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Post by Gwds1982 » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:26 am

Hi everybody first time poster I've just bought a new 300 litre aquarium which I will be keeping all different kind of loaches in.Just now I have 6 various size clown loaches in a 160 litre planted tank ,8 kuhli loaches and a few Cory catfish.My problem is that I don't know what sand to buy or what is the best for loaches and plants.

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Re: Sand

Post by Bas Pels » Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:18 pm

My feeling would be that any sand would do. I got mine from a road builder. There was some clay in it, which did get the water a bit murkey, but that was for only a few weks - now more than 10 years back. The plants grew wonderfull on it, but now I am changing the soil, for something a bit richer. Now, 10 years later :lol:

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Re: Sand

Post by Diana » Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:13 pm

Sand from limestone, coral, or related materials will add minerals to the water like calcium and magnesium carbonates. This makes the water too hard for soft water fish, and the carbonates will almost always raise the pH. Fine for rift lake fish, but not for most Loaches.

Silica sand does not raise the mineral level of the water, and is a better choice. I think in the UK this is referred to as Silver Sand. Check your local aquarium supply stores, see what kinds of sand they have.

They probably have some sand/shells/aragonite blend that is intended for marine or hard water tanks. Do not use this.
They will likely also have some kind of silica sand, or quartz sand. This is the one you want. It may come in different grades. Very fine sand may pack together, and reduce the water flow through the sand, leading to poor oxygen levels in the substrate. Sand with mixed size particles can do this, too.

You may have to do a bit of research to figure out equivalents, but here (USA) sand is graded by mesh. 30 mesh is pretty fine, 20 mesh is just a little bit coarser. Either of these are good if you want a fine sand look. For a coarser sand something with a smaller number is coarser.
I have used 30 mesh in aquariums. As long as it is reasonably clean (see the chart, most of the sand passes through just a couple of sieves, not a wide range of particle sizes) it works well.

Here is a chart from a local supplier showing imperial and metric sieve sizes, and some 'mesh' values. ... rading.pdf
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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Re: Sand

Post by Gwds1982 » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:41 pm

Thanks for all the help ended up going for silica sand.sorry for the late response.

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Re: Sand

Post by redshark1 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 12:56 pm

Good choice, this is what I use. Good luck!
6 x Clown Loaches all twenty-seven years of age on 01.01.2021, largest 11.5", 2f4m, aquarium 6' x 18" x 18" 400 ltr = 90 uk gal = 110 US gal.

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Re: Sand

Post by zenins » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:27 am

You can also try sand from a local stream or lake,
just make sure you rinse it well.
Some people boil it in fresh water to make sure no pathogens are transferred to the aquarium,
but I have not had this problem yet.
The other advantage of using shore sand is that is is rounded and will not harm the barbels on the loaches or corys.
Sand you purchase may have come from a quarry crushing process that creates sand with fairly sharp and jagged edges
that may irritate or damage the barbels on loaches or corys.

Good Luck and post a photo of your sand bottom aquarium :)


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