Aquarium fish are pets that provide relaxation and are appreciated by almost everyone. Aquariums tend to look a lot better if they are properly aerated and have a more natural habitat look with sand placed at the bottom of it. Some fish and most oxygenating plants have a longer shelf life when there is sand in the aquarium.
So how do you put sand in an established aquarium? The key thing is for the sand to be light and pleasant in colour and not require much maintenance. Asides from this, there are only a few simple steps to follow, to put sand in your aquarium.
How to Put Sand in Established Aquariums
Choosing the sand for your aquarium is an important step. It is also a step that can cause many people to worry about if they are doing it right or not. Questions about what type of aquarium sand to choose: neutral, complete, technical, nutritious? If you should layer the sand or not? And if you choose to, by how much?
It goes without saying that sand is of paramount importance for the equilibrium of your aquarium and has many advantages.
First, undeniable point but no less important, the aquarium floor is a very decorative element. It is possible to choose aquarium floors with multiple natural colours (black, white, orange, red, grey, etc.). Indeed, it is also possible to play on different grain sizes to form a specific decoration (this is often the case in aquascaping). However, avoid sand with a large particle size on the surface so as not to hurt fish with barbels.
Second, the aquarium sand serves as a support for good bacteria. These bacteria will help eliminate waste and ensure the stability of the ecosystem. During the nitrogen cycle, there is a creation of bacteria (anti-nitrites and anti-nitrates that are commonly called ‘good bacteria‘).
These bacteria will lodge mainly in the sand and filter of your aquarium. As a result, having good sand is very important for maintaining these bacteria. Finally, with the arrival of plants and fish, a microfauna is created. The latter comes mainly to lodge in the ground and is very important to bring a biological balance.
In fact, many reef aquarists use the DSB Deep Sand Bed method which consists in putting a large quantity of sand to guarantee the aquarium ecosystem.
Third, there is support for all other decorations in your bin. Whether it is a support for the roots of your aquatic plants or support for rocks and roots. The ground, by its adaptable nature, is ideal to structure the future decoration of an aquarium.
The different types of sands
Several types of sands are available to put into aquariums. They have individual differences and are often chosen based on the specific needs of your aquarium, as well as your cleaning regime preferences as well as the type of fish you own.
The aquarium neutral sands have the particularity of not changing the parameters of the water, it does not provide nutrients either. This large bag of pure White Aquarium Fish Tank Silica sand is a great example of a substrate that is loved by fish and looks beautiful in an aquarium.
It will be difficult to maintain aquatic plants with only neutral sand. A solid and/or liquid fertiliser use will be strongly recommended.
However, it is common to deposit neutral sand above nutritious sand. It is ideal for combining efficiency and reliability. In addition, the neutral sand is the sand where we find the most different natural colours. This is a great way to beautify your aquarium, play on colours and create original sets.
Nutrient sands are sands loaded with nutrients for aquatic plants. This is the very first step to make sure you have future beautiful plants. Nutrient sands generally provide all the nutrients for good plant growth: iron, minerals and trace elements.
While you should still wash it before putting it into a tank, this coloured fish tank sand substrate is a great option to choose.
However, they must absolutely be covered with sand or gravel to avoid going back into the tank. Indeed, the nutritive sand is a kind of sand that could disturb the water. Care must be taken to cover it with a thick layer of neutral sand. Finally, sand that is nutritious does not require rinsing but can gradually become poorer in nutrients. In this case, a contribution in liquid and solid fertiliser may be considered.
Steps to putting sand in an established aquarium
Choose which sand is best for your aquarium and your budget. Talk to a fish tank specialist. Different fish need different types of sand. Options include aquarium sand, pre-washed Quikrete medium sand, pool filter sand, and cheap playground sand that can be found at local stores. Choose a type of sand that does not change the pH and does not raise the mineral content of the water. When in a pet store, talk to the attendant about a filter as well. Choose one that is two or three times the tank’s tank capacity.
Calculate the amount of sand required for your aquarium. Use a sand bed calculator, such as the one found here, to help you determine how much sand you will need.
Prepare and clean the sand before placing it in the aquarium. Take approximately 7.5 litres of sand from a 20-litre bucket and fill it using a hose. Put a spray nozzle into the hose and splash into the bucket to shake sand and debris in the water. Remove dirt that forms on the water surface by tilting the bucket and pouring this surface layer. Use the spray and remove the dirt until the water is clean.
Transfer the desired amount of sand from the bucket to the aquarium using a garden spatula or any other type of shovel.
Use a glass or jar to fill your aquarium with filtered tap water. Let the sand settle to the bottom of the aquarium.
Install the filter in the aquarium. For sand tanks, most filters will be on the side of the tank. Check his instructions before installation.
Vacuum the sand surface every two to four weeks. Hold the vacuum cleaner 1.5 cm above the sand and avoid sucking it.