Amount of sand to purchase

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Scarletfire
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Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Scarletfire » Sun May 12, 2019 1:41 pm

My question: do I purchase 6 or 7 bags of sand, and should I deviate from the 5:1 ratio (see math below, or skip to Option A/B/C)?

I have a 48" x 18" x 18" tank. My heater is 11" long, so I don't want my substrate to exceed 7". With a 5 sand: 1 eco earth ratio, sand cannot exceed 5.8" or 2.9 cu. ft. Each 20kg bag of play sand is 0.45 cu. ft, therefore, I need 6.4 bags of sand.

If I purchase 6 bags of sand, that totals to 2.7 cu. ft of sand, or 5.4" height of sand (or 6.48" when mixed with eco earth). With 7 bags of sand, that totals 3.15 cu. ft, or 6.3" of sand (or 7.56" when mixed with coco fibers).

Option A: buy 6 bags of sand, and mix enough eco earth to reach substrate depth of 6.48"
Option B: buy 6 bags of sand, and mix enough eco earth to reach substrate depth of 7" (not sure if more eco earth is okay, or if it'll be too much moisture in substrate)
Option C: buy 7 bags of sand, and mix enough eco earth to reach substrate depth of 7.56", knowing that 0.56" will be above the bottom of the heater.

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Oliviet#1
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Oliviet#1 » Sun May 12, 2019 2:46 pm

My hermit crabs seem to like EE more, and I only used one fifty pound bag of sand, and used EE for the rest to make about 5-6.5 inches. So I would say that I used 4/7 of playsand, and 3/7 or 1/2 of EE. I also think the EE helps with humidity. Some people do the 5.1, some people do around half and half, and some people do only EE. It is really just your opinion.
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aussieJJDude
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by aussieJJDude » Sun May 12, 2019 6:05 pm

I'd honestly do C. Not only will the substrate settle over time, meaning you'll have to add more, but it wont impact heating if a couple of inches of the sand are over the heater. In fact, my crabs enjoyed digging down in the warmer sand to hide in, and found it was great to boost humdity. The only issue was that area of sand was dry, but the crabs didn't mind at all.

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curlysister
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by curlysister » Sun May 12, 2019 7:35 pm

Two of my heaters (I have multiple, LOL) are below the sand level. I agree it gets drier there, but when I add some water to the sub, I do it along those edges.
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Motörcrab
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Motörcrab » Sun May 12, 2019 8:41 pm

48x18x18 sounds like it is about 60-70 gallons. My 75 G measures 48x18x21.

The average estimate is one 50lb (22.5kg) bag of sand for every 10 gallons. Your calculations seem to be correct. I would also go for option C. Its a pain when you don't have enough sand and need to get more in the middle of setting up a tank. You can always return the extra bag later or keep it for when it settles.

As for the ratio of sand to EE 5:1 is recommended since it is very similar to beach sand. Any mix will work. People use straight sand or straight EE or any combination between.


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Scarletfire
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Scarletfire » Sun May 12, 2019 8:54 pm

Thanks everyone! I'll go with 7 bags of sand, and see how mixing it goes.

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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Scarletfire » Thu May 23, 2019 8:43 pm

Motörcrab wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 8:41 pm
48x18x18 sounds like it is about 60-70 gallons. My 75 G measures 48x18x21.
You are right. When I bought the tank, the guy told me 48x18x18. Turns out it's 48x18x13.

Doing a re-calculation... I'll use 5 bags of sand, which will become 6.23" of straight sand which will be mixed with eco earth.

Funny thing. I realized that the label on the package was that it's 7-8L of eco earth per brick. I thought it was 7-8L of eco earth for the entire package
(3 bricks). I realized that I messed when I was trying to hydrate it, and there was a LOT more than I thought. With these 3 bricks being mixed into 2 bags of sand already... these options present itself!

We discussed how it's okay if substrate is above the bottom of the heater, but I don't want it to be too high in case the crabs can't dig deep enough. Thoughts? How important is the ratio?

- Option A: Optimal 5:1 ratio
(9 bags of sand / Ratio of sand: EE is 5:1 / 6.32" of substrate above bottom of heater)

- Option B: Minimized overlap of substrate with heater
(5 bags of sand / Ratio is 5:1.85 / 1" of substrate above bottom of heater)

- Option C: Combination of A and B
(7 bags of sand / Ratio is 5:1.3 / 3.5" of substrate above bottom of heater)

- Option D: Combination of A and B
(6 bags of sand / Ratio is 5:1.5 / 2" of substrate above bottom of heater)


Side comment, I am now the proud owner of 6 extra bricks of eco earth. Aside from making an ISO, is there a use for it in setting up the crabitat outside of substrate?

Photo: 5 bags of sandImage

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Motörcrab
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Motörcrab » Thu May 23, 2019 11:06 pm

I would personally go with option D. In a few months your substrate should settle an inch or two so eventually your substrate should be about even with the bottom of the heater.

The ratio isn't critical. Some people use pure EE, straight sand, or anything in-between. Pure EE holds humidity great but doesn't hold it's shape as well as sand. There are pros and cons of both options. Check the caresheet and guideline section I believe there is more info there.

I don't think you need to worry about deep substrate. Crabs in the wild have unlimited substrate after all! Since crabs love to climb as much as they dig be sure you keep enough room for branches, Cholla, nets, and other items like exercise wheels, and moss pits too.

When you have everything mixed you could also remove some substrate to get it to whatever level you think is best too.


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Scarletfire
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Re: Amount of sand to purchase

Post by Scarletfire » Fri May 24, 2019 8:56 am

Oh I didnt even consider removing excess. I'll do that

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