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Author Topic: Sand vs Gravel  (Read 849 times)
Skwishee
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Sand vs Gravel
« on: October 13, 2011, 02:11:37 PM »

Hey guys!

So on the aquatic society I recently joined (I'm just on their forum), I've been asking them about substrate and things and they've all said to me sand, sand, sand, sand.

Now I've been looking around and it seems the internet itself either says sand is bad for goldfish or it is good.

So I just wondered, what views you all had here on the topic?
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Nossie
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Re: Sand vs Gravel
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2011, 03:11:15 AM »

Sand is indeed bad for goldfish, they may swallow some while looking for food and... well, imagine sand paper on gills and intestines D:
All my books are also advicing against sand since it's really not suitable for goldfish for the reason I just mentioned, empty, transparent poo is something very common if you keep goldfish with sand substrate.

Personally, I also get the feeling that it would be hard to keep sand clean? Like, it would be so light that every time you try to vacuum deeper, some sand would get sucked into the bucket. (Correct me if I'm wrong).

Ideal would be a pea-sized, or a little smaller, gravel with rounded and nice shape, rather no long, uneven shaped rocks that can get stuck in their mouths.
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Skwishee
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Re: Sand vs Gravel
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 04:14:30 AM »

Well at the moment I just have plain aquarium gravel, that's in a lot of different shapes (all are bigger than Luckys mouth at the moment) can't remember what my dads gravel was like? But I was thinking of getting pea shaped gravel for the larger tank anyway as the gravel I have won't be enough and I quite possibly brought the wrong sort for the 20 litre XD

From what I've read some people think sand is good, they think Goldfish will spit it all back out and that it's more hygenic because poo sits on the top of sand, rather than get buried in some gravel. But as you said casts are more common in sand tanks, so they must be digesting some of it.

Also when it comes to cleaning, I think you can still use a gravel cleaner, but you have to be careful with it and only hover it above the surface of the sand.

Another thing I read is that with sand, you must only use a thin layer (so you won't need to 'dig deep' with a gravel cleaner), otherwise if the sand layer is too thick, there will be 'dead pockets' where oxygen depletes and no bacteria can really live. So you have to 'stir' the sand weekly, or get something to do it for you i.e. trumpet snails.
I also read a rumour (not yet found any proof) that 'methane bubbles' can form in sand that is too thick and explode Undecided

The people in the forum were saying that I could use sand as a substrate, but I don't see what nutrition sand could give to a plant? The sand just seems like a lot of hassle if you ask me XD
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Nossie
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Re: Sand vs Gravel
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 03:35:59 AM »

I... am not sure how I believe the "OMG BACTERIA WILL GROW IN THE SUBSTRATE AND KILL MY FISH" way of thinking, like the one with the "harmful air pockets".

If you'd use only a thin layer of sand, you couldn't plant anything in it because sand is so much lighter than gravel (obviously) and the plants would be floating around as soon as the goldfish would dig around a bit.

But the biggest problem really is that it would be dangerous for the goldfish, I think that should be enough to refrain... :/
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Skwishee
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Re: Sand vs Gravel
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 04:17:35 AM »

Yeah, no sand XD

I'm considering just having plants on driftwood and some moss on rocks! I imagine when Lucky (and the future shubunkin) are bigger they'll dig around a lot in the gravel, so will probably up root anything I put in there anyway!
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Nossie
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Re: Sand vs Gravel
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 02:47:51 AM »

I have some little Anubias there, called Dwarf anubias, I think the latin name is Anubias Nana? But I'm not sure Smiley
Those little mad patches grow roots longer than the plant itself is high, so they would probably be just fine if you put a few pebbles around them as well to keep the goldfish from getting too close Smiley And it would be a good idea to get this while the goldfish are still young, so they'd get used to the plants and also, give them time to grow Smiley
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