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Old 03-14-2020, 10:08 PM   #1
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Gravel substrate for weather/dojo loaches?

Hi all -- I have a goldfish and two dogo/weather loaches in a 20g tank with sand substrate (long story re: this, but let's just say I didn't being any of them home). Planning on moving up to something like 70g since I know they need more space, but I can't stand dealing with sand -- I'd like to back to gravel. From what I read, the basic gravel you get in stores can be too sharp, so are there any loach owners who can recommend a good, smooth gravel for them? I want them to be happy and but reaaaaally want to dump the sand.

Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:22 AM   #2
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What kind of sand are you using? Did you rinse it before putting it in the tank? I use pool filter sand in my 55g. It's a cheap alternative to aquarium sand ($10 for a 50lbs bag). Just rinse before using it and you won't get and cloudiness, even when disturbed. It will also give your loaches a chance to dig. If it's a problem with anchoring plants put a layer of gravel under the sand.

That being said if you are still wanting a gravel look for the more natural coloured ones. In my experience those tend to be slightly smoother for some reason.
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:44 PM   #3
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I've had the sand for a long time (6+ months), so it's not a matter of cloudiness or type. I don't remember what kind it was, but think it's aquarium sand. The issue is it tends to look gross pretty quickly with poo and discoloration (weekly cleanings), and no matter what I have to do additional filter rinses post water-change to avoid back-up. The gravel was just so much easier to maintain and it looked better. Also the loaches don't really burrow/dig that I've seen unless they're going for pellets, unless that's all surface level? Even then, they seem to prefer to swim around, hang out on filters, drape themselves on deco, etc.

I'll look into natural colored gravel, but if you have any additional detail that would be great. And if they just won't be happy with any gravel I guess I'll just continue to deal with it, was just hoping a gravel could work...
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Old 03-15-2020, 03:52 PM   #4
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I see, I find it helpful that the poo doesn't sink because it is easier to vaccum up. But everyone has their preferences.
I threw out the bag that I had so I can't tell you the exact gravel I used. Pea gravel would work.
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