empty. I checked through my gallery for pictures of my old set ups but couldn't find any with that sand pictured (apart from a couple of dry hardscapes I was playing about with). Funnily enough I have a few pictures of when I used the darker sand I mentioned in my earlier post. I've got a new bag here waiting to go into my latest display so I'll post some pictures of that in once I've got around to finishing it.

I'll have a dig around on the PC later and hopefully I'll be able to find something because I've used it in at least 5 different tanks over the years.
 

Pearpearl

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@dw1305 Nope not intentionally lol

I will post pics of the sand later today.

It's working brilliantly although it took an absolute age to clean before going in. Doesn't move around in the flow and when raised quickly sinks making cleaning very easy. Best of all, it's completely inert!
 

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