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Old 05-19-2016, 01:48 PM   #1
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Smile Gravel or sand?

Hi there!
Long story short im about to upgrade to a new tank (about 350 litre/ 90 gallon)
and Ive considering whether it would be worth upgrading to sand over gravel.

I have zero experience with sand so i need a lil help here.

Im not too bothered about which looks prettier more whats more comfortable for my fish, more specifically my bottom dwellers. Also ignoring whats best for plants here.

Fish that will be in said tank; 5 danios, 4 black widow tetras, 2 tiger barbs, 5 platys, 4 corries, 4 clown loach, 2 yoyo/pakistani loach, 4 congo frogs and a black ghost knife fish (only about 6" atm). Note; these fish have all been happy tank mates for years and im well aware of their eventual sizes, typical temperament, group sizes etc
Ive come across a lot of mixed information on sand vs gravel and want to see what people have learned from personal experience. Thank you for all your help!!!
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:07 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum! From what I have gathered, sand is far better for your corries, as it's far easier on their barbels as opposed to gravel which can get rough on them. I'm getting a few myself, and have recently made the change to sand from gravel.
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:03 PM   #3
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Side note, show us some pictures when you can! We feed our addictions through photos. LOL
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #4
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as carriwin said,sand is the best choice for corydoras,i swap from gravel to sand over a year ago and wouldn't go back to gravel again.


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Old 05-20-2016, 02:30 PM   #5
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Sand is better for basically anything if you do it right. It may make all the difference for your cories and loaches. Could be the difference between life and death.


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Old 05-20-2016, 02:55 PM   #6
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yes unfortunately both substrate cause problems in their own right
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:29 PM   #7
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I've had no problems with sand yet. Haha I mean nothing in life is perfect, you have to do things the right way. If you do that, then you won't have any problems....and if you want gravel then don't get cories or loaches.


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Old 05-20-2016, 03:30 PM   #8
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Have you ever tried sand or are you just going off of your "google searches?"


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Old 05-20-2016, 03:40 PM   #9
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True that you need to do things the right way, I've had no problem with gravel so far and seeing as my corries are nearing 8 years old now i wouldn't see the gravel as a huge problem to them or my loaches although i would agree never to keep them alongside larger sized grains of gravel.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:41 PM   #10
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I have had no personal experience with it hence why im asking for peoples experiencing.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:47 PM   #11
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i think sand is the best choice for corydoras,with gravel depends on the size and sharpness of the edges.


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Old 05-20-2016, 03:55 PM   #12
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yep, my corrys are my main reason for wishing to swap
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:00 PM   #13
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True that you need to do things the right way, I've had no problem with gravel so far and seeing as my corries are nearing 8 years old now i wouldn't see the gravel as a huge problem to them or my loaches although i would agree never to keep them alongside larger sized grains of gravel.


Interesting, even though I have heard of success keeping corries on gravel, my first time keeping corries was disastrous with gravel. I'm promising you though, you'll see a significant difference in their behavior on sand.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:09 PM   #14
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I'll definitely take your advice!
i think the problem with gravel and any form of bottom feeder is it needs to be fairy small pieces and very round to prevent any damage to their barbles and mouths
thanks for the help
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:17 PM   #15
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To each their own, but I personally disagree that loaches and cories are better off on sand. Aquarium gravel is not sharp. I and many others I know what kept many bottom feeders on gravel and never had any issues. I currently have loaches that are about 4 years old and they have never had issues. I have used both though over the years and never saw any difference at all in the cory behavior on either substrate. I will caveate this by saying you obviously need to use some common sense and don't use glass shard gravel or anything too pointy. Regular aquarium gravel or river rocks seem to work just fine. Also, make sure to vacuum the gravel so you cannot get a build up of gunk. Gunk can cause issues for bottom dwelling fish and can lead to bacterial infections. Though, that can be said for either substrate. Some types of sand (for example some courser blasting sand) can cause trouble to cory barbels. Though, i wouldn't say it is common.
In general, I think either substrate is fine and you should go with whichever is easier for you to clean. I hate cleaning sand and I find gravel much easier. Though, many people feel the opposite of me and prefer the sand. JMO.
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:27 PM   #16
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Thank you! Id definitely have to agree that I too have never had a problem with gravel, sand seems a bit over hyped, I guess ill just have to experiment a lil with one of my old smaller tanks and see how it goes
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:31 PM   #17
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Interesting, even though I have heard of success keeping corries on gravel, my first time keeping corries was disastrous with gravel. I'm promising you though, you'll see a significant difference in their behavior on sand.

+1 true.


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Old 05-20-2016, 04:37 PM   #18
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you'll find that even to feed the cory is better with sand as the food stay on top of sand and doesn't sink through the gravel.


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Old 05-20-2016, 05:50 PM   #19
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you'll find that even to feed the cory is better with sand as the food stay on top of sand and doesn't sink through the gravel.


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Yes. Cories don't know any better...they will dig until their barbells are scraped off/damaged at which point infection is the biggest concern I believe.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:17 AM   #20
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I can't say what's best for cories, but I prefer sand - even better what Caribsea sells as cichlid mix (arogonite) which has larger granules.

If you have an HOB, raise your intake or use a prefilter or the sand will mess up your impeller.
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