Substrate Question - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-06-2010, 12:08 AM
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Good advice previously, I've a couple of follow-ups.

The "sand" such as a plant substrate is a bit different from "play sand" so you should not have any issues provided there are live plants growing (their roots in the substrate work with the bacteria, etc). And this "sand" will be fine for corys or loaches.

But not the clown loach. Not in a 25g tank. Clowns attain 12+ inches and if you read our profile on this fish (click on the shade name, or use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top) you will see the minimum size tank required, and they must be in a group of 5-6.

And while undergravel filters can work with planted tank, they will not work with sand, and they are not the preferred filter. In a 25g a simple sponge filter is adequate. The forest fish do not like excessive water movement, nor do the plants [the reason is explained in Part 3 of the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the top of the Aquarium Plants section]. I only use sponge filters in tanks under 55g.

As for SA plants, most of the species in our plant profiles so far are SA, so have a look at those. Under "Tropical Fish Profiles" in the blue bar.


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 #12 of 12 Old 08-06-2010, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Yes, I've gotten most of the information you've just provided from reading your other posts! I was thinking about using a sponge filter instead of the canister filter...and I definitely would never use a UGF filter with sand!

Thanks for clarification on the substrate sand. I've been itching to actually see and feel some of it because they call it "sand" but I had a feeling it was not really sand. So - you addressed my two questions - is it still ok for corys and will it create the same issues that sand does. Thanks!

Yes I did read the info on clown loaches and already decided yesterday to just stick with the corys. I used to have three clown loaches in this tank and they lived for a long time and seemed to be reasonably happy, but they did grow 2 inches over two years (they were 2 inches when I bought them). I wouldn't chance it again, knowing what I know now! All the more incentive to save for a bigger tank for a SE Asian biotope! Ahhh...someday...

Thanks, everyone, for your comments. And Byron thanks for all your posts on planted aquariums; you have revolutionized my knowledge about lighting in planted aquariums. I am now quite sure that when I had one previously (granted that was 10 years ago and I was in high school) I thought lack of light was my problem but my real problem was probably over-filtration/lack of CO2. I kind of gave up because I was a poor student and couldn't afford "better lights" (which I thought I needed) and DIY CO2 supplementation became too much of a hassle.

Last edited by sovrappensiero; 08-06-2010 at 08:52 AM.
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