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While I was doing some research about the sorts of fish I'd like to keep, I read somewhere that marbles were better than gravel. I think it was for some sort of dragon fish, because gravel can scratch them when they try to dig.
I don't have dragon fish (probly won't for a while, I'd need a whole new tank and equipment for it), but I do have guppies, molly and neon tetras.
Now I'm concerned that they might somehow end up getting trapped in the space between them. I figure I'd put at least an inch of them at the bottom, maybe that'll pack them down more. Does anybody know if this truly is better, in general, than gravel?
 

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I recently changed over to a sand substrate from gravel. I love the look and my fish love to dig through it. My Albino Cory cat lost all his wiskers. That is when I learned to use sand. Sand will not work with a UGF though.
 

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Luckily I learned about the UGF from this forum before I switched over. What a mess that would have been. Thanks for the tip on the net. I was wondering how I was going to clean it.
 

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just some added info on sand, you can use most types of sand. play sand (hard to clean prior to adding to tank), blasting sand, aquarium sand (obviously), 3m makes cool looking colored sand. goto home depot or menards unless you want the special expensive sand (like $5-10 for 50lbs)

you only want an 1 - 1 1/2"

research undergravel jets with sand, they are a system of pipes hooked to a powerhead that blow the poo into your filter. www.cichlid-forum.com has good guides for DIY

poo will stay on top of the sand quite well, use a battery powered aquarium vac to suck it off without picking up the sand. you just have to find the right height to keep the vac so it gets the poo, but not the sand
 

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The problem with marbles or large gravel, is the food that drops to the bottom will fall down betweeen the marbles and stay there and spoil. It is hard to vacuum it out when you do water changes.

I don't use an undergravel filter, and so only use enough sand to lightly cover the bottom. If I wanted a planted tank though (more than the java fern and java moss I use now) that would be completely different.
 

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i have a new tank with live plants that have taken root. i have various sizes of gravel and sand. How well can i gravel-vac without disturbing the plants?
 

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around the plants I'd just get what's on top of the gravel but other areas you should ba able to do as normal.

as far as gravle vac'ing sand hold the gravle vac at an angle +/- 45degrees and hold the hose slightly crimped in your hand while vaccuming ... you should be able to push down a good bit and stirr th esand good then crimp the hose if sand gets near the top ...


works for me :mrgreen:

:mrgreen:
 
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