Substrate for African Cichlids - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 5 Old 02-27-2010, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
Substrate for African Cichlids

I am starting up 75g and am looking to populate with various African Cichlids. My buddy in lfs told me I need to put in dolemite as a substrate - but on some retail sites it says to use fine sand. Please advise which is the way to go. Thanks
polishnlovingit is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 Old 02-27-2010, 01:12 PM
New Member
You can use sand. I have 2 55gals with just gravel and one mixed sand and gravel. The sand is a fine sand and have the gravel a color that has the best effect on having them color as this is usually the main reason malawis are kept. Good Luck!
rltmusicman is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to rltmusicman For This Useful Post:
polishnlovingit (02-27-2010)
post #3 of 5 Old 02-27-2010, 01:24 PM
mollies's Avatar
Your best bet would be sand
Playground sand (can get at Lowes, homedepot Ect)...
Pool filter sand (you can get it at Swimming pool shop)...
I use Texas Grit sand. Its not as fine of a sand, but i realy like it as it shows the color of the fish realy well.
Just remember to was the sand befor youPut it in your tank.
mollies is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to mollies For This Useful Post:
polishnlovingit (02-27-2010)
post #4 of 5 Old 02-28-2010, 07:23 PM
Byron's Avatar
The reason dolomite was suggested is because it raises the hardness and pH of the water. This doesn't matter too much if your tap water is naturally hard and basic/alkaline. But in my case with very soft and acidic tap water, I used to use dolomite as the substrate for livebearers and rift lake cichlids to maintain a high pH and hardness. Dolomite slowly dissolves calcium and magnesium, the two minerals that create "hard" water. Unless your tap water is not hard, this shouldn't be necessary. However, biological actions in the tank will gradually cause the pH to falll if your tap water is high in carbonate hardness (KH) this buffers it and regular partial water changes will prevent acidification. If not, having some dolomite gravel in a bag in the filter works fine. I can explain more about this if it is relevant. But knowing your tap water GH, KH and pH is the first step.

On the sand, there is a sand mix for rift lake cichlids that does this and is still sand, not gravel.

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]
Byron is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
polishnlovingit (03-01-2010)
post #5 of 5 Old 03-01-2010, 04:38 AM
iamntbatman's Avatar
It's sometimes marketed as cichlid sand but is also known as aragonite sand. I believe it's also sold for use in saltwater tanks.

4 8 15 16 23 42
iamntbatman is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
African Cichlids 50 gallon Freshwater and Tropical Fish 7 04-06-2010 02:01 AM
african cichlids Jolly Jerry Cichlids 13 11-08-2009 03:02 AM
african cichlids saint Fish Breeding 2 08-31-2007 06:28 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome