75G Plant/Lighting/Substrate Questions - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 21 Old 04-07-2011, 09:38 AM
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Goldfish have absolutely no preference for substrate. They're fine with practically any substrate as long as it does not have sharp edges that could injure them as they tend to eagerly turn the tiny rocks around looking for food. In few instances, they can choke on gravel but it can dislodge itself without much assistance. In rare cases though, you will need tweezers to carefully remove the rock.

Trouble with coarse gravel is it traps a lot of wastes produced by goldfish that daily vacuuming becomes very much pointless. The reason you really have to constantly clean up the substrate for them is they stir the substrate as much as it produces anaerobic pockets that can easily sicken the fish. Bad bacteria on the surface layer of substrate has been responsible for giving the fish mysterious blisters on the belly and caudal fins and constant infections make the fish very vulnerable to other health issues. Fancy types in particular are too sensitive to infections.

In my experience, sand or barebottom is best for any goldfish. Many can argue that barebottom setups look plainly boring. While this may be true, there are ways to add flavor to the tank. It's very simple. You can add fake decors provided they are NOT hollow that prompt anaerobic spots or have holes that the fish could wiggle in and injure itself. Pointed decors are out of the question. You can use live plants and keep them potted or in others' cases, tie them on driftwoods considered safe for the fish as pointy ones can injure.

I've tried gravel. Just doesn't work well for me at all as I find daily vacuuming a chore rather than something you enjoy. It's advisable to simply keep it at least an inch deep to discourage anaerobic pockets from forming.

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