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White sand vs yellow sand

Joined
18 Nov 2020
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38
Location
Lisbon, Portugal
Hi,

I think I have read somewhere that whitish decorative sand is more prone to becoming greenish due to algae (even if minor) than a more yellowish/brownish sand. I have a relatively white decorative sand in my tank, which in fact is a bit green in some spots. I was thinking of siphoning all out and replacing it with ADA Colorado, because I think it looks more natural. I wonder if aside from the aesthetics I will benefit from a lesser tendency to become green.

What is your experience?

Thanks!
 

Franks

Member
Joined
26 Aug 2015
Messages
240
I've used sands for a while and they always end up with issues. They aren't to be used as a deep substrate - I've had gas build-up and cyanobacteria, generally, they don't last long if water/oxygen can't penetrate enough.
Not all sands are created equal and I'd imagine that if you use proper aquatic sand which is made up of a much larger grain size than traditional play sand or silver sand then you won't have any issues but again, don't go too deep.

I now use clay-based substrates and may use sand for decoration only in future scapes.
Good luck
 

mort

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Joined
15 Nov 2015
Messages
1,559
I think any sand can have the tendancy to go a bit green with algae build up over time, it just show's more on lighter colours. The key to keeping it looking good is to gently stir the upper layer, or have a fish like cories that do it for you, when you do a water change.
I think @Geoffrey Rea replace the the sand completely during maintenance to keep it looking good.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
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1,184
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Cambridgeshire
ADA La Plata a couple of mm’s deep to give the impression of a sand bed:

1613061483065.jpeg


As you can see it looks fine even if the idea sounds silly. Unless you’re keeping a species that likes to rummage around in sand it’s far more economical to keep it at a minimum depth, then siphon it all out once a month and replace. You also remove a lot of detritus at the same time too.

Between the replacements, leaving the base glass bare for a couple of days allows nerite snails and otto’s to eat any diatoms on the glass. It’s a good deal as they get fed and putting fresh sand on clean glass keeps the sand cleaner for longer.
 

Paul Kettless

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Joined
17 Aug 2015
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351
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Lowestoft
ADA La Plata a couple of mm’s deep to give the impression of a sand bed:

View attachment 162611

As you can see it looks fine even if the idea sounds silly. Unless you’re keeping a species that likes to rummage around in sand it’s far more economical to keep it at a minimum depth, then siphon it all out once a month and replace. You also remove a lot of detritus at the same time too.

Between the replacements, leaving the base glass bare for a couple of days allows nerite snails and otto’s to eat any diatoms on the glass. It’s a good deal as they get fed and putting fresh sand on clean glass keeps the sand cleaner for longer.
Very good idea, and a beautiful looking tank you have there BTW
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Incorporating a means of regular mass waste removal, outside of your filters, pays dividends in high tech. Especially when you are removing from the lowest point in the tank, using gravity to your advantage. It conveniently gathers in your absence ready to be siphoned out. It’s also easy to implement a monthly replace so it’s more likely to get done. Good reason to add a sand foreground to a setup if it fits with the look you’re after.

A nest of benefits associated with one maintenance action; a water change, detritus removal lowering o2 demand, looks cool with fresh sand so you feel pleased and low amount of sand needed going with a thin veneer of sand so economical.

To address the OP’s concern about sand colour choice, any option will get dirty eventually. The more mature the setup the less this tends to happen. Healthy, lean dosed tanks keep sand cleaner for longer from experience. But wouldn’t let clean sand be the guiding force for your setup. Good feedback though.
 

Maf 2500

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5 Jan 2021
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86
Location
Slade Dingle
Incorporating a means of regular mass waste removal, outside of your filters, pays dividends in high tech. Especially when you are removing from the lowest point in the tank, using gravity to your advantage. It conveniently gathers in your absence ready to be siphoned out. It’s also easy to implement a monthly replace so it’s more likely to get done. Good reason to add a sand foreground to a setup if it fits with the look you’re after.

A nest of benefits associated with one maintenance action; a water change, detritus removal lowering o2 demand, looks cool with fresh sand so you feel pleased and low amount of sand needed going with a thin veneer of sand so economical.
The implementation of this method obviously works well as evidenced by your healthy and beautiful tank.

Is it practical to rinse and reuse the sand or is this too much of a faff?
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Is it practical to rinse and reuse the sand or is this too much of a faff?

It is quite a faff. Given that a brand like Hugo Kamashi gravel retails for £16.99 for 15kg and that will last well over a year if replacing monthly, even on a large setup like a 1200.

Cleaning sand thoroughly requires rinsing, soaking in bleach and water, rinsing again, dechlorinating and hanging to dry in a fine mesh laundry bag for example. You’re just driving up costs and wasting further resources. Safety wise you need to be careful children or animals don’t get near it when soaking and to avoid burning your sense of smell away using bleach.

Would say it’s far wiser to find a second use for the dirty sand. In the garden for example, you can use it in potting mix etc.
 

Wolf6

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18 Dec 2014
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Netherlands
It is quite a faff. Given that a brand like Hugo Kamashi gravel retails for £16.99 for 15kg and that will last well over a year if replacing monthly, even on a large setup like a 1200.

Cleaning sand thoroughly requires rinsing, soaking in bleach and water, rinsing again, dechlorinating and hanging to dry in a fine mesh laundry bag for example. You’re just driving up costs and wasting further resources. Safety wise you need to be careful children or animals don’t get near it when soaking and to avoid burning your sense of smell away using bleach.

Would say it’s far wiser to find a second use for the dirty sand. In the garden for example, you can use it in potting mix etc.
I think I'm going to start doing this as well, I find the sand in my tank keeps turning a bit brownish, weekly upturns and its clear for a day or 2, then goes brown again. Can indeed use the sand in my garden for added drainage here and there.
 

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