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The good and bad of your substrate choice

This is a discussion on The good and bad of your substrate choice within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I like the idea of being able to suck the mess up before it sinks into the gravel. When I did the full substrate ...

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The good and bad of your substrate choice
Old 05-01-2012, 02:50 PM   #31
 
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I like the idea of being able to suck the mess up before it sinks into the gravel. When I did the full substrate change several months back, it was disgusting. Stink! I was looking into this stuff too http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...,7172&breeds=1


I think that would be another good option for the cories. Though I am not overly excited about that color. This is another option http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...,7172&breeds=1

I might run up to home depot later and just see what they have. That or a farm supply store that has sand boxes so would likely have play sand as well. I know it would be a cheaper option. That stuff above is $20.00 a bag and I would need at least 2 bags for that small tank. I just thought that was sort of the best of both worlds. Super fine but a bit heavier then sand so sucking it up would likely not happen so easily.


Oh, I just saw they have this too. This might be nice. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...ish-supply.jpg Problem is again, that would cost me at least $40.00 vs. playsand $10.00-$15.00.

Last edited by Inga; 05-01-2012 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 05-01-2012, 03:16 PM   #32
 
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I wouldn't start with CaribSea and cories.
It's not real sand, it's glass shards. The bag actually says "not suitable for bottom dwellers" I'm pretty sure.
A few people have had it for a few months with cories with no noticed damage, but it's not worth putting it in a new set up knowing the risk.
It's also full of silicates (glass) and can leach in the water causing diatoms.
:/

If that gravel is CaribSea, it might be okay.. I'd double check the website, but last time I was there all their substrates had a big red X in the "bottom dweller friendly" category.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:04 AM   #33
 
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Sanguinefox Wait until you change out your substrate someday. I changed mine out completely. I can't even describe the filth that was in that gravel and I keep my tanks very very clean. The STINK!!! Ugh!!! This is in part why I have decided to change out the substrate in my smaller tank when I re-do it. I think a fresh start isn't a bad thing. I will use the same plants, wood and won't change the filter so I don't have to "recycle" the tank.
Oh and "electric aquarium vacuum?" I have got to get one of those. :)

1077 Pillow case is an excellent idea.

Geo, Is the white really that much worse then the natural? maybe I could mix them? I have not seen dark colored pool sand but then.. someone made the point of the color maybe being a toxin for the fish? I guess it is better to stay with natural for that reason. All the stores around here currently have all kinds of strange colors of play sand. I am sure the kids love it but doubt the fish will. I will ask about some snails, thanks.
I've been through changing gravel twice. Never again..never ever ever ever again. That gravel stuff can go die in a fire. Its disgusting what my well maintained 20 gallon years ago managed to accumulate underneath the stuff.

Arn't they the best? I got mine for around 50 (I put in with a friend, and a family member) and it's been one of the best investments for the tank.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:40 PM   #34
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
I wouldn't start with CaribSea and cories.
It's not real sand, it's glass shards. The bag actually says "not suitable for bottom dwellers" I'm pretty sure.
A few people have had it for a few months with cories with no noticed damage, but it's not worth putting it in a new set up knowing the risk.
It's also full of silicates (glass) and can leach in the water causing diatoms.
:/

If that gravel is CaribSea, it might be okay.. I'd double check the website, but last time I was there all their substrates had a big red X in the "bottom dweller friendly" category.


I am a little confused by that ^^^ The highlighted areas. It was CaribSea. Is that an alright brand then for Corie's, or not? From the picture, it appears like real heavy sand kernels?
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:54 PM   #35
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
I wouldn't start with CaribSea and cories.
It's not real sand, it's glass shards. The bag actually says "not suitable for bottom dwellers" I'm pretty sure.
A few people have had it for a few months with cories with no noticed damage, but it's not worth putting it in a new set up knowing the risk.
It's also full of silicates (glass) and can leach in the water causing diatoms.
:/

If that gravel is CaribSea, it might be okay.. I'd double check the website, but last time I was there all their substrates had a big red X in the "bottom dweller friendly" category.
Really D: This is the stuff I was planning to use with my Pangio loaches. If it's too rough for cories, then I certainly wouldn't want to use it on burrowing loaches. Oh poop.

Anyone have any better solutions?
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #36
 
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Well the CaribSea sand is made from glass shards.
I'm not sure what CaribSea gravel is made out of, it might be safer. Sorry, confusion.

I've been searching for safe black sand. :s
There's Petco brand, I'm not sure of what it's made from..
Petco Black Aquarium Sand at PETCO
Seachem has black sand fluorite, so it isn't glass, and looks fine enough for cories, but you can mail them and ask.
Seachem. Flourite Black Sand
There's also this I found recommended on a British forum but not sure if shipping it down is worth it:
Unipac Limpopo Black Aquarium Sand 12.5kg 16.99 - Buy Substrate System Accessories
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:44 PM   #37
 
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I had seen the Petco brand sand, but if I remember correctly I think I heard it was dyed. Not really what I want to put in with a more sensitive fish like cardinal tetra. The Seachem product looks good except I'm pretty sure flourite would raise the GH. Again, not something I want for cardinals. I've considered using play sand like Byron does, but I would really like some black sand to make all of my fishy colors POP!
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Old 05-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #38
 
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Makes sense, since it's minerals.
Seachem says it doesn't alter pH, so probably doesn't affect kH. A quick search and all I could find was one person saying fluorite appears to raise dH by 1-2 degrees.
The darkest natural sand I can think of is quikrete, I think it's spelt. I have King brand and it's a bit lighter. There's also construction sand which has lots of tones, but who knows what that'll do to the water, it seems pretty course.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:11 AM   #39
 
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Black pool filter sand exists, you just have to find it and will take some calling around. You may have to look at pool supply stores versus home improvement stores.
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