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Old 11-07-2006, 12:51 PM   #1
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substrate

I'm planning an aquascaping project--quite small tank, heavily planted, probably high light. I really want black substrate. From what I've been reading, sand or Eco-complete seem to be my best options. I'm curious to hear peoples pros and cons on the two. I am planning for a dwarf puffer...so apparently can't have MTS to stir the sand, BTW. Thanks!
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:52 PM   #2
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without mts i would not go with the sand, imo.

i like eco compleat!
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:27 PM   #3
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eco complete still compacts like sand. the fine particles in the eco are the same size as sand but will be a little better since it has larger size grains aswell. as long as u take the time every once ina while to stir the sand a little u should be fine.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:48 PM   #4
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Eco for sure but you can still have MTS if you give them a chance to get away before being eaten. They should still multiply and survive to a point of still being effective. If the puffers are fed other snails and other foods they could leave the MTS alone a little more also.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:22 PM   #5
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mts also have amazingly hard shells. the dp usually go after soft shelled snails like ramshorns and pond snails. the mts have a good chance of surviving as long as they get back in the shell before getting bitten. put in a few large ones and give them a chance to breed for a week or 2 before adding the puffers.
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:10 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the input. The puffer people tend to be quite adamant about not having MTS in the tank...not for the snails sake but for the puffers (apparently they can break their teeth?). I don't know, I've not had one yet! If you couldn't tell...my heart is leaning toward sand--I like the look. I'm just not sure I can be trusted to stir it diligently where it's not planted. Although if Eco needs stirring too... Decisions, decisions.
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Old 11-08-2006, 09:46 AM   #7
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From what I've read Dwarf Puffers don't actually crunch the shells of most of the snails they eat. Instead they stick their head in the shell's opening, grab hold of the snail, and shake it back and forth, until they finally remove and eat the snail. So they actually could eat the MTS if given a chance. Also, unlike most puffers they don't actually need snails in their diet as their teeth won't grow to the point of needing trimming if they don't have something to wear them down on.
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:53 PM   #8
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I did sand and a fairly deep bed at that. I wasn't as dilgent on the ferts so my plants never looked amazing but all the dead & decaying matter made it's way to the bottom of the sand. You could see the black silt because the sand was light. You won't need to worry about this. It is actually a good thing as my roots on the plants were amazing! Just the leaves couldn't thrive. I had extreme trouble getting some of the plants out they were rooted so well.

I also had tons of MTS & Pond Snails(even some Red Ramshorns). Stiring it up may just release all that muck into the tank which is not a good thing. I wouldn't go to deep just skim the surface layer. The MTS loved the sand, they were thriving right along with the plant's roots.
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