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Old 03-08-2014, 03:30 AM   #1
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Substrate for cichlids?

Hey all. Almost done setting up my 55 gal cichlid tank. Just wanted to ask, "what is the best substrate?" Rock? Gravel? Sand? Please tell me pros and cons. Thanks
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #2
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Hey all. Almost done setting up my 55 gal cichlid tank. Just wanted to ask, "what is the best substrate?" Rock? Gravel? Sand? Please tell me pros and cons. Thanks

Pool filter substrate sand is great
Pros: if washed out good, almost no clouding. A lot cheaper than LFS substrates... Buy it at lowes or Home Depot or such stores..
Cons: doesn't buffer ph, so you have to do it with such chemicals
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:48 AM   #3
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Pool filter sand** 50 lb bag for 12$$
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:45 AM   #4
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Pool filter sand** 50 lb bag for 12$$

Thanks. Does it need to be deep like saltwater fish?
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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Thanks. Does it need to be deep like saltwater fish?

Deep as in like the amount of sand? I'm not following you...
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:01 PM   #6
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Deep as in like the amount of sand? I'm not following you...

Yes, does the sand bed need to be deep? I have a 55 gal salt and my sand bed is 4 inches in both my sump and display.
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:03 PM   #7
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Yes, does the sand bed need to be deep? I have a 55 gal salt and my sand bed is 4 inches in both my sump and display.

For fresh water it can be as deep or shallow as you like... It's purely preference on that
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:08 PM   #8
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If you're putting cichlids I would say make it deep enough for them to be able to dig around. They like to dig and rearrange the landscape so keep that in mind when adding it.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:10 PM   #9
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If you're putting cichlids I would say make it deep enough for them to be able to dig around. They like to dig and rearrange the landscape so keep that in mind when adding it.

Didn't think to say that^^
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:28 PM   #10
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There is more to consider with depth then just personal preference. Deep sand beds create anaerobic zones, just as they do in saltwater tanks, and disturbing these can release toxic gases into the aquarium just as it can in saltwater.

Nice job on the Pros, but some addition Cons to think about; requires cleaning to keep debris from floating around on the sandbed. Stirring it up into the water can destroy impellers on pumps and it is far more likely to scratch the glass of the aquarium than gravel.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:37 PM   #11
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Interesting. I have never heard of that but thanks for the info. I will definitely do some research.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:53 PM   #12
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Course grade2 pool filter sand won't really get up into the water, I just switched over to it and it's great, I can wave a vacuum with out making a disastrous cloud, it looks sweet, not messing up my filters, best of all my apisto's can dig and pile all they want..
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Old 03-10-2014, 05:11 PM   #13
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I used CaribSea African cichlid sand and mine doesn't cloud up when I clean it either. I didn't know about the pool filter sand until after I set it up. I spent like $65 on two bags of 25lbs and it looks good but from what I hear the filter sand is way cheaper and it looks natural too. Good thing about the CaribSea is that you don't need any additives to fix ph and hardness.
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