Torn on substrate options... - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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Torn on substrate options...

I've read the pros and cons of gravel and sand. I just can't decide which way I want to go. I have a 75 gallon tank, plan on doing it community style with a bunch of cory cats and moderately planted. I have never done sand except in my SW tank but in there I had nothing that would stir the sand. I'd really like to get very fine gravel rather than sand but chance of me finding that are next to none. Just looking for opinions I guess. I know pool sand would be the cheapest option but I'd like to get black sand. Just not sure how to proceed. I have natural river stone in the tank now and I'm just not feelin' it.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 09:25 AM
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I have Tahitian moon black sand in my aquarium, it looks great, is easy to clean, hasn't caused cloudiness from day one, also my cories love it. I also have it planted with a bit of first layer substrate mixed in, the plants are thriving. I love the sand lol, i wont ever do gravel anymore
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks...I do like the look of the Tahitian moon sand, I think right now though cost might be prohibitive in getting enough of that to do a 75g tank. I guess I could do it a little at a time but that would probably end up being a real PITA. I do have a bag of black sand left from my SW tank. I'll have to check to see if it is FW safe and if nothing else, I could use that on the bottom as a "filler". Speaking of would pool sand work as a bottom layer with something like the Tahitian moon sand on top? I guess over time it would end up mixing and not looking so great huh...
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 09:40 AM
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could try play sand. I think play sand compacts a lot more than the tahitian moon. i know the tahitian moon is really fine and quite light. i suppose you could try to layer it, it might work as long as you try not to disturb the play sand during cleaning
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 10:50 AM
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I think play sand would be a good idea. If you add Malaysian Trumpet Snails, you'll have no problems with compacting.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 11:56 AM
If you can afford it tahitian moon looks great. I have pool filter sand and it looks ok and i've never had an issue with anaerobic spots or anything. I have malaysian trumpet snails, which are good for stirring the substrate. I'd prefer a darker substrate though as the fish will show thier colours better - my fish are all healthy (cories lay eggs in the tank) but a little pale.
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah...I might check around to see what the Tahitian sand costs. I see it on the net for about $1 a pound but of course shipping is killer. Even if I can find some cheaper black sand, I might be in business. Stores around my parts pretty much suck and are over priced. Kinda limits what one can do without turning to the internet or shelling out lots of cash.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 12:23 PM
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Cories would really appreciate sand as gravel can be rough and wear down their barbels. I would recommend play sand over pool filter sand only because PFS can have sharper edges. The downside is it takes a lot more rinsing to get it clean enough to put in the tank. But it's worth it. I have play sand in 4 of my tanks and love it. I have no problem with compaction. I usually just run my fingers or a chopstick through the sand once in awhile while doing water changes. It is hard to find more range of color with play sand but I believe Byron had found some that is a darker gray color.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-05-2011, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well...I ended up ordering 40 pounds of the Tahitian Moon. Petco has it on sale with standard shipping charges so I got it for $42 shipped. After I ordered I found that Dr. Foster and Smith has is for $15 per 20 pound bag also with standard shipping. So I guess for anyone else that might be looking, these two places may be the best bet if you can't find locally. I called around and nobody has it so ordering was my only option. Should workout other than my tank being delayed a little bit, but I guess that's part of the game

Thanks everyone for the input, I appreciate it.
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