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Hey guys, I should decide what kind of substrate put above my fertilized substrate Dennerle Deponitmix. I was thinking about having Corys in my tank, so I think that sand or fine gravel should be ideal.

Actually I'm quite worried about sand (although it would be the best for corys) because of its hard mainentenace but, most important, because of the risk of creating anaerobic zones.

I would chose the third substrate from the left in the photo attached. The producer labels it as 0,7-1,2mm gravel. Would it be fine for Corys? Is it big enough to avoid risk of anaerobic zones?
 

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Sand is easier than you think, have you tried it before? I've been a semi long time convert to sand after having gravel all my life, and the upkeep is super easy. I currently have a sand and gravel mix and looking to totally change that out and just go 100% sand. With sand, maintenance is easy, as the detritus stays on the top. Instead of a usual vacuum, the siphon is required to lightly skim over the surface of the sand and the "crap" should be picked up. It justs a little to get use to, but once you're accustomed to sand, maintenance is far less laboursome than gravel. and half of the time, since the detritus stays on the surface, most of it gets sweeped into the filter leaving a easy clean - most of the wanted bits are in the one place, the filter - instead of doing to usual monthly clean of the filter and then on top, weekly gravel cleans.
As long as you have a sand shifter - aka: cories, loaches, MTS shrimp even - the sand will stay rotated and anaerobic zones will not develop. If not, a simple chopstick or fork and raking it through the sand every few weeks will keep it from going bad.

The only pain about sand is the first clean, it takes for ages - unless you use pool filter sand. Some recommend placing the sand in a disused pillow case and letting the water flush out. I've done this method, and find that it works great:
Easy to use, and quick too! :) Works with play sand, which what I have.
Sand is inert though, but since its a cap, it would b fine to use with plants. I've had better growth with sand then I have had with gravel - pea sized and smaller.

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So i go number 4 as my top pick! ;-)
 

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In all my years and all my tanks, I've found sand to be maintenance free. You should definitely wash pool filter sand - I've never used one that was clean. "Washed" means it's pool filter ready, not aquarium ready.

The risk of gas pockets is a theoretical one. What I mean by that is it's a problem that everyone warns about yet no one experiences. Maybe that's the one problem in the hobby that everyone manages to avoid. Or maybe it's just not a threat in practice.

Biggest risk with sand is fouling an HOB filters motor. There are steps you can take to minimize that, but if you have a canister you don't have to worry at all. I keep my filter intakes an inch from the sand, and they do a good job of sucking up the waste. And what the filters don't get the trumpet snails take care of. I honestly don't vacuum more than a couple times a year, but I take a more laissez faire approach to fish keeping. Some people like to be hands on. That's the beauty of a hobby :)

I like your choice for the sand Dan.
 
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