Many fish like to sift through the substrate looking for food

FW substrate Merry Christmas! I am revamping my 55gal freshwater aquarium. Ive had it running for 15 yearswith various stages of success. Your website has been agreat help. Ive read books, but you only get one opinionwith a book. My question involves substrate for the plantedtank. My head is spinning. Its starting to slow down a bit,though. I get the idea that a somewhat porous, somewhatsandy (but not too), somewhat inorganic (but not too), somewhat organic(but not too) substrate is desired. Schultz makes anexpanded clay they call Aquatic Plant Soil and it seems tobe baked Fullers earth. It is intended for Pondplants. Anyone had any experience with thisstuff? If it has a suitable particle size wouldnt this dofor the aquarium? From what little information they have ontheir website I imagine this product would be close to Laterite and/orFluorite in actual use. What say ye? DavidL. Bragassa

Livebearing Snail in a freshwater aquarium with #60 natural sand as a substrate.

A deep sand bed is a sand substrate coupled with bacteria and multicellular organisms working together as a powerful biological filter. Originally developed in the saltwater aquarium hobby, deep sand beds (DSBs) extended the biological filter from converting ammonia and ammonium to nitrate, to eliminating nitrate by denitrification - using the oxygen in nitrate, releasing harmless nitrogen or nitrous oxide. This was desirable because of saltwater organisms’ great sensitivity to nitrate. In freshwater, nitrates are much less toxic, requiring infrequent water changes to control levels, but the freshwater DSB as described in this article does more than eliminate nitrate.

What is the best sand to use as substrate

Beginner Freshwater Aquarium > Beginner Planted Aquarium > Sand Substrate. …Aquarium substrates are pH neutral and will not increase aquarium carbonate hardness. Unique grain size resists collection of detritus, fish waste or food within the substrate bed. available... in a variety of natural gravels and sands to enhance the look and function of freshwater aquariums.…

I plan on having a freshwater tank

Play sand is something I have always considered a no no in a freshwater aquarium. There is never a way to know how heavy the mineral content is with it, and the grains tend to be very fine, which creates mud on the bottom... thus organic breakdown that can cause problems for the animals. If sand is absolutely needed, silica sand is the best and safest option. You should be able to purchase it at any lfs that sells gravel and other specialized plant substrates, or at most reptile supply stores. If its not seen on the shelf, you can ask for it. Some lfs's don't stock it regularly because there is such a low demand for it in most areas, but it should be easily available to them through their distributor.

white sand in a freshwater tank