Mixing Carib-Sea Crushed Coral and Eco-complete White Sand in Cichlid Tank
Thinking of doing this at a 50 \ 50 mix for my African Cichlid tank. Do you think this is a good plan for buffering the water and getting away from chemicals?
Using a calcareous substrate is definitely much, much better, safer and less expensive that resorting to chemicals to adjust water parameters. And the chemicals may not work anyway, for various reasons.
As to the substrate, rather than mixing these, consider one on its own, and for this with rift lake cichlids I would vote for something like CarribSea's Eco Complete Rift Lake Chichlid Substrate:
Pure white substrates are somewhat stressful on fish, plus they add an unnatural brightness to the substrate which makes viewing troublesome, at least for me. The substrate in any fish tank is going to be more natural if it is not obvious. The above product seems, from the photos, to be natural. And it is calcareous.
Crushed coral on its own, in a sand grade, is similar but it only adds the calcium; magnesium is still missing. An aragonite sand would have both. As does the linked substrate.
Try to see these "live" if you can before deciding, but if this is not possible, use the photos. There may be a cost difference between them.
Decided to go with just using Eco Complete for Cichlids but I have two questions:
1)- I purchased the 'Ivory Coast' mix because it matches the color of the gravel I already have in the tank thinking I'd just put the Eco-Complete over the top of my existing gravel. Is this a good idea?
2) - When I do put the new substrate in, the directions say 'do not rinse' but I've read somewhere here that people do rinse it before adding. Which should I do? Keep in mind that my tank is stocked and doing well.
As for mixing substrates, remember than the finer will sink to the bottom, with the larger-particle on top. You mention they are the same colour, but if there is any difference in shade or texture it will be obvious they are different.
Thanks for the advice. One more question: I assume it's okay to put in new substrate with fish in the tank. Is this correct?
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