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Old 05-31-2020, 01:33 AM   #1
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Best substrate for zebra danios?

Hey guys,

Complete noob here. I just bought a new 16 gallon tank for my dad's birthday and he wants to put some zebra danios in it.

So we setup the stand, wiped the insides and outsides of the tank with a brand new, damp cloth and now we are looking at putting some substrate in it.

The guy at the pet store sold me some fluval stratum, but my dad said he doesn't want to use it because it is a soil. He said he much rather use gravel. So I googled "best substrate for zebra danios" and one article said sand, while another said gravel.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:48 AM   #2
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I don't think the substrate makes much difference for zebra danios. If you want plants, or if you have bottom dwelling fish, substrate is an important consideration. Otherwise, just pick what looks good.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:15 PM   #3
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Any substrate if Zebras ONLY!
(if low tech tank and without plants: choose the easier to clean or your best interests, literally anything)

Want to add more fish? Different fish? Invertebrates?
Take in consideration if parameters are the same for keeping both species together, you have 2 choices: small gravel or syntetic sand

- clean it good before adding into the tank(any substrate)

Plants?
You need a CO2 system and a good light source to maintain a hightech planted fish tank before thinking about subtrate. However if you dont want to go big, pick seachem substrate, they are the right size - not too big, not small - and can go with some low tech aquarium plants (maybe some snails)

Edit: zebras have good colors to go with a black colored substrate with a drift wood in the middle or 2 big rocks (drift wood will low ph and brush the rocks) but both have to go inside a bucket with water for 2 days (with water changes) before adding to the tank, cause they release chemicals
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:08 PM   #4
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So my dad ended up buying some topfin gravel from PetSmart and when I told the guy working at our local fish store this, he said that the PetSmart gravel isn't good because it causes the PH levels in your tank to drop, ultimately killing your fish. He said that if we want to continue using the PetSmart gravel, we have to buy two things to maintain the PH levels. I forget what they were, I think like water hardener or something like that... What do you guys think?
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:16 PM   #5
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Test your tap water before adding conditioner, thats the first step, so you can actually check if the water you will be using to always refil and change in your tank is already hard or anything else.

Second, you need to clean the gravel before adding to the tank, because they do come with residues and particles that needs to be cleaned by adding the gravel into bucket with water and moving with your hands, changing the water a couple times and thats it.

Now, you have cycle your tank before adding fish or anything. Search on youtube for better explanations.

I never heard of gravel lowing the ph like that, these petstores are always trying to get more money out of you, so always come to forums, youtube, google and other to help you before going to the store.

Good luck
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishingBuds View Post
Test your tap water before adding conditioner, thats the first step, so you can actually check if the water you will be using to always refil and change in your tank is already hard or anything else.

Second, you need to clean the gravel before adding to the tank, because they do come with residues and particles that needs to be cleaned by adding the gravel into bucket with water and moving with your hands, changing the water a couple times and thats it.

Now, you have cycle your tank before adding fish or anything. Search on youtube for better explanations.

I never heard of gravel lowing the ph like that, these petstores are always trying to get more money out of you, so always come to forums, youtube, google and other to help you before going to the store.

Good luck
Thanks for the advice. I sort of had a feeling that the guy was trying some sort of marketing scheme on me. Anyways, my dad did rinse the gravel out before putting it in the tank. Then we filled up the tank with water. The water in our city (Vancouver) doesn't contain any chloramine, only chlorine, so we're just going to let the water sit in the tank for a few days. Then the chlorine should evaporate. My dad also bought a testing kit from PetSmart so we should be able to test the PH in the tank using that kit, right? I'm also wondering if the kit allows you to test for chlorine levels as well?

Anyways, the next step now is to install the filter, the heater, and the thermometer. Maybe get some plants/drift wood/props as well. Then we can research how to cycle the tank (I heard this part can take up to 6 weeks).
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:12 PM   #7
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While you research cycling, I'd also suggest researching danios. In my opinion a tank that size is a little small for them. They're energetic "Zoomers"; some tetras or Rasboras that are less active may be happier.
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