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Old 04-05-2006, 07:00 PM   #1
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Substrates for my 55gal

Ok so i am completly redoing my 55gal. I am soo sick of the plants in there and the fact i can barely gravel vac my gross white sand. I was planning to set it up like a chiclid tank. What I mean by that is having sand (if possible) and just a bunch of rock caves. The only occupants are my 2 senegal bichirs, my platinum gourami, and if my snail problem continues after resetting up my tank 3 skunk loaches.
So my current sand is Moonlight White Aquarium Sand by CaribSea. I hate it.... its white and gross from plant debris and fish waste, that i cant pick up with mygravel vac without sucking up all the sand.
I have two other substrates in mind...
Pool Filter Sand, Is it heavy enough to not get sucked up by the gravel vac?
or
Eco Complete African Chiclid Sand, I got shipped two bags of it on accident, and the store is letting me keep them so i just have it sitting around. I think its also pretty fine but its darker so it would be harder to see al the grime.

Any Ideas?
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:05 PM   #2
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i can vac my pfs just fine without sucking much up but if you do it wont be much just try and move the vac around the surface of the sand and then itll fly up and then suck it up, it works well

the thing i like about my pfs is its so cheap, 12 dollars for 100 lbs for my 55 gallon
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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I just read the chiclid sand buffers the water...so i can't use it.

Some one needs to invent a high density sand for aquariums.

Does anyone know about maybe some other kinds of sands, used in landscaping or something that might be heavy? It doesn't need to be the smallest grain size, but i just dont like the look of gravel. My bichirs also enjoy the softer substrate.
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:31 PM   #4
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If you are intending to replant it, you may want to look into "Profile". It's the sand used at good golf courses. Similar to florite but much finer (1mm grain size) and it doesn't compact. Usually about 10-15$ for 50lbs and It's a light brown. Just a thought. I'm not sure of the weight other then it's 50lbs in 1 bag..
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Old 04-05-2006, 07:38 PM   #5
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I'm taking out the plants too much of a hassel to keep replanting all my horn wort and ancharis everyday, silly bichirs don't understand that they cant swim through a plant stem. Also, I want to save all my plant keeping energy for my new 50gal. I think i will go with the PFS, unless anybody knows of anything else i could use?
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:56 PM   #6
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Hornwort actually shouldn't be planted. It should be left floating because the part that's under the substrate will die, according to T.F.H. magazine anyway. Anacharis doesn't have to be planted in the substrate either.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:23 PM   #7
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well, i can tell my ancharis and hornwort are doing just fine floating around, but it just makes the tank look messy. I am going to get rid of all the plants except my java ferns, and some ancharis, but I am going to make it very scarce. Driftwood and slate rocks pretty much. I am just going to make a bunch of caves out of slate. I want it to be like a desert aquarium (kinda an oxymoron haha) and have my 50gal be a contrast of a lush jungle aquarium.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoK
Hornwort actually shouldn't be planted. It should be left floating because the part that's under the substrate will die, according to T.F.H. magazine anyway. Anacharis doesn't have to be planted in the substrate either.
As for planting in the substrate, part of the burried part will die off, but part will form kind of like anchors to help hold it in the substrate. Mine is doing just fine planted in the substrate, i have to prune 2 times a week.
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Old 04-06-2006, 02:19 AM   #9
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The only problem with not planting anacharis is that the roots will grow all the way down until they find substrate and that looks like crap

I am plannin on getting Tahitian Moon Sand for my next tank around 75 gallons. I had a senegal, I find they look great on a dark colored sand, TMS is black, and kinda grainy, heavy enough not to be gravel vaced up. the only problem iwth it is that it has some slight metallic propeties, and can get stuck to the filter walls near the magnet. (this can be stopped by obstructing water flow with nylon or a prefilter before this point though)
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:44 AM   #10
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Pool Filter sand is an excellent choice. I move it around with the Python at every water change. IF I lose some, it's minimal.
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Old 04-06-2006, 06:09 PM   #11
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I have playsand in three of my tanks. When I vacuum, I just skim the surface and the gunk comes up (the sand is packed down) and all is good. After that, I might move the sand around with the vacuum not running to aerate it.
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