Best Sand Substrate Carried by Petsmart etc

Boxolotl

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I am looking for the best priced sand at big name stores like Petsmart and Petco. I have read that you can use sand from like Lowes and Home Depot but before I pull out the dough I want to make sure what I read is accurate. Also play sand is ok? I have read that as well.

I have a 40+ gal tank that I am setting up for my first axies ever. I am getting them at the end of July which leaves me plenty of time to set it up and cycle the water and make sure everything is "perfectly balanced" like Thanos may say. I am also doing fake plants (except moss balls) and some.... ghost shrimp? something to help keep the water/tank clean.
 

KumquatSquats

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Re: Best Sand Substrate Carried by Petsmart ect

sand is pretty much just various sizes and colors of silica, play sand and pool filter sand are often cheaper than the stuff at pet-shops. they just need to be rinsed to remove the small particulates, play sand needs more washing then pool sand.

if you can get some hardy real plants it will help your tank cycle and need less water changes but silk plants are ok too. marimos are super easy to take care of and i have a bunch myself so i encourage you to get a good number of them if thats the only live plant you get.
 

Locke

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Re: Best Sand Substrate Carried by Petsmart ect

sand is pretty much just various sizes and colors of silica, play sand and pool filter sand are often cheaper than the stuff at pet-shops. they just need to be rinsed to remove the small particulates, play sand needs more washing then pool sand.

if you can get some hardy real plants it will help your tank cycle and need less water changes but silk plants are ok too. marimos are super easy to take care of and i have a bunch myself so i encourage you to get a good number of them if thats the only live plant you get.
java moss and java fern does well without substrate as well
 

Boxolotl

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Re: Best Sand Substrate Carried by Petsmart ect

java moss and java fern does well without substrate as well
Yeah, I looked into that and was really tempted to get some java plants.... don't you have to trim them or can you let them just grow out?

me and my family have tried to keep plants in fish tanks before (its been about 10 years since then) and they just never survived.... I'll try my hand at it and see if I can keep them alive :crazy:
 

KumquatSquats

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Re: Best Sand Substrate Carried by Petsmart ect

Yeah, I looked into that and was really tempted to get some java plants.... don't you have to trim them or can you let them just grow out?

me and my family have tried to keep plants in fish tanks before (its been about 10 years since then) and they just never survived.... I'll try my hand at it and see if I can keep them alive :crazy:
Java fern grows pretty easy, not much to trim really so much as separate baby buds once they get big enough (and even then if you forget they eventually pop off on their own). java fern will actually rot if planted so it has to be glued or tied down to something or it can float around the tank freely (which is what one of mine is doing now)

anubias also grows well without substrate, it grows in a chain-type structure so when it gets bushy you can just snip it into sections along the main stem. these two are popular with axolotl tanks for a few reasons, 1) they like cold and dark water well enough to survive and 2) they are hard to kill
 

Boxolotl

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Re: Best Sand Substrate Carried by Petsmart ect

Java fern grows pretty easy, not much to trim really so much as separate baby buds once they get big enough (and even then if you forget they eventually pop off on their own). java fern will actually rot if planted so it has to be glued or tied down to something or it can float around the tank freely (which is what one of mine is doing now)

anubias also grows well without substrate, it grows in a chain-type structure so when it gets bushy you can just snip it into sections along the main stem. these two are popular with axolotl tanks for a few reasons, 1) they like cold and dark water well enough to survive and 2) they are hard to kill
So I got the tank in and its bigger than I remember from childhood. Its 75 gal.

I have gotten some mini dwarf hair grass, a java fern, and 3 moss balls. I also heard that ghost shrimp can go in tanks with them? Haven't gotten any yet but was tempted to yesterday.

Once I get the sand I need I am going to cycle my tank a few times to get rid of any nasty bits from being in storage for 6 years.
 

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I would leave out any other type of creature in the tank. There's a good chance that your axolotl will try to eat the shrimp and may possibly cause compaction.
 

KumquatSquats

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ghost shrimp are fine with adult 'lotls, just know that they are temporary cleaners and future snacks.

shrimp shouldn't cause impaction in a healthy individual as its part of their natural diet, it shouldn't be the main food source but along with worms and other soft bodied insects it can be a part of a balanced axy diet.
 
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