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Old 04-16-2006, 09:31 PM   #1
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Substrate and substrate cleaning questions

Hello,

I currently have a 20 gallon tank with half Eco Complete and half Tahitian Moon Sand. I've noticed that a lot of fine particles settle on the bottom and create mini-clouds when the fish stir them up. But whenever I try to do a thorough gravel vac, it seems like I suck up more sand and Eco-dirt than anything else.

So is the Eco-dirt that I am sucking up a big part of what makes it suitable for plants? If so, maybe I should just stick with plain Tahitian Moon sand when I set up my 46? I really prefer the look of the sand, and it's not as cloudy. Plus I think it has some buffers, which is good with my tapwater's ultralow alkalinity. But the plant sticky on substrates says that the sand is better for low light tanks and the Eco is better for higher light tanks. Since my 46 will be medium-bright light, how will my plants fare if I only do the sand?

Also, I have read in the marine forums that sand can have dead pockets and must be stirred frequently to prevent the release of toxic gases. Is this true for freshwater tanks also?

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:59 PM   #2
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You would need to stir the sand in a FW tank as well. If you want, you can get some Malaysian Trumpet snails and they'll do the stirring for you.
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Old 04-17-2006, 08:55 AM   #3
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also be careful with Tmoonsand.. it is sharp and not the greatest for bottom dwellers
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:10 AM   #4
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i know this uis of topic but for the mts would they be ok in a cichlid tank?
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:35 AM   #5
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MTS are fine with cichlids.
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrbox
You would need to stir the sand in a FW tank as well. If you want, you can get some Malaysian Trumpet snails and they'll do the stirring for you.
Ok, so how often would you recommend I stir? What about the sand under rocks? And I can assume that I don't have to disturb the sand around the plants?

I am sad about the TMS being sharp - I thought it would be better than what I have now for my cories, which is Flourite (ouch!). So, I guess I would be better off going with 100% Eco Complete? It's just so hard to gravel vac without sucking out all of the "extras" that make it so expensive. But if the cories will like it better...

I don't suppose there is a black sand that is not sharp and provides buffering? If so, please let me know.
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:29 PM   #7
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I honestly don't think you'll have problems with TMS and cory's. TMS is about the only black black sand out there. Onyx sand is very coarse, more charcoal than black, and will raise hardness a few degrees. I wouldn't waste time with it.

I have a pretty nice medium/high light 20gal with 100% tahitian sand, and many plants grow very nicely in there.
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