View Full Version : Substrate

03-01-2003, 09:26 PM
Now that I am abandoning my UGF for a canister filter can (or should) I use another type of substrate besides gravel??? Is there some type of coarse light colored sand as opposed to beach type sand? Or is beach sand the way to go.
Thanks, Sam

03-03-2003, 05:15 PM
Boy! Is sand a popular topic round here!

Plain silica sand fits the bill for me in everey category.



03-03-2003, 06:28 PM
I think it's cause it looks so dang good in the pictures.
Thx, Sam

03-03-2003, 07:20 PM
sam-i-am, look into pool filter sand(i think OA uses it). i read somewhere that it is heavier and less likely to end up in your filters.

03-04-2003, 06:20 PM
That sounds like a $ saving Idea Gypsy! Thanks for the input.
i-am-sam, think I'll fix some green eggs and ham!

03-05-2003, 01:32 AM
I did a little bit of research and found out that pool filter sand is silica sand. It is available in many different grain sizes (e.g. .85 - .053). Would the larger grain be less apt to stir up in cleaning, fish excavation, etc? Does silica sand increase the silicates in the water and if so should I add a media to my canister filter for the silica? I suppose these questions should be on the equipment and water chemistry forum, but just following a line of thought. Anyone with knowledge of this matter, your help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Sam (i-am?)

03-05-2003, 01:06 PM
SGM has quite a memory :lol: , I do use swimming pool filter sand. It works great! It stays out of the filter for the most part. I still had to bring my intakes up, but you will have to do that anyway. If you leave the intakes down too close to the sand you will have hell to pay. The swimming pool filter sand is much heavier and settles faster too. It also does not get compacted down making it easier for algae to grow. The many advantages of SPF sand outweighs the drawbacks IME.

I find the best way to vacum the sand is with a 1/2 inch vinyl tubing. That makes enough pressure to get the waste without sucking up too much sand.

I am going to experiment with a submersable pump near the bottom of the tank, to see if that will blow the waste off of the sand floor without causing too much disruption to the sand bed. Sure will make tank cleaning easier.

03-05-2003, 03:34 PM
Let us know how it turns out with the submersable pump.
I use a python system to clean my tank, and can adjust the strength of the suction. Hopefully that will work and not suck all the sand out of the tank.
There's something about the idea of a bare glass bottom with all the plants floating on the top that doesn't appeal to me!
Thanks, Sam

04-17-2003, 07:18 PM
You can still use gravel. Just make sure you do regular (stir up the gravel) water changes.....

I used my UGF plates and took out the thickness with pliars. so it is a flat, but protected bottom.

What your primary concern is, with tempered glass. Know its characteristics. Dont leave sharp edges in contact with it. In my case its load bearing rocks in the pile. Plastic prevents it from sharp points from contacting the glass. It also spreads the weight over a wider distance.