Sand for loaches?

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nathanjame
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Sand for loaches?

Post by nathanjame » Wed May 09, 2018 4:23 am

Hello all,

I've begun planning for a 40g setup I will be starting in a few months. I've read in a few places that loaches like sand more than gravel, and I'll be stocking at least 5 yo yo loaches and maybe some others.

So I guess I have 2 questions here: Is sand necessary for loaches? And assuming it is, could I do a gravel base and sand on top to save some $$$? (I already have enough gravel from a previous setup of this tank.)

Thanks for your help!

Diana
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by Diana » Wed May 09, 2018 8:46 am

I would not put gravel under the sand. The loaches are not just skimming through the top of the substrate, they are burrowing all the way through. I would not use very much gravel at all. Make the tank represent a stream with a sandy bottom, maybe a few cobbles (3-5") and some pebbles here and there. Look at how a stream actually is in nature and replicate that. The water swirls around a large rock and sucks the sand out from behind it, leaving the heavier pebbles. Might be a little grouping of 3-5 cobbles of different sizes with a wedge of pebbles on the downstream side. Plants can also be surrounded by cobbles so the Loaches do not dig them up.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

loachnoob
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by loachnoob » Wed May 09, 2018 8:17 pm

Diana,

loachnoob here with full blown noob question, so botias will physically burrow under the sand?!

NancyD
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by NancyD » Thu May 10, 2018 12:32 am

They can, especially if freaked out during netting, or if live worm feeding is involved, lol. I've never had more than 2.5 inches or so of any substrate...but I wouldn't put it past them.
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FishyLady
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by FishyLady » Sat May 12, 2018 12:02 pm

I was hoping not to use sand, I found it difficult to clean and it keeps going up the gravel cleaner I was thinking of some fine rounded gravel which I have, but not sure I have enough of it for them to bury themselves .
Better the chaos of creativity than the tidiness of idleness.

Diana
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by Diana » Sun May 13, 2018 12:18 am

I have had Yoyo Loaches 'swim' through the sand, completely hidden.
Others that quite freely use the substrate include Kuhlies, Weather (Dojo) and Horsehead Loaches.

I had one Clown Loach very carefully excavate down to the bottom of the tank through about 2" of rounded fine gravel. Fun watching him, picking up each piece of gravel and moving it aside.

I had some Chain Loaches (sidthemunki's) hide under some plant substrate (soft rounded pellets).
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

NancyD
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by NancyD » Mon May 14, 2018 12:55 am

Even in Eco Complete (more like very small gravel than sand), my 2.5 inch sidthimunki would dive head first straight down into it with just a tail tip showing. It worried me until I saw they could get back out with some wiggling effort.

Do you have pool filter sand available where you are? It's much coarser than beach or play sand here. It takes a bit of practice to not suck it up when vacuuming & water changing but it's not difficult to learn. You may lose a tiny bit at first but no big problem.
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FishyLady
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by FishyLady » Tue May 15, 2018 10:00 am

No pool filter sand here that I have seen, I'm in Hereford in the UK
Better the chaos of creativity than the tidiness of idleness.

loachnoob
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by loachnoob » Tue May 15, 2018 10:15 pm

I purchase paver stage 2 sand at Home Depot. It's beautifully dark brown. The pool filter sand here was almost white and closer to the consistency of table salt whereas the paver sand is considerably larger in size, with teeny tiny pebbles mixed throughtout.

I spent two hours tonight cleaning it, the water ran the color of coffee mixed with cream initially, but with careful sifting, pouring, and rewashing cleaned up nicely. Im interested to see the end result and hope its "clean" enough.

Diana
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by Diana » Wed May 16, 2018 12:19 am

Sounds like a product I get in bulk here, also sold for pavers. The material I got also needed a lot of washing, then turned into a pretty nice looking substrate with mixed sizes of tiny pebbles down to coarse sand.
It is called Top Sand.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

NancyD
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by NancyD » Wed May 16, 2018 12:30 am

Interesting, the paver sand I've seen is very fine, almost dust-like.
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fossphur
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by fossphur » Wed May 16, 2018 9:23 am

Just wondering, I have some yoyo loaches now in a planted tank with pool filter sand. Would loaches actually eat sand? I'm seeing my loaches dropping white particles as they swim which I can no longer see once they reach the sand and I've been seeing what looks like sand all over the top of my plants. Would they eat the sand and then pass it? They don't look to be egg shaped and as far as I know we don't expect to see loaches scattering eggs willy nilly all over the tank. They do get worms and other live food, snails, sinking pellets etc.

Diana
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by Diana » Wed May 16, 2018 8:17 pm

Some fish can take sand into their mouth, take out food (perhaps worms or whatever was hidden in the sand), then spit the sand back out, either through the mouth, or through the gills. I am not sure which (or both?) loaches can or will do.
I would not be surprised if some sand gets eaten in this process, but I do not think it is intentional.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

Bas Pels
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Re: Sand for loaches?

Post by Bas Pels » Thu May 17, 2018 2:26 am

it´s the normal behaviour of Acantopsis species, and yes, sand is found in their gut, but obviously excreted unprocessed.

I can´t tell which other loach has this behaviour.

In areas where cichilids are found, Africa and South America, cichlids have taken this niche. Geophagus and other cichlids have two sets of teeth, one ion the jaw and the other back in their throat, these latter funtione as a sieve.

Loaches don´t have the throat system of cichlids, se therefore they must have another mechanism in order to sieve sand from food

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