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Sand road,do it or not?

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Oxy, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    Hi guys,I'm opening this discussion because i'm undecided if doing or not doing a sand road in my next tank... I think that the road can really help to achieve depth,but I'm afraid that the sand will never be white because of the Flourite... What do you think?I need your help!
     

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  2. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    Keeping white sand white is very hard. I tried it on a nano and it was a mission, gave up on the end.

    To keep a white sand road? must be really hard, but with some large rocks next to it would look fab.
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    Luis, i'm surpised by your response. I believe I remember reading a recent post of yours where you said "oh no not another path scape"

    The contrast of white to bright green plants can be stunning, but difficult upkeep like Luis mentioned. Tricks people use are vaccuming the sand regularly with a small hose like airline hose to suck up dirty sand and debris, then adding a new layer.

    Rocks as a barrier between the sand and flourite would be a good idea otherwise it is tough to keep them seperate. I always ended up with some aquasoil on my sand.
     
  4. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    In my previous tank I used white sand and Manado and I always had Manado on it,but this is a really lightweight substrate.There's another problem.I want to use HC,when it grows,it'll grow on the sand?
     
  5. ghostsword

    ghostsword Aspiring Aquascaper Staff Member

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    Eheheh, did not want to sound rude. I don't like sand paths, cannot see them on nature so I would not like to see them on my tanks. But, done properly they can be good looking.

    The issue is that so many people copy them, but if people like them they should do it, after all scaping is for one self.

    White sand looks amazing on a scape, such a high impact against the plants and rocks.




    .
     
  6. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    I very like it but the problem is that it's not easy to keep it white...
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    they are a great way to add depth. in pictures we see of these types of scapes i'm sure that the sand has been recently cleaned or topped so it looks fresh and clean.

    for HC I'm assuming you will have to be vigilant about trimming runners over the sand.
     
  8. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    I think that is better if I don't do the road... Maybe I can do a good scape even without it...
     
  9. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    As someone who currently has sand in 3 of his 4 tanks, let me chime in on this one...

    As others have mentioned, keeping sand at all comes with considerations, not least of which is the eventual mixing of your soil with your sand. This becomes a regular maintenance PIA if you are not careful, but there are certain things/tricks you can employ to minimize the frustration.

    First, decide on the color. If you go with a really white sand then aging, algae, and debris are going to end up more apparent, and it will throw off the entire scape more. If instead you go with something like ADA Nile sand, you'll end up worrying less about debris and mixing, but you will miss out a little bit on the stark contrast of really healthy, really green plants side by side which can be a nice component if done right.

    Rocks are nice, but if it all possible, it doesn't hurt to take this a step further and contemplate, as I have done, utilizing wire mesh that you stick into the substrate to further separate your sand and soil. In that way you have a less of a chance for mixing and an easier time of it. You can place the wire mesh first and then sometimes place the rocks against the wire mesh.

    What Luis mentions is true. Paths, if too contrived, can end up looking too much like a gimmick and not enough like a true, natural scape. Having the right kinds of plants mixing in with your paths is important I think. Going with a foreground plant that bleeds into the path will help alleviate your scape from looking so much like a guarded-gate community instead of what it should look like, a nature scape.

    Of the 3 tanks in which I employ sand, two utilize white sand and one uses Nile. The only "path" tank is the Nile sand tank, and it still has a ways to go before it starts to look more natural I think. It's a process that comes with a lot of extra consideration and care to make it work.
     
  10. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    ADA Nile sand is really beautifull but it's also really expansive... I'm thinking that the better solution is not do the road,because it's hard to keep it clean,because it's hard to keep it without plants and because it's hard to keep it not mixed with the flourite. In my layout i want to achieve depth,do you think i can do it even without the sand?
     
  11. youjettisonme

    youjettisonme Aspiring Aquascaper

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    True that it does come with a price. You can most certainly achieve depth minus sand. I would contemplate varying the level and terrain of your scape with rocks. Achieving different height in different areas of the scape often will create the depth you're looking for. There are so many great example out there.
     
  12. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    You're surely right,but it's not easy.I'm undecided,but I think I won't do the sand road.
     
  13. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    you could do an HC road instead. A path of lower growing plants with rocks and larger plants to the sides
     
  14. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    I think that's not easy to control HC in a path and I prefer the sand path. About the larger plants,I only want to use HC,Pogostemon Helferi and Blyxa Japonica. I want to do the path but I'm sure it's not easy to keep it clean,but I'm also sure it's fantastic. I'm tryng to achieve depth and the path is probably fundamental for this. I see a lot of really beautiful layout without the path but anyway I'm undecided. I'll make some photos of the rocks on a piece of paper with and without the path,probably it's the best way to choose.
     
  15. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    Here some photos,they're not good,I'll make them with the sun...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I need another rock,because I want to use 5 rocks,but I like the layout.Do you think I can do it even without the path?
     
  16. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    I've made 2 photos with the rocks near the path:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    What do you think about this?
     
  17. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I say yes on a sand road. It adds extra flare to the layout.

    The latest design looks good.

    -John N.
     
  18. dr.dzek

    dr.dzek New Member

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    i think better impression will bi if the road goes to the opposite end of the aquarium. that road looks very short... longest road is better.
     
  19. Flo

    Flo Aspiring Aquascaper

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    i just can say the same to a sand road as luis did before. It s really hard to keep it clean. I had the same problem in my last layout, the road was allways dirty and after a while i gave up. But if you decide to make a road you should not be affraid of the Manado. As a tip: Acquiring a small shrimp net which you can clean the sand from manado if you go through the sand road. But you have to work carefully and take time. my nephew does it like that at his Malawian tank. He said it works well <):).
     
  20. Oxy

    Oxy New Member

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    Hi guys,thanks for your help! Now I'm waiting for the tank because the glazier hasn't got the glasses,so I have to wait... I hope I'll have the tank in 2 weeks. About the road,I think that when HC will grow the Flourite won't dirty the sand,but I'm afraid that HC can grow on the sand. What do you think about this?
    Tomorrow I'll try some new layouts,dr.dzek's idea is godd,thank you!
     

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