Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jmlampert23 11-18-2009 07:26 PM

planted tank gravel
is there a specific gravel that is better than the next for a planted tank? right now i have this

is this good for a planted tank or do you guys reccommend something different. open to all suggestions.

i dont want to rush so i have not bought any plants yet. let me know


Angel079 11-18-2009 07:35 PM

There's 2 different one's at Petco looking just like this, you gotta check (it doesn't say online) one is finer gravel, with sizes ranging from 2-5mm gravel and the other is more like 0.5" gravel.

I had the most success with finer gravel for the plants to take root and thrive. Also IMO this larger gravel/ pea size gravel is just asking for troubles over time as you will have food leftovers and fish business and dead plants parts getting stuck between the larger pieces of gravel and then you can't vacuum it out all that well and it can then over time take your stabilized tank system and turn it over becoming unstable.

Also consider who should live in the tank later on. Like for my tanks that will house Cardinal tetras and alike, I chosen very fine gravel that is black as it makes the fish look nicer IMO with the dark ground (I would have preferred brown but couldn't find ANY here).

Hope this helps the decision process :-)

jmlampert23 11-18-2009 08:10 PM

yea that is what i was thinking. it is going to be a pain in the ass since i already filled my tank but i guess i can change it. give me a project on the weekend

Angel079 11-19-2009 07:29 AM

Is it the real big stuff you have in there now?

I donno what tank size you're dealing with, but the easiest is use a hose and get the water out into buckets, if you have a larger tank, use the pan from a dustpan set (cleaned prior to use) scoop the gravel up with it. Wash new gravel in the tub or outside if you can and put it in. Really sounds like more work then it actually is :-)

jmlampert23 11-19-2009 08:53 AM

Thanks for the info!!!!! i am going to change it out either tonight or tomorrow. i have to go to the store and buy some. i was thinking about black gravel. i think that will work the best and really make the plants stick out the best. ill keep you posted with my progress

Angel079 11-19-2009 08:56 AM

I'm sorry to hear you're gonna go through this hassle, but trust me you and your plants will tank you later for this!
I can only encourage you to get black or dark brown, that WILL make the green of your plants *pop* and if you have any type of colorful fish in there it will look awesome!

Angel079 11-19-2009 08:58 AM

3 Attachment(s)
Here's a few pic's of my dark graveled tanks to give you an idea (the 10g JUST been filled @ this pic, so its still cloudy from the black sand, but will give you good idea)

aunt kymmie 11-19-2009 09:29 AM

Nice looking tanks. I agree, the work to turn the brown to black will be worth it. I *love* the color black for a background and substrate. Look the best, IMHO.

jmlampert23 11-19-2009 10:18 AM

would i be looking to get gravel like this just in black?

Top Fin® Aquarium Gravel - 25 lbs. - Décor - Fish - PetSmart

let me know

Angel079 11-19-2009 11:22 AM

LOL if YOU can get your hands on it!
I had wanted to buy the very same one when I set up the tanks, can't get it here. So if you can get it go for it, just look at the bag before you buy it, make sure its smaller gravel (~less then 5mm) and not the BIG pebbles that are ranging from pea's to hazelnut size. Cause I hadn't ever seen it cause I couldn't get it :-(

@Aunt Kymmie thank you :-) And YES specially colorful fish like my killi really look awesome with dark gravel

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