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Nilet699 12-29-2012 06:15 AM

Mixed substrate
So I've been thinking about changing my substrate for the last week, especially since getting my loaches. Although I have a smooth, fine gravel what suits them would be best.

But I also like my gravel. Which has led me to a new idea.

I'm wondering about creating a kind of beach effect, in that I'd have maybe 1/3 of the tank as sand substrate which would form a shallow incline into my gravel, as this is kind of what the pebble beaches look like in my area.

So I'm wondering how this would be possible, or even if. I know sand typically is around 2 cm deep in most tanks whereas gravel is approx 5 cm. Mine is anyway as per what I read. Would deeper sand make any diff? Shallower gravel?

I know a lot of bacteria etc lives in your gravel, but I honestly have no idea if this works the same with sand, or what the differences here are.

This definitely isn't an idea set in stone but certainly something I've thought about to create a different look.

Sookielee 12-29-2012 06:33 AM

Let me start by saying - I don't know squat. That being said, I love this idea. I myself have been torn between fine gravel and sand for my tank. Using both would solve my dilemma and open the door to more creative aquascaping possibilities. I am really looking forward to seeing how the experts answer this one.

Nilet699 12-29-2012 06:46 AM

1 Attachment(s)
So am I. I'm thinking about either making or finding something like this.... and possibly using them as a mini cliff. I could then keep my gravel at 5, cliff wall, and the sand at 2cm.

Sookielee 12-29-2012 06:53 AM

Aesthetically speaking, that would look really cool. My other half even agrees that it would be a great thing for us and his first question was "Is that allowed?"

Nilet699 12-29-2012 07:26 AM

I think so, and the idea of creating a loach beach interests me a lot, espec as could almost represent something real with having it planted by having coast moving back into forrest, the way it all used to be......

Canadian Fish 12-29-2012 12:01 PM

I think it was SanguineFox that tried something like this recently. A lot of people, as I recall, told her eventually the two would completely merge. I think, if memory serves, she made some sort of dividers to combat this problem. I think she scrapped the idea in the end, thought I don't remember why. Also, I could be wrong about the scrapping part. My memory sucks.

I'm sure it was her though, it's probably somewhere in this thread:

You could probably PM her a lot quicker than finding it by reading the whole thread. (Though it is good reading and has some awesome pics and videos. She keeps cool fish and beautiful tanks)

Edit: I just did some searches through her thread and came up empty handed. Either I'm not using the right search words, or maybe she just showed us pics of her project in chat and did not put them in her thread. I'm sure it was her though, I remember seeing pics of the dividers she was making. I would PM her and see what she did, and if it worked.

Edit V2: I sent her a PM because I am sure it was her and I am surprised I couldn't see it in her thread. She may have just been showing us in chat.

Nilet699 12-29-2012 01:40 PM

thanks canadian for PM'ing her. I'll wait on what her response is and then decide whether to pester her :-)

Yes i've though about the merging and this isnt a massive issue, it would look more natural for it to merge somewhat in fact, it would just be an extra chore to keep themseperate.

My thinking had evolved throughout the day though to match something like her's id imagine, in that i would need to partition the tank. I considered using something to form a proper barrier, plexi glass perhaps etc and then building smallish rocks on the inside of it to hold it. This could all be done and siliconed together on the outside of the tank so that i could effectively just slide the gravel out of the way and the 'cliffs' in.

Sookielee 12-29-2012 01:46 PM

If you guys looked at the last pics she posted you can in fact see 2 different substrates. one is sand and the other a reddish colored gravel in the back center

Canadian Fish 12-29-2012 01:48 PM


Originally Posted by Sookielee (Post 1367515)
If you guys looked at the last pics she posted you can in fact see 2 different substrates. one is sand and the other a reddish colored gravel in the back center

Yeah, it looks like she pulled it off, looks great and the loaches love it I'm sure. I can't remember how she made the dividers but I'm pretty sure she showed us some pics as she was putting it all together. She's clever, and handy.

Sookielee 12-29-2012 01:51 PM

I hope she will check into this thread and offer some suggestions. Me and the other half have fell in love with the idea

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