I want a sandy looking substrate

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Discuss all topics related to freshwater and planted tanks.

Posts: 275
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:19 pm

by Okiimiru

Kitty litter.
I use it and love it. I bought "Special Kitty" brand litter, whose only ingredient is baked ground clay, from Walmart for $4 for 25 pounds. I added it to my tank, added an inch of water, packed it down with my hands, and slowly topped off the tank. Don't pour water directly on the kitty litter when you're filling the tank or it will make the water cloudy. That's true with a lot of substrates. You can put a big bowl down and pour water into that, or you can use a sink faucet connection to fill the tank slowly with a steady stream of water. Both work.

Here is the article that gave me the idea for kitty litter: http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilize ... jamie.html

Here are some videos of my kitty litter aquariums:

As for how to make the transition, well, I have done it two ways. When I first tried kitty litter, I just added it to my existing gravel. Like, poured it on top. I did that because I was skeptical that it would work, was too lazy to drain my tank and pull out all of the gravel, etc. But then one day I was like, "Gravel is stupid" and I completely emptied my tank and scooped out all the stupid gravel and made the substrate pure kitty litter. I documented the transformation on post #165 of this blog-like forum topic: http://forum.nanfa.org/index.php/topic/ ... e__st__160

Posts: 993
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 5:35 am
Location: QLD Australia

by Alasse

Pool Filter Sand, all the way. Requires very little effort to give it a rinse

I recently changes substrates in my tank. Left the tank full and fish in.

Removed decor
Removed gravel
Left it for an hour to settle and filter to pull out worst
Syphoned detrius from glass base.
Dumped in rinsed PFS
24hours later cystal clear tank

Bonus with PFS, it does not stir up when fish dig in it. Ya can gravel vac it far easier than normal sand.

I am loving it. Looks like sand but far easier to maintain

Posts: 521
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:19 am

by dream2reef

I use carib sea in mine. They have several different kinds to choose from. Perfect for cichlids of course you know me. Fish can dig and no cloudiness. Easy to maintain for me. I like the earthtones myself and use Ivory coast sand. LFS charges way too much for it. I buy online. Just shop around for the best price vs. reviews. Some sites have bad or high shipping. I look for both. Don't do play sand it's hard to maintain and gets ugly fast. Never tried pool sand though I know it's more coarse then play sand may be the ticket.

Posts: 993
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 5:35 am
Location: QLD Australia

by Alasse

I also have playsand, cant say i've really had any issue with it "getting ugly", nor is it really that difficult to maintain. Takes a bit more time than the PFS though.

5ft - PFS - why because the filtration is strong and it would move around any lighter type sand. It is also a tan colour rather than stark white.

4ft - Course river sand - It is another sand not easily blown around by strong filtration, also not stark white, it is a tan colour

3.5ft - Playsand - Better suited to my Peppermint BN, any and all detrius shows up, and it cleaned by using a turkey baster

3ft - Playsand - Sets of the colours of my cherry shrimp beautifully, grows val really well

2.5ft - Playsand - an area specifally for cories, they love the fine white sand

2.5ft - Playsand/shell grit mix. My kribs love it

1.5ft - Playsand. Kribs enjoy moving it around

I use different sand type, depends on what the tanks purpose is. They all have their pros and cons

PFS - can be put in with minimal disturbance - VERY easy to clean before put in tank. Filtration can be running while adding no issues
Course river sand - Come very dirty and requires much initial washing. Can also be added to an established tank without too much disturbance, Need to turn off filtration
PlaySand - Comes extremely dirty, requires a lot of initial washing. Due to it being so fine, not really suited to adding to a tank full of water and fish. Definately do not want filtration running

Posts: 993
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 5:35 am
Location: QLD Australia

by Alasse

Carib sea í'm pretty sure raises PH because it is suited to most cichlids

For some cichlids and fish though you do not want PH high, so not at all suited.

Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:20 am

by mcfaddy212000

I use playsand and I've never had a problem. But I do loose a little everytime I vacuum.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:34 am

Re: I want a sandy looking substrate

by gwilson

I completed mine with White Arganite sand. Did it all established. I removed alot of the old rocks and moved them to the middle than outlined the tank with sand. Wash it well and let it drop!

I want a sandy looking substrate

7 posts

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