Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ZachMac 06-25-2009 10:49 PM

new tank substrate question
im going to be setting up a new tank pretty soon and im trying to get my setup ideas right before i start. im thinking about using black sand instead of gravel in my new tank. i have malaysian trumpet snails in my tank now and want to use them in the new one. my snails shells are kind of weak and i read that it could be that my pH is too low. i was wondering if i used a layer of crushed coral under the black sand would it raise the ph and give the snails stronger shells?

Byron 06-26-2009 11:37 AM

Crushed coral will raise the pH but be careful. If the coral is part of the substrate, you have no way of controlling it, i.e., removing some if the pH rises too much. Better to use coral, dolomite or limestone in a bag in the filter where it can be controlled--if you really want to raise the pH.

So the main question is, do you want a higher pH? That should depend upon your fish, not snails (unless the tank is solely for snails of course). What is the ph of the tank (and your tap water) now? It may be OK. And what fish will be in the tank?

Plants prefer slightly acidic to alkaline water, so that's another consideration. Not that some will not adapt a bit, but why create difficulties for fish and plants if not necessary.

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