Substrate for planted cory tank
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Substrate for planted cory tank

This is a discussion on Substrate for planted cory tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I'm thinking about doing a mix of Tahitian moon sand and CaribSea Eco-Complete for my substrate in the new planted cory tank. I've heard ...

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Substrate for planted cory tank
Old 06-18-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
 
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Substrate for planted cory tank

I'm thinking about doing a mix of Tahitian moon sand and CaribSea Eco-Complete for my substrate in the new planted cory tank. I've heard sand alone can compact and prevent rooted plants from doing well, but I also know the cories need soft sand they can root through. Thoughts on this combo?

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Old 06-19-2012, 04:25 AM   #2
 
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add MTS and your problem will be solved
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KPainter View Post
I'm thinking about doing a mix of Tahitian moon sand and CaribSea Eco-Complete for my substrate in the new planted cory tank. I've heard sand alone can compact and prevent rooted plants from doing well, but I also know the cories need soft sand they can root through. Thoughts on this combo?
Carib Sea states that moon sand should not be used with bottom dwelling fishes according to website.
Sand is likely to find it's way to the bottom anyhow, due to smaller grain size, so I might just use the Eco-complete.
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:34 AM   #4
 
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I've heard that Eco Complete, and Flourite, are rather rough and not good for substrate fish. I've also heard about the Carib Sea sand being bad as 1077 mentioned.

Mixing substrate that is different grain sizes will not work, the finner sand will work its way down to the bottom, while the larger gravel will make it's way to the top. Don't worry about compaction, keep the depth of the sand under 2" and try to introduce MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails) to help.

The cheapest solution is using Play Sand from a hardware store. It takes a lot of cleaning, but a 50 lbs bag is less than $4. This sand is entirely quartz silica sand, and is nice and smooth. I use this in two of my tanks, both with Corys and it works great. The Corys love to dig around in it looking for food.

Another option is black pool filter sand. People say it is easier to clean than play sand, just make sure you do not get white sand. White is very bright for the fish and will stress them, plus you get better color out of your fish from a dark substrate.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:37 AM   #5
 
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I only use and recommend Estes Marine Sand (also known as Ultra Reef and Stoney River). It does not compact and requires no cleaning/rinsing at all. It is not an enriched plant substrate, but those become exhausted eventually anyways. I use Flourish tabs and plants do very well for me. It is safe for cories, loaches, stingrays, etc.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:46 PM   #6
 
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Why not give your corys what they have in Amazonia? And that basically is playsand. The Quikrete tan/gray play sand is identical in appearance to the sand in many Amazon streams. Their colour patterns viewed from above over this sand clearly illustrates why; and they do take on their best appearance as a result. My 30+ corys are loving it.

I would not use any of the enriched substrates with corys or loaches. I was told this by a professional catfish importer who specifically mentioned Eco-Complete. When I decided to use an enriched substrate in my 70g I chose Flourite over Eco-Complete; I found both in a local store and was able to feel them in my hand, and EC was sharper and harder than Flourite. Howdever, now that I have Flourite, I have had to remove the corys from that tank, as it was definitely bothering them with barbel issues. They went into the larger tank with sand, and made a noticeable improvement.

Byron.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
 
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Yep, the more I read and hear stories, the more playsand seems like the best option. I'll probably head out this weekend and get some. Thanks for all the input.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:24 PM   #8
 
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I've heard of being able to find dark green pool filter sand, could be interesting to look into
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