Sand or gravel ?

Pretty much explains itself really. If you have questions about tank set-ups, tank furniture, (caves etc) chuck them in here!

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rhino
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Sand or gravel ?

Post by rhino »

I have looked at all the pics posted here and it seems it's about half and half. I have read that for breeding sand is much better. I was thinking of going with Tahitian Moon Sand. It's black and would keep it from being to bright in the tank. Any suggestions?
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Post by eklikewhoa »

i have tahitian moon sand in my planted tank and its really nice looking! for my zebra tank that i set up with the anticipation of getting zebras i have black and white sand mixed with about a 2:1--3:1 ratio of black to white. all black imo would make the zebra stand out more but if they are anything like other fish they will probably get black or really dark to match the surrounding. thats why i mixed mine and also because i saw how good cichlid eco-complete looks.

also its easier to clean, no food particles working its way through the substrate like with gravel and when its time to clean just siphon off the top of the sand.

my vote goes to sand.
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Post by Plastic Mac »

Imo, it's a bit more difficult than that. I certainly think a substrate is a good idea and it's my opinion that sand is by far the better of the two choices, as they shimmy the underside of their bodies in the sand, which is something you don't see any other time imo.
Having said that, if they spawn then I'd recommend a no substrate tank. It would seem there have been a several reports of users having lost fry when having a substrate in the tank but no losses when it's removed. Having experienced the same thing with my tank, mine is now bare-bottomed.

So in short, while you just have adults I'd say a thin layer of sand is best, but once they have spawned I'd recommend a bare-bottom tank.

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Post by rhino »

Plastic Mac wrote:Imo, it's a bit more difficult than that. I certainly think a substrate is a good idea and it's my opinion that sand is by far the better of the two choices, as they shimmy the underside of their bodies in the sand, which is something you don't see any other time imo.
Having said that, if they spawn then I'd recommend a no substrate tank. It would seem there have been a several reports of users having lost fry when having a substrate in the tank but no losses when it's removed. Having experienced the same thing with my tank, mine is now bare-bottomed.

So in short, while you just have adults I'd say a thin layer of sand is best, but once they have spawned I'd recommend a bare-bottom tank.

Plastic Mac
Not to put words in your mouth, but am I take it you dont remove the fry from the tank after hatching? Or do you just move the fry to a bare-bottom tank?
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Post by Plastic Mac »

You're right, I don't remove the fry as I think the father can and does do a far better job looking after them than I ever could.

Having said that, I do intend to move them fairly soon. I'm trying to get a second tank drilled at the moment, so both the adult tank and fry tank are connected. When that is done, I shall move all the fry into the second bare-bottom tank to grow out.
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Post by dave »

I use a thin layer of gravel at one end of the tank and undergravel plates at the opposite end covering between 25% and 33% of the base with 2.5 inches of gravel covering these plates.

A difficulty I have found with sand is that when you have a current it can clog the filter.

I personally do not like bare bottom tanks. The tanks IMO look unnatural.

With gravel I find some food gets caught in the gravel and the fish can forage at their leisure.

And guess what, reports on this site suggest that all these methods work.

Water quality IMO is what determines success, and while every method has it's pitfalls, I would suggest go with the method that appeals to you.

Take care

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Post by rhino »

If the fry are not removed, and gravel is used, how do you make sure the fry get the food they need? The food must be small, therefore it would fall between the gravel. Not an argument, just curious how to solve this problem. I am experimenting with putting a natural looking bowl barried in the gravel to put the food in. That way any excess food can be easily removed.
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Post by dave »

My fry love rummaging through the gravel, and they go looking for food.

With a turnover of 6 to 10 times per hour through my filters, the water quality remains fine.

To date I have never removed any uneaten food, but do clean my filters regularly.

As for losing a couple of young with gravel, this is not my experience.

I am not criticising anybody elses methods here, just telling what works for me.

I also have 2 or 3 different filtration units or types in each tank.

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Post by rhino »

Thanks Dave for the info.

I think I will stick with the gravel. I use 2 filters also. 1 power filter and one canister. I dont use a powerhead because the power filter seems to be enough current. So far this has worked fine.
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Post by discusbabe »

I have a very thin layer of sand in my tank with the zebs, I do have other tanks with more sand, tanks with bare bottom and my veiltail ancistrus breeding set up with black gravel! I prefer to have sand though at the end of the day. I have the added bonus with mine that as Dave says they shimmy in the sand and even when they're hiding under the bogwood I can see them from below as they've moved all the sand away from their spot! :lol:
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