06-19-2012, 07:34 AM
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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.