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Re: Sand

Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 09:14:52 -0500 (EST)
From: Ivo Busko

> > Would that be long- term "stability", or merely ease of
> > maintenance?
> Both. In my view, it is in the end the same thing. If the tank
> is not stable in the long run, it has to be taken apart more
> often than I would like, and that translates into a "high
> maintenance" tank anyway...

I'd think it possible to be less "all- inclusive" in the definition of
stability, but we can look at things in this light well enough, too.

> I used to keep aquariums (in fact just "fish tanks") with
> this approach for most of my life, taking them apart and
> starting from scratch every year or so. I am very happy
> now that I found a workaround exists.

This part of "stability" would imply its duration...

> > If it came to blows, you couldn't even say that "natural" substrates
> > any _real_ long- term "stability", either.
> ...my goal is not to have a "natural" tank, whatever that term
> means. My goal is to keep it running with minimum
> intervention for as long as possible. Aquariums are far
> from being "natural" systems anyway.

The comparison here was not to define "natural" - just to show that even
Nature must re-do things on an interval. This goes back to the point of

> Right, "automated" is the key word here...

And here's point number two - how "hands- off" is it?...

> ...I didn't say this in my other posting, but I am not
> complaining about the anaerobic substrate killing my
> plants or something like that. On the contrary, plants
> are thriving and the aquarium is healthy except for
> periodic bouts of green spot algae, everytime the
> platy population explodes. I plan to keep the tank as
> is for at least one more year before taking it apart,
> and my only worry is that the anaerobic spots may
> grow out of control and eventually spoil the tank in
> some way if I'm not careful.

And point number 3 leads to aesthetics - after all, you observe that plant
growth and tank health aren't affected. But the presence of anaerobic
activity still troubles you...

At this time, I'd say a comparison of techniques is in order. You're doing
something very different than I am with the same materials and we're getting
divergent results. In my view, sand *is* a viable, long- term substrate
requiring very little intervention on my part - only the occassional
addition of substrate fertilizer. But in order to determine where our
divergence occurs, some more information is necessary.

In the meantime, I found another example of long- term sand use:


David A. Youngker
nestor10 at mindspring_com