Adding different substrate to established tank - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 41 Old 03-16-2013, 02:44 PM
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Yah, the water velocity is the key. The wide tube on the gravel vac allows the water to move slowly enough for the denser gravel to drop out before it gets to the hose. The smaller hose diameter with the same overall flow has a fast enough velocity that the gravel cannot fall fast enough to get out... That and there isn't as much room for the water to flow around the gravel.

No reason that it won't work.

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Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #12 of 41 Old 03-16-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, thanks to all of you. The more I thought about all your points the more I thought it could be sucked out.

I did switch a 10 gallon from gravel to sand by doing a complete tear-down and even though I was focused it took almost two hours! I don't want to go to those lengths if I can help it.

Now of course I am seeking the "best" black, fine-grain sand that would be suitable for Brochis splendens. My two 10 gallons have play sand but I really want the darker substrate for the 75 gallon. Any thoughts on that topic?

Jentralala, I will have to check out your thread, thanks.

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post #13 of 41 Old 03-16-2013, 07:33 PM
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I would stay with the play sand. I recently (about 6 weeks ago) tore down my 70g to take out the Flourite (very similar to Eco-Complete) and replace it with play sand.

Black shows every bit of "stuff" which I never see in my tanks with play sand or mixed gravel. And corys and Brochis will have issues; I had to remove the corys from my Flourite tank due to mouth and barbel issues. And the Quikrete brand of play sand is identical in appearance to the sand the Brochis live over naturally, so they should be happy.

If you really are intent on black, there are Aquarium Black sands available (quite expensive). Pool sand can be acquired in black; I've never seen it so I can't say how rough it may be. Just make sure there are no additives which can occur with pool sand.

Set aside a day to do it, but it is well worth doing right. Mixing substrates rarely works effectively as others have pointed out.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #14 of 41 Old 03-16-2013, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
And the Quikrete brand of play sand is identical in appearance to the sand the Brochis live over naturally, so they should be happy.
That would be why they are so much happier in my sandy tank than in the pet store! I think my sand came from Home Depot, but I don't know the brand. Now that I've seen them on their "natural" substrate doing nose-dives into the sand (and watching it shoot out of their gills) I want to be sure they are OK on the substrate in the 75.

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Pool sand can be acquired in black; I've never seen it so I can't say how rough it may be. Just make sure there are no additives which can occur with pool sand.
Yes, I've seen pool sand on the web but would have to research local suppliers. I read a lot about fish preferring darker substrates (and I have to say I like the dark look myself) so I'll do more research while my Brochis are in QT.

Thanks for the advice! Your tanks are amazing, BTW.

Plummy
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post #15 of 41 Old 03-17-2013, 12:57 AM
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I have mine on Flourite black sand, which was pretty pricey at $20 a bag.
I personally like it, but I think I pointed out in my thread that it's pretty much like dirt. It doesn't have defined granules. I didn't rinse mine which may contribute to some of the excess clouding, but it get's really messy to plant it. It also has a weird tendency to break down into a silt. I think it looks really natural so I love it, but it's not very 'clean'.

A lot of people use Tahitian Moon Sand. I know Ches has her Kuhli loaches on it and they adore it, but I'm not sure if there's a difference between them and corys.
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post #16 of 41 Old 03-17-2013, 03:38 AM
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What I did was take a Pvc pipe or substrate cleaner and stick it in a bag of wet sand and put your hand over the other end so it stays in and with your hand still covered put it near the bottom of your tank and let your hand go it should fall out and not stir the sand around too much
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post #17 of 41 Old 03-17-2013, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Perlumia View Post
That would be why they are so much happier in my sandy tank than in the pet store! I think my sand came from Home Depot, but I don't know the brand. Now that I've seen them on their "natural" substrate doing nose-dives into the sand (and watching it shoot out of their gills) I want to be sure they are OK on the substrate in the 75.

Yes, I've seen pool sand on the web but would have to research local suppliers. I read a lot about fish preferring darker substrates (and I have to say I like the dark look myself) so I'll do more research while my Brochis are in QT.

Thanks for the advice! Your tanks are amazing, BTW.
Thank you.

On the dark substrate, this is true, but one has to qualify what "dark substrate" means. Some "sand" is white and this is not good at all. You can sort of mitigate it by low lighting, lots of floating plants, and of course having the substrate almost covered with chunks of wood and/or dry leaves. But I like to see some open areas, which is essential with substrate fish like corys.

"Dark" to us and dark to the fish may not be the same. I mentioned the Quikrete Play Sand being identical to Amazonian sand. The photo below is of my Amazonian Riverscape 115g setup, which has about 40 corys now. This is the play sand. The corys have taken on good colouration over this. Interestingly, if you were to view them from above on this sand, and they were not moving, you would not easily see them; they are patterned to blend in with this sand, appearing like sticks and bits of debris, so birds won't spot them. You sort of get the idea of this in the second photo which happens to be of some of the whiptails. The "reddish" are the so-called red lizard variant and not a natural species, but the other larger Rineloricaria parva is a wild fish and you can see how from up above he would be basically unseen over this similarly-coloured sand.

I always say, follow nature and you can't go wrong.
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File Type: jpg 115g July 19-12.jpg (77.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Whiptails (1).jpg (96.5 KB, 22 views)
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Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #18 of 41 Old 03-17-2013, 12:47 PM
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Byron, I bought the same sand 'Quikcrete Playsand' and it doesn't look a bit like that. Yours looks salt and pepper and gorgeous, but mine is just...blah. One color, beige. I'm wondering if there's a difference in canadian vs american...? Just a thought. I got mine at Lowes.

Also to clarify, I said in an earlier post 'I have mine of flourite black sand'...I meant my fish in general, haha. I don't have cory cats. I realize now I worded that poorly :p
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post #19 of 41 Old 03-17-2013, 01:54 PM
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Sand has got to be expensive to ship so it is probably sourced as close to various markets as possible. That would make the composition different everywhere.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #20 of 41 Old 03-17-2013, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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I agree about the coloration; here is my Quickrite Premium Play sand from Home Depot:

I do see what you mean about the Brochis blending nicely into the substrate. As long as he is comfortable enough to come out so I can see him once in a while, I would be OK with him on this sand. I'm not sure what a whole 75 gallon would look like, though; I'm afraid it would be blinding. I like the look of your sand better.
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