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TOPIC: Substrate Choices

Substrate Choices 3 weeks 10 hours ago #71551

  • JakeB
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I started my new tank as a bare bottom. I went back and forth with BB and sand when it was a marine tank. I am still debating if I made the right choice. If I decide to go with a substrate, 1) what do you recommend? 2) any issues adding while the fish are in tank?

Thanks
Tank: Display 450 g; 2.5 ft tall and deep by 9 ft long with 100g sump

zebra oscar x 1
red severum x 1
green severum x 1
convict cichlid x 1
tin foil barbs x 4
featherfin cat x 1
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Substrate Choices 3 weeks 9 hours ago #71552

  • beretta96
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I have Tahitian moon sand in my Oscar tank. I like it. No problems with it getting sucked up into canister filters, being sharp etc... It's not very cost effective but I like the look.

Mentioning the look....my water is very hard - around 8.0-8.2 pH, KH ~13, GH ~16. Over time all of those minerals in the water build up and create a dull brown coating on all of the aquarium ornaments...including the sand. That deep black look gets increasingly dull over time. If I were to do it over again, I'd try to find some black gravel and use it. However, hard water issue notwithstanding, I think the Tahitian moon sand would be awesome. It looked really good the first couple months it was in the tank.
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Substrate Choices 3 weeks 8 hours ago #71553

  • Northstar5
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I have used likely everything possible over the years. The last 5yrs or so I have come to prefer round river pebbles. Easy to clean, never an issue with fish injuring themselves, easy for them to dig in. Probably on the low side for looks, but I personally have never been one to go for esthetics over fish friendly or ease of maintenance. Sand wins in the looks department, no doubt there. You cant really go wrong with the basics, but careful to keep the substrate thin. Too thick and it all becomes a waste dump, ammonia pockets will get trapped inside.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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Substrate Choices 3 weeks 6 hours ago #71555

  • ~rush~
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The last substrate that I bought was Caribsea Sunset Gold. I ordered it from F&S online. By far the easiest substrate I have ever cleaned, and I love the way it looks. Very even sized grains, and a nice color.

I added mine before I added fish so I can't comment much on the adding substrate while fish are still in the tank - although one thing does come into mind, and that is the fact that sand is extremely endothermic, meaning it holds it's internal temperature very well. So if you add sand that has been sitting outside or on a delivery truck for 10 hours at -10 degrees, you are going to experience a huge temperature drop. Just make sure to bring the sand up to room temp before adding it all in.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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Substrate Choices 2 weeks 6 days ago #71556

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Oscars work on gravel or Sand. It do not really matter. I like to mix both.
Lets say 3/4 Pool filter Sand and 1/4 2 to 5 mm nature color mix gravel. This give you an very authentic look of an real river bed.
I also go for max 2 finger thick bottom substrat in big cichlid tanks.
Oscars can be mid level diggers but the majority of them only do it after water changes or before and while breeding.
For big centrals like Amphilophus or Parachromis you could do theoretical a bit more like 3 finger thick. This fish are regulary heavy substrate movers so that dead spots are very unlikley and it is always a suprise comming home and see that the fishes moved like 30 pounds of Substrate in a couple of hours from one to the other tank side and creating Hill scapes :P

Bare bottom tanks are at least for me only an Option for breeders, QT and pleco, tetra tanks. In this case bare bottom tanks can be operated with heavy flow.

You should see a regular big commen pleco in an 180G with 8000/10000 Gph of flow so for his size decent current. So the mostly very inactive big lazy fish becomes an active mover like he is in nature.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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Substrate Choices 2 weeks 12 minutes ago #71609

  • Rob167
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i have some with sand and some with A mix of river stone and p gravel.
i like the look of sand.. hate the upkeep

sand always looks dirtier.. harder to clean.. fish in every sand tank move it all to corners...

as and if i replace..ill stop using
180 oscar/silver $$s/pleco
75 female JD
125 Malawi
29 Serpae / danios/ angel
10g dwarf gaurami / Neon tetras

98 lb Irish cream Labrador retriever
200 year old miserable jack Russell rat thing ( came with wife)- RIP 6/11/17
2 english bulldogs
9 year old- for sale- doesn't do chores-
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Substrate Choices 1 week 5 days ago #71625

  • JakeB
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Do you all buy your substrate at non-fish stores? Specifically thinking about where to get the river pebbles. I have a pretty large foot print to fill.
Tank: Display 450 g; 2.5 ft tall and deep by 9 ft long with 100g sump

zebra oscar x 1
red severum x 1
green severum x 1
convict cichlid x 1
tin foil barbs x 4
featherfin cat x 1
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Substrate Choices 1 week 5 days ago #71626

  • ~rush~
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I've purchased PFS (pool filter sand) from like menards or lowes. Definitely a lot cheaper. Not sure where to find the river pebbles myself.
"My Country is the World, and my Religion is to do good." -Thomas Paine
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Substrate Choices 1 week 5 days ago #71629

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Don't know if something like this exist in the US but we have sonething named building materials trade Center. It's not like home depo or the regular Tool store. It's a place more for professionelle customers where you got only the good stuff mashines from excavators, dozers, trucks, construction goods like gravel or Sand or river Stones in bulks counted in metric tones and so on. Here in this stores you also find Garden construction materials like gaint flint Stones or river Rocks and also beach pebbles.
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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Substrate Choices 1 week 5 days ago #71630

  • Northstar5
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River pebbles I get at pet shops. Brand name is Estes. 25lb bag, about a buck a pound here.
1600gals of South and Central American cichlids. Some with just a "wee" bit of attitude!
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