05-22-2011, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by DKRST
Thanks for the comments, I added some black sand today. Looks much better. I dislike a bare-bottom tank aesthetically anyway. If I end up wanting to shift the pH for any reason, I may just add small portions of the African cichlid substrate, or the dolomite, to the sand. At this point, I'm not planning on messing with the pH however.
Next issue - anyone ever have MTS bore holes in a sponge filter? My snails are making my sponge filter look like Swiss cheese! I have baby and adult MTS burrowing their way through the filter media. Very odd. Again, could have been a side effect of no substrate, I suppose.
I know you're not contemplating raising pH now, but I do want to pick up on the issue for the benefit of those reading. I would not recommend adding substances to the substrate for this, but rather add them to the filter or some other controlled method. Mixing anything in the substrate means you cannot remove it if that is necessary, and as one who has used dolomite for this purpose in the past I can tell you that it takes a bit of experimenting to find the amount. I got one of those mesh filter bags and put a couple tablespoons of dolomite in that and placed it in the top chamber of a canister filter. This worked very well. As you mention sponge filters, obviously this won't work, but in that case just hang the bag in front of the water flow from the sponge filter. It would take very little. Dolomite is the best natural substance for this purpose as it adds calcium and magnesium.
On the sponge holes, I have never witnessed this and I have hundreds of snails in my tanks. A sponge is naturally porous, it may be they are simply following the channels. Or they may have been looking for that refuge they would normally find in the substrate.