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Old 01-11-2013, 05:57 AM   #1
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Advise on used gravel vs new ones

Just a quick question

I went to purchase some back gravel (the fake stuff) to put in my new 280litre tank which I'm setting up as a community tropical Aqaurium.

However the guy at the shop recommend me to buy used gravel (the ones that help plants grow, not the fake stuff)

He said its better because it has bacteria already in it so I don't have to wait to long. My current tank is completely new with nothing in it ATM.

The guy said that the fake gravel increase ph while the ones he wants to sell me (the used stuff from his display which is in buckets) helps lower it.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Thanks heaps

Danny
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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I am not sure what you mean by fake gravel? Gravel is gravel.

Gravel of any kind is not going to benefit plants in the long term. Planted tank substrates are made of clays and can bond with ions to absorb nutrients that plant roots can then uptake.

I would skip the "used" gravel, if you want to use gravel, and just buy new, especially if he is marking up the "used" gravel. Along with the small benefit of some potential live bacteria, you could get some undesirable hitchhikers with it, like algae, bacteria, and a bunch of nitrogenous waste.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:54 PM   #3
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Agreed; you have no idea what medications, addititives, or supplements he's added to his tanks in the LFS and any of the gunk as well as potential hitchhikers could be hanging out in the nasty gravel. Like fort, I'm not sure what you mean by "fake" vs. "real" gravel, as gravel is gravel. Some aquarium gravels are covered in a plastic coating to prevent them from affecting pH, but not all are.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:24 PM   #4
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Thanks guys for your reply.


What I mean was the "gravel" that the aquarium wanted to sell me was the one that helps plants grow its kinda a black/grey colour (sorry not sure what it's called)

The fake gravel is the ones that come coloured pink,red black etc

He told me the natural gravel the ones that help plants grow is better to use because it helps lower ph and that is more recommend if I was going for a community aquarium (neons, tetra etc)

Does that fake gravel really raise the ph or is this guy just trying to sell me the used stuff to get rid of them (it was used in his display aquarium)

Thanks again much appreciated

Danny
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Again, I would avoid used substrate from a LFS, just my opinion. Planted tank substrate is normal not gravel - but perhaps we are just talking semantics here?

If your intent is to grow a lot plants, you might consider specialty substrate - though many folks have a lot of success even with just plain gravel.
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:07 AM   #6
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No problem,


Much appreciate the advise. I ended up buying just Normal 2-3mm black gravel.

Just wondering on your thoughts on using sinkers or led to keeps things under gravel? Would that cause problems to the water if I use led or heaving wiring to keeps things under the gravel?

Regards

Danny
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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I have heard of people using fishing weights, though I have never tried it. There is no consensus I have ever seen that says they are safe or not safe. I have anecdotally heard of and seen many people using them with no ill effects. I have seen a lot of other people say they are not safe and eventually can cause problems, though I have never seen anyone diagnose a problem down to using fishing weights.

I would avoid wiring. It will rust over time and break down.

There are other alternatives like siliconing stones to whatever you want to keep down in the substrate.
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