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Old 12-10-2012, 06:59 PM   #1
Vayurules
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Default The subtrate debate

I've been searching for the right subtrate for my aquarium. I've been debating between a soft , rounded, natural/brownish gravel, or sand, to protect to barbels of my Otocinclus Catfishes and my Panda Corys. So which is better? There are pros and cons to both, but I seriously have no clue how to vacuum sand.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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I don't know how to vacuum sand, but I have heard you're supposed to keep sand for all those bottom dwellers. I have a few Cory's and a few loaches but they seem to do fine on my gravel. So far at least...


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Old 12-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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i have been keeping all kinds of bottom dwellers for more than a year or so and have never had a problem with gravel..
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:07 PM   #4
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I haven't had a problem with gravel either, even the bigger stuff that I put in before knowing that I was going to add bottom dwellers. If anyone does know how to vacuum sand though, please let me know because I'm clueless about this too.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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have one tank sand and one gravel, vaccuming sand is a pain as if your not careful lots of it ends up in your bucket and gravel is easier all round
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:22 AM   #6
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Ok, so gravel seems to be fine. Thanks. One more thing, what's the best gravel color to show off the fishes colors? I've always seen black or brown.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:28 AM   #7
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ive got a brown/grey/white mix... earthy look
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:52 AM   #8
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I had read sand was better for bottom dwellers too, but when I talked to my LFS, they said they didnt reccommend sand, even though they sold it. They said they didnt notice any/many injuries with the gravel,and when they tried sand in their store tanks, it was a beast to maintain well and made a huge mess.

We have 2 bags of black gravel and one bage of pea-sized roundish pebbly gravel that is natural looking.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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i prefer the darker colors of natural gravels as they allow the fish to be more at ease so they are out and about more and will show better colors..
i don't care what you do with sand ; it is a royal pain in the neck...yes....it makes a mess...and it also allows deadly gas pockets to form more rapidly which can kill your fish very quickly...
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PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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Loha, I'm confused. Only a year or so for bottom dwellers? What? lol
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:13 PM   #11
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hi killer.....well ; you know how i am...i sometimes exaggerate a little...
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PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:57 PM   #12
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I like the sand, picked it because I did not know any better when starting out. It does fog up the tank for a bit but it does clear after a while. It also turns a dark brownish color around the edges but once moved and stirred about the discoloration actually clears up. I like sand call me the odd ball, but it is rift lake sand with a brown and white mix that I kind of concocted looks ok to me and my fish are happy spitting it all over the place LOL.......
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:54 PM   #13
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kc....great to see you again...i hope all is improving with you and the family..
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PLECOCAINE = feeding frenzy=PLECOCAINE


if we ignore nature;maybe it will go away

10 gallon..nothing but air

10 gallon...just more air

10 gallon...stale air

just don't ask about the rest
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:35 AM   #14
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Though I think some fish "prefer" sand, the sand vs. gravel debate pretty much comes down to a matter of personal preference, in my opinion.

I use pool filter sand in all my tanks. I like the clean, natural look...and actually find it easier to maintain than gravel. I give it a good stir each week when performing my water changes (prevention of gas pockets).

I rarely find a need to vacuum the sand. In my experience, most of the waste is broken up (and subsequently sucked up by the filters) by water and fish movement. Avoiding over-stocking and over-feeding is important, as well.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lohachata View Post
kc....great to see you again...i hope all is improving with you and the family..

Yes Loha and I am back with a vengeance... I am going to do all in my power to never have to put myself through that kind of loss again. It hurt to watch my little ones that were groomed and grown from 1/2 inch some of them and they were already on their way to the 3-4 inch mark. I now have a new propane generator and aside from having to evacuate I am hoping to have better results in the event I have to experience that again. They are actually fighting over your food, seriously they love it and are coloring up nice on it too.

But on better thoughts the family is doing well and the lil girls's operation was full success and she is doing great. I was able to get back to work after being out for a month.

On topic) : I was actually thinking of getting more darker sand to mix with the lighter sand only because it seems to make the color of the fish a bit more vibrant in my eyes. But that is just me, like I said I only used it because I didn't know any better and it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me and I like it as well as the fish.
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