Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Mating Slinkys 05-05-2007 08:25 PM

Dark or Light?
Hey folks, I'm in the process of setting up a 30g tank and i've just "aquired" some rather nice dark green slate and have created a pretty set up. I want sand for the substrate as i think it looks more natural and also i want corys, and i've heard they do well in sand. my question is whether to go light or dark sand. i've been told that dark sand will make the fishes colours stand out well, but i think it might make the tank a bit dark and dingy overall, as the slate is quite dark itself. Is there a good shade for the fish, or is it purely a matter of personal taste? I haven't decided what else is going in there except for my two angels who need to move cos they are gonna outgrow the tank they are in soon.

The tank will be lit with 2 24" tubes, a sun-glo (4,200k) and an aqua-glo (18,000k) if that makes any difference.

Trishfish 05-05-2007 10:11 PM

I can picture both and I think I'd like the dark sand. Do you have a little chipped off piece of slate you could bring shopping? That might help you make a better decision.

NeonJulie 05-05-2007 10:15 PM

Dark substrate and decor don't really make tanks look dingy, I don't think. I went from neutral browns, to white thinking it would brighten up the fish, to straight black with a couple of brown pieces. For months I fought the remains of the white rocks that would pop up with water changes. A few of them even on top of mostly black substrate would totally wash out the fish! If you think black is too much, see if you can find something at least a dark brown. I've seen tanks with that tahitian moon sand stuff, and I think they look great.

I had sand before, a long time ago, and it's personally not something I feel I can handle. *lol*

Mating Slinkys 05-05-2007 10:18 PM

yeah, i do have a some, i got a little over enthusiasic when getting it and ended up with a rucksack full. Trust me, a 4 mile walk with a 45 litre rucksack full of slate ain't something i'm gonna be doing again in a rush! It looks really diferent wet. Maybe the LFS would let me dip it in a tank, or run it under the tap...

Also, i'm rather poor at the moment and i've heard of people using play sand as substrate, my local Argos has 15kg for £2.50 which is much more my sort of price, and it's an ok colour - anyone know any problems with using this stuff?

And how do you clean sand best? Won't it just get sucked up the tank vac into the bucket?

And how about bofore it goes in, any good methods for rinsing it out without loosing it all own the sink?

Sorry for the flurry of questions, i just wanna make this tank really nice...!

Gump 05-05-2007 10:39 PM

Ive had a lot of problems with play sand raising the ph to 8.6. Estes marine sand is the only sand ill use and i have about 500 lbs in the house.

Mating Slinkys 05-05-2007 10:41 PM

Marine sand? In a FW aquarium? Doesn't that mess whith the chemistry? What problems did you have with play sand?

Gump 05-06-2007 02:26 AM

its called marine sand but it doesnt matter what type of water you put it in.

Mating Slinkys 05-06-2007 05:26 AM

Fair enough. i think i'm gonna go with dark / black. Anyone know of a good black sand that's not as expensive as that tahitian moon stuff, or am i just gonna have to wail till pay day.

Firebelly girrl 05-06-2007 08:45 PM

I wish I could talk myself into black sand, but I just cant lol. When i'm thinking about getting black sand, I search it online, and I see tanks with standard light brown sand and I just can not seem to like the black over the brown, its just so un natural looking to me. If you don't care about the natural look, than black would probably be better for the color of the fish, maybe, but I've never had black to compare to the light!

Gump 05-06-2007 10:23 PM

estes is about 80-90 cents a pound depending on where you buy it. I would wait for payday if i were you and get something quality. Going cheep in this hobby usally turns out bad.

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