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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all I am new to this site. I was thinking about upgrading to a 30 gallon tank from my 10 gallon which I
have had for the past year. I really wanted to use black gravel in the tank because it really allows for the color of the fish to pop. I have done some research on it and I have read a lot of articles that state the black chips off of the rock in a week or so. So if anyone has had experience with it can I get some feedback?? :)
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The short answer is "no", a reputable brand of gravel will not chip easily or quickly and some of the gravels I have are black all the way through, depending on brand. Most are coated, however, and will, over a period of many years, chip a little. Much depends on how vigorously you clean (or abuse?) the gravel over time.

You could always use black sand as another alternative, as long as you don't have an undergravel filter!
 

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We have two tanks with sand and one with gravel. If I had it my way we would have three with sand. Its a little cloudy to start with but in the end it works wonderfully and I love the look. It cleans easier you can see the poop on the sand easier than you can with gravel. I can't say enough about sand wonderful stuff it is.
 

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to cut down on the cloudyness make sure to wash the sand, i know its winter but washing it before u throw it in the tank really pays off down the road. i made a tut on how to do this a few years ago on this forum. its easy to do and payoff is well worth it. i used play sand from home depot and used it in a aquarium once (afer being washed) same as aquarium sand which also needs washed before being put in the tank.
 

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We have two tanks with sand and one with gravel. If I had it my way we would have three with sand. Its a little cloudy to start with but in the end it works wonderfully and I love the look. It cleans easier you can see the poop on the sand easier than you can with gravel. I can't say enough about sand wonderful stuff it is.
Agreed, all of my tanks have sand, wouldn't do it any other way!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How do you keep up with sand? And does it affect the fish I put in the tank. I have a Cory thst I would want to transfer over. Will he be good with sand?
 

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Unlike gravel where you put the vacuum deep into the bed, you just have to run the vacuum over the surface of the sand keeping enough distance to not suck up the sand. This gets the poop and dead plant bits off the sand.

As for fish, most will prefer sand over gravel. I know the cory will as gravel can hurt their delicate barbels. They love to dig in the sand.
 

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Sand is great, I prefer it to gravel. I recommend black sand if you can afford it - it hides the fish "poo" better visually and the tank colors pop!
 

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I actually found black to show stuff more than a mix. I now use play sand which is a mix of black/gray/white/tan particles and the corys are doing very well. This also replicates their natural habitat sand.

I had always wanted a black substrate, so I set one up two years ago using Flourite Black. It always looked "dirty" so two weeks ago I pulled it out and replaced it with play sand.:) The black also looked odd, perhaps because of the tank light spectrum; the sand looks different under water with the light too, though still natural.
 
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