Alternative to "aquarium gravel" - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Alternative to "aquarium gravel"

Got a question for y'all....you know how you can utilize regular play/ kids sand for the tank vs the normal "aquarium" sand?
Was wondering if there's such alternative for gravel too, as I wanted to set up both tanks with gravel....Hit the home stores or not is the question.
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post #2 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 04:15 PM
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I have read and seen many pictures where people have used river rock or pea gravel from the home stores.

Some people say not do it, you risk contaminating the tank. Personally, I would not be afraid to try it. I even bought a bag of pea gravel from Lowes to use, but decided to do sand instead.
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post #3 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 04:21 PM
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Landscaping and stone retailers sometimes have various gravels and sand. The critical issue is that it be inert, i.e., not affect the water chemistry. Gravel comprised of limestone, dolomite, marble, or coral will add calcium to the water over a long period of time, raising the pH and hardness; these gravls are OK in marine tanks and rift lake cichlid tanks and brackish tanks, but not in aquaria where you want lower pH and hardness. Other ingredients may be mixed in for specific purposes. Know what you're getting before putting it in a fish tank.

The other concern is the sharpness of the grains. Most aquarium gravels made for that purpose are rounded grains that will not cause harm to fish, particularly bottom fish. Some gravels are angular and the sharp edges can perforate fish and also affect barbels on bottom fish like catfish.

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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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 #4 of 11 Old 09-01-2009, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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To be honest I never even looked to check what the home store real has. When I first thought about it my worry was the stuff being treated with some chemicals to enhance outdoors colors or lord knows what they think of doing...
@Byron: If I was to get cory's again, i'd def NOT use gravel period no matter which kind, but sand, I know many folks have them on gravel grounds, but I do not find that appropriate.
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post #5 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 01:38 AM
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I have my cories on sand. And have one cory before on gravel. They love being in groups and playing in the sand.

I got mine from Home Depot. Just clean it very well.!
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post #6 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 07:33 AM
Anything bottom dwelling with frail fiddly bits should only be kept on gravel, in my opinion of course.
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post #7 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by willieturnip View Post
Anything bottom dwelling with frail fiddly bits should only be kept on gravel, in my opinion of course.
What are the frail fiddly bits?
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post #8 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 02:09 PM
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Delicate barbels as seen on loaches, cories, and such.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #9 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 02:13 PM
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Delicate barbels as seen on loaches, cories, and such.
Okay, but if its gravel it should be very fine! That is why sand is recommended for those types of fish.
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post #10 of 11 Old 09-02-2009, 07:51 PM
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go with sand its about 90% cheaper then buying substrate from your lfs. its good for plants, fragile fish and to some people it looks a lot better not to mention the easier maintenance for sand. Money
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