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Old 06-30-2006, 11:29 PM   #1
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GRAVEL -- YES or NO

I am hearing that some don't have gravel substrate in their tanks or use glass beads.

Any advice , comments or thoughts on this ???????
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:47 PM   #2
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Do you mean bare bottom tanks?

I use only sand, no gravel or beads for me.
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Old 06-30-2006, 11:55 PM   #3
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some people liek bare bottom tanks, most likely they are either mentioning sand or talking about hospital tanks in which a substrate would be advised agianst having since such parasites like Ich can make its way into the substrate starting the cycle over agian
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:10 AM   #4
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I will say that I had gravel my whole life and never realized what I was missing. When I came to AA I learned about pool filter sand or(PFS). I like it so much better. For starters, I like the white look. When I had gravel there would always be a lot of excess food, and waste building up so when I did a gravel vac there would be a lot of floating and cloudiness. With PFS you can suck the waste right up. The only catch is to move the sand around so toxic gases do not build up under the sand. You can do this with Malaysian Trumpet Snails or a coat hanger. And lastly it is very cheap. At any pool supply store it is roughly $10-12 per 50lb. bag. This is all just my opinion. Maybe other people will chime in.
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:26 AM   #5
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Doesn't pool sand cloud up the water when you do a water change?
Can you get black pool sand?
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musket
Doesn't pool sand cloud up the water when you do a water change?
Can you get black pool sand?
I have pool filter sand, my water doesn't cloud up at all. I also rinsed the sand very thoroughly.
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Old 07-01-2006, 01:38 AM   #7
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i have gravel and subtrate and wahtever else.
but i have to admit bare bottom is nice and sand is nice.
i have a bare bottom 30g cause im using it as a hospital tank. and it looks rather nice. you see something like left over food you can just pick it up and be done.
just make sure you dont have finger prints on the bottom of the glass lol. cause i can see mine from carrying it
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Old 07-01-2006, 08:15 AM   #8
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Pool filter sand does not really cloud up the water if you wash it out good. If it does it will settle after a day or so. I washed mine in a bucket tipped to an angle so the dust came out. They do make black sand but I don't think it's pool filter sand.
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Old 07-01-2006, 11:58 AM   #9
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I tried sand before and wasn't happy with it at all. I actually switched from gravel to sand to gravel again.
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Old 07-01-2006, 12:01 PM   #10
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I have a barebottom tank and more than 1/2 of the floorspace is taken up with ceramic pots or ceramic "rocks" or ceramic "caves" I made to attach plants to. I do have a few scattered glass beads for some "shimmer". When I first set it up I had a spare layer (about 70% of the bottom) covered with glass beads.

The plus side of barebottom is that the tank stays ALOT cleaner - no food getting stuck in the gravel and decaying and vaccuming anything the filter doesn't get is a synch.

The other plus is that I get to crawl inside the stand and look UP at the fish - its actually quite interesting and its helped me many many times in trying to locate a "lost" fish.

If you do use glass beads or large river rocks be sure to have lots of space between them so that you can shimmy them around as you "gravel vac" to get anything that might be stuck under them.

Having said all this, I'm planning on setting up 2 20G tanks that we found in the attic and I'll be using EcoComplete for one of them - planting and housing GBRs. The second will use PFS and house Lake Tang shelldwellers.

I think it depends upon the type of fish you want to keep. My platies don't seem to mind the barebottom at all and the cories never seemed to care either but the one remaining cory does enjoy searching for food in the pots for the plants so I think he likes a real substrate better than the barebottom.
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