Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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-   -   Substrate (

Srgtpepper 01-14-2008 03:39 PM

Hello, I'm new here and first off I'd like to say how helpful this forum seems to be! My father and I had a tank when I was younger and we have had a very large koi/goldfish pond for around 8 years now.
Now for my question, I will be getting a new 29 gallon aquarium around the end of the month. I plan to have it partially planted and have mollies, guppys, tetras, shrimp, all community fish. My question is wether I should use sand or gravel as a substrate? From what I have been told sand is more common with cichlids, and is not good for bottom feeders? It would be great if someone could shed some light on this for me.

Falina 01-14-2008 03:47 PM

Plants will grow in either. Some will say that plants are harder to grow in sand, and other will say that it's just as easy.

Sand is best for bottom dwellers, but not always necessary as long as the gravel doesn't have sharp edges.

Srgtpepper 01-14-2008 03:50 PM

Do tetras and other community fish do better on one or the other?

Falina 01-14-2008 03:52 PM


Originally Posted by Srgtpepper
Do tetras and other community fish do better on one or the other?

Tetras won't care, nor will most community fish with the exception of bottom dwellers as I mentioned.

Oh and welcome to the forum. :)

Andyandsue 01-15-2008 12:14 PM

I vote for gravel.

I have corys which are bottom dwelling and they don't seem to mind. I also have some live plants, and I've found it easy to maintain them in the gravel as far as moving or trimming them, etc there is no mess.

From what I read sand is really messy and harder to clean, which is why I went with gravel, and I'm very glad I did. I also feel that gravel is something else to allow bacteria to build up on, like any other decoration.

Let us know what you decide.

thespiff 01-15-2008 08:56 PM

Something I've been wondering on this topic...

How do you clean sand in a FW tank? A gravel vac will suck out the sand too, won't it? Or is the sand heavier than I think and in practice it's not hard at all to suck out just the poo?

My next tank (although several months away) will be a cichlid tank that I would like to substrate with sand, but I too wonder if it will be more of a hassle than it is worth?

dodgeboy 01-15-2008 09:19 PM

i changed to sand few months ago, the hardest part of sand is to find a product everyone agrees will work and price. as for cleaning i just hold the vac 1/4 inch above seems to work fine. i also move the sand around during water changes so there is no spots that clump up. i haven't run into "clumps" mostly i think because my fish are always changing it to their likes. oh well its their home i just take care of it .best wishes and good luck in which ever choice you make . ( i like the looks of sand ) just my two pennies

Srgtpepper 01-15-2008 11:03 PM

Thanks for the replies, I think I'm going to go with gravel

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