View Full Version : Sand as substrate?

20th April 2004, 02:05
I recently bought an Eastern (red-spotted) newt. I've kept a few eastern newts before, but always in tanks with smooth gravel on the bottom. however, i really like the look of sand, and was wondering if i could use sand instead of gravel. everything i've read has recommended using smooth gravel, but i cant find any info on sand being either good or bad.

right now, my newt is in a 2 gal (quarantine) tank with 1.5 gals of water and a floating island. there is a 2 inch layer of sand at the bottom, with a thin layer (about 1 inch) of smooth gravel on top of the sand. there is also a 2 inch apple snail that permanently lives in the tank to keep the water parameters in check, but i cant imagine that the snail and newt wouldn't coexist peacefully. in about a month, the newt will be transferred to a 10 gal aquarium that i'm currently cycling for the first time.

20th April 2004, 02:10
after reading the thread about snails, i've decided to remove it to my fish tank just in case. honestly, i dont think it would be problematic, but i'd rather not endanger my newt.

20th April 2004, 02:20
Hi Stefanie, a lot of people use sand and I use it for one of my tanks as well. Just be sure it's not beach sand with high salt content.

20th April 2004, 04:13
Just an additional thought. I once inquired about sand and I believe I was referred to the kind that people use in pool filters. It's supposed to not have salt and it's supposed to be fine and smooth. I'm still really a newbie at all this (but learning a lot), so I would see if you can do a search on this site about sand. You may be able to find the info in the posts. Otherwise maybe you can catch some of the more experienced on/in the chat. Good luck. Let is know if you use it and how it turns out. http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif

20th April 2004, 04:27
the sand i use is extra smooth. its marketed for corydora catfish, which need smooth sand or gravel so they dont rip up their barbels (mouth antennae type things). so it should definitly be smooth enough for a newt.

i'm actually considering putting my newt in with my cories after the quarantine. they wouldnt/couldnt bother the newt, and they're about 2 inches long each (too big for a newt to eat), but i wouldnt be surprised if the newt tried biting their barbels. but i have to do more research before i can decide if its a good idea or not.

20th April 2004, 04:29
There are accounts of newts dying after they tried to swallow a cory, resulting in the fish lodging in their throat and causing some pretty bad wounds.

20th April 2004, 05:31
i definitely cant imagine a 4-5 inch newt actually managing to swallow a 2-3 inch cory, but i can definitely picture the newt trying. especially since their barbels look a lot like worms. that seems like it could be a very unpleasant situation for both the fish and the newt, so i think i'll stick with the original plan and keep the newt by itself (or perhaps with another newt).

Thanks guys

20th April 2004, 07:24
I use sand in all my tanks and find that childrens play sand works very well if washed well... http://www.caudata.org/forum/clipart/happy.gif cheap too

20th April 2004, 21:31
Lots of people use sand without issue, but our female axolotl recently had a prolapse, and in the X-rays taken it appeared that she had swallowed a large amount of sand, which was suspected as being a partial cause of the prolapse. Whether there was a dietary problem before this which may have caused her to ingest the sand, we aren't sure - but we were surprised to find that the sand hadn't passed straight through her like we thought it would. As a result, we're going to swap our main tank's sand substrate for slate at the earliest opportunity (the slate is soaking right now).

21st April 2004, 00:37
hmmm, thats something to consider.

i plan on trying to set up a food dish in the tank for the newt to feed from. i figured that if i can keep the freeze dried and frozen foods in dish at the bottom of the tank, it would be much easier to remove the uneaten food and gauge how much if it he actually eats. so, assuming i can actually keep the food in the bowl without it being scattered everywhere (i have no idea how possible that actually is tho), there should be a very slim chance of him accidentally ingesting any sand. plus, the type of sand i'm using is extra-fine and smooth (its almost dust), which makes me think it might have a better chance of passing right through if he does accidentally swallow some. i might add gravel over the sand tho.