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Old 08-14-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
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Black or natural sand substrate??

So here soon I'll be setting up my 125g cichlid tank. Lots of great tanks on here to go off of but now I'm curious what y'all think.

Should I do a natural sand substrate, meaning tan/white sand or a black sand substrate?
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #2
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It all depends on what you like really. I went with play sand natural color and wish I would have went black. Everything shows on the white/tan color. The black makes the fish stand out a lot more imo. The only thing I can think of about natural sand that I do like is that its natural.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:52 PM   #3
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I had Tabitian moon sand for awhile but naturally fish tend to blend in with there surroundings and they darkened dramatically, so for me it's natural or nothing.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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I'm a fan of the black sand bed but imo it will depend on what your aquascaping plans are first then deciding substrate
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrc8858
I'm a fan of the black sand bed but imo it will depend on what your aquascaping plans are first then deciding substrate
Imo black sand looks great with live plants. White sand for a rocky/cave enviorment
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:39 AM   #6
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I'm more into the natural look so it's why I like the natural sand appearance. I've seen quite a few black sand tanks and really like the look but I don't want it looking to deco style
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:21 AM   #7
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I'm not sure if black will darken cichlids. If they don't darken, then black is the way to go for those colorful cichlids. I have black. It reveals a lot of waste that settled on the sand bed and darkens my fish.
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Old 08-15-2012, 09:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I'm not sure if black will darken cichlid.
Same fish within a two week time span of switching from black to light sand. You can clearly see the transformation from each picture, I'll never do dark sand again.



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Old 08-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #9
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It's kind of the opposite with my jds, they look alot better on darker colors. My festae arent old enough to show that much color yet, but I foresee enough swap arounds in my future to do that same comparison.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HUKIT

Same fish within a two week time span of switching from black to light sand. You can clearly see the transformation from each picture, I'll never do dark sand again.
Wow! Huge difference and what a stunning Cichlid!
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:11 AM   #11
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I switched from natural gravel to black sand and I have to say this.

I did find myself telling my wife the other night that the tank looked dark, by that I mean the blues darkened in my fish. I guess it's the sand then. Even though, I still like the black sand.

It's Tahitian moon sand.



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Old 08-15-2012, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict2161
I switched from natural gravel to black sand and I have to say this.

I did find myself telling my wife the other night that the tank looked dark, by that I mean the blues darkened in my fish. I guess it's the sand then. Even though, I still like the black sand.

It's Tahitian moon sand.
See, I like that look. To me it brings out the decor a lot more. Greens, red and oranges seem to pop a lot more.

However, I'm all about my fish and their natural habitat. So far, I'm favoring the natural sand do far.
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
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Here is natural for ya


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Old 08-15-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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Personally I would go with natural color substrate. Doesn't mean you can't go on the darker side of that though! For any of m planted tanks I always look for Flourite Dark.

I think the best colors will come out when the are in more of a natural habitat. They didn't evolve in such a way as to be in black substrate. Just my opinion.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:33 PM   #15
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I would go black sand it makes my oscars colors defnitley darker and orange brighter. Also I Love the look of the black sand.
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Convict2161
I switched from natural gravel to black sand...
I followed Convict's thread when he documented his switch to black sand and it has had one of the best results that I have seen.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:45 PM   #17
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The comparison between it being natural and non natural is kind of moot, to me. Fish live over a ton of different substrate colors in nature, I think most are probably a tan/brown though. I've not seen a habitat in nature that is black (in my area at least), but then again I've not seen a bright white one either (except on the gulf beach). Although some of the feeder creeks come close, the water still tends to be dark though unless they are near the spring.

That's more of a preference of definition though, there are definitely fish that look better over different substrate colors, as we have seen in this thread.
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:03 PM   #18
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I did half white half black in my 90 g reef bit it mostly mixed to black with white spots now I have upgraded and added more sand still mostly black looks very nice always looks clean and mine was even softer friendly with a range of size from sugar to largish pebbles created a vary natural look
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:09 PM   #19
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Also my sand is from Hawaii and is natural for some of the reefs there also I belive
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:56 PM   #20
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That was my next question. Has anyone ever mixed black and white sand together? If so, please attach a pic. I'd like to see. I've considered trying that as well but don't know exactly what it would look like.
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