General African Cichlid Discussion • Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

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Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby drackid » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:55 pm

So this is kind of a small topic but i wanted to ask the question. What is better if my aquarium is an african cichlid tank with a black background?

Black diamond blasting sand (black)

OR

Aqua Quartz or HTH (white)

Thanks for your support whoever sees this!
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby punman » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:28 pm

I tried black and I feel, too dark.
Pure white was too bright and showed debris so I have gone with a very light tan - not quite white but with my kind of lights, approaching white.
Tanganyika Cichlids all the Way!
90 Gallon: Tropheus Black Bemba
135 Gallon: Frontosa mpimbwe f1 and A. calvus
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby nodima » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:42 am

What I have found with a black background is that it disappears, and like the theatre trick of painting everything they don't want you to see black, it does the same thing. It forces the focus to be on the inside of the tank - like punman, my preference is for neutral substrate. Even the PFS I've got is a bit brighter than my ideal, but works well enough. The point about showing debris on light substrate is a good one, but I find that to be a positive - helps me position filters and make adjustments to the flow patterns. That said, I do have a bag of BDBS which I'm going to try in a 20 for fun.

Ultimately, it comes down to your preference.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby Cyphro » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:06 am

The fish will color up more on dark substrate and bright colors will also show better. I would not make it black though, especially if you already have a black background (which I also wouldn't do to begin with). Such unnatural landscape just looks bizarre in practice, like the fish are floating in outer space.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby drackid » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:40 am

Alright thanks for the advice everyone!
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby Electricyellow3 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:27 pm

My tank already came with gravel but read cichlids need and. Is this true or am I okay with the gravel? Also if I should switch to sand, what kind do you recommend?
60g/electric blue acara, OB peacock cichlid, electric yellow lab, (2)pink convicts, firemouth, kenyi, red zebra, red tail shark, pleco
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby Mbunachick46 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:37 pm

Most cichlids like to dig in the substrate. They will do some “landscaping “ no matter what you use; I think they make less of a mess with gravel & I’ve never had an issue.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby Cyphro » Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:54 pm

I like gravel but it's more personal choice than anything else.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby TheMick » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:43 am

I'd say it's a personal choice. It'll all work for the fish really. I've got black sand with a black background in my tank (pics of it are posted a few post down if you want to see). It was just what I thought looked good personally.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby wryan » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:08 pm

TheMick wrote:I'd say it's a personal choice. It'll all work for the fish really.

Yup.

TheMick wrote:I've got black sand with a black background in my tank (pics of it are posted a few post down if you want to see). It was just what I thought looked good personally.

To some degree what works - at least visually - may be dependent on the fish you're keeping.

I just moved a breeding pair of Melanochromis auratus and four of their offspring from a 20G Long which had Black Diamond blasting media in it for the substrate. All of the fish were nicely colored up ... the male was very dark, almost black ... and the others had lots of yellow.

They were put into a 20G Long with Caribsea aragonite which was a pretty bright white.

All of the fish lost their color, appearing washed out. After a few days a couple of the fish have somewhat regained it ... but they aren't back to where they were before in the other tank with the black sand.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby TheMick » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:50 pm

TheMick wrote:I just moved a breeding pair of Melanochromis auratus and four of their offspring from a 20G Long which had Black Diamond blasting media in it for the substrate. All of the fish were nicely colored up ... the male was very dark, almost black ... and the others had lots of yellow.

They were put into a 20G Long with Caribsea aragonite which was a pretty bright white.

All of the fish lost their color, appearing washed out. After a few days a couple of the fish have somewhat regained it ... but they aren't back to where they were before in the other tank with the black sand.



I could see the colors varying for sure. I've personally felt that the darker colors help the fish color up better but I don't have hard research on it or anything either. Just a personal observation.
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby DJRansome » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:20 pm

Different species react differently. I once sold a group of leleupi because they were sooty.

I removed them from my black sand tank to a white sand tank overnight so I could easily net them for the buyer. Next morning they were brilliant orange.

I have gotten rid of all my black sand.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Aquarium sand. PLEASE HELP

Postby wryan » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:43 am

Interesting observations.

Seems entirely reasonable that it could vary by species.

I'm not happy with the black "sand" I have ... it's way too fine vacuum without sucking it up ... so it's likely headed for some other use than substrate.
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