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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I looked through the reviews and did not see that anybody had mentioned the cichlid eco complete sand in white- just the standard salt and pepper stuff. Looks like the grain size is a touch larger.
http://www.caribsea.com/pages/buy_it/ci ... -sand.html

Has anybody used this?

How does this stuff differ in terms of cleaning/buffering capacity to pure aragonite or crushed coral?

This substrate btw is for a 50 gal P. saulosi species tank so I am looking for a lighter sand to hopefully promote some brighter colors.
 
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use pool filter sand its cheap and lightly colored.. that cichlid sand is like $16-$20 for 20lbs pool filter sand is $7 tops for 50 lbs... and
 

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After five years with aragonite substrate and crushed coral in my filters I can tell you that my pH and GH and KH have moved not one iota.

So I no longer try to use my substrate as a buffer or pH adjuster (see "baking soda" in the Library instead if you need to buffer or increase pH). I would just buy what works for your fish and what you like.

For a natural color substrate I have switched to pool filter sand.
 

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I,m using this in my 75 saulosi only,I went with this because pool filter sand, I thought was causing diatoms and would not go away after over a year,maybe it was just this particular sand or my lighting or phosphates in my water or a combination of everything.
Anyway as for buffering I do 2 20 gal. water changes weekly and my ph is low 8s to begin with,I think if you have good ph to begin with and do regular water changes you shouldn't have to worry about it.
As for the look,I'm still not sure I like the look ,it doesn't look as natural as pool filter sand or play sand or quickcrete,it looks kinda grey,but under the right lighting it looks white,I use 50/50 acintic,the grain size almost looks like kitty litter size,anyways heres a picture in my tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah the water here is pretty alkaline to start with 8.3 with good buffering capacity. I am also worried about the impurities and diatoms in play sand- not something that I really want to deal with. The idea of having the substrate do the buffering is very appealing and in my opinion more natural. Adding tons of pH buffer solution and salts would just remind me of my days making waters from deionized water at the aquatic toxicology lab. I will have to give some of the options a closer look at the LFS.

In retrospect I did do a amphibian study where I took river sand, washed it, sifted it and then cooked it- but man that was some work it took days to get sand the right grain size and ready for trials. There is no way that I would go through that again. It would look awesome though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the suggestions I picked up the white and black mix. I think it will look much better than a white sand with the river rock that I am going to use for refugia.
 

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smart to worry about diatoms. i have them in a few of my tanks. none of my african tanks tho. *** found thru research that a lot of the worse stuff comes about from lets say a sand with a higher silica ratio. (mine is all silica) so i end up with a lot of diatoms.
 

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hey guys i having the same dilima, i have a 75gall i am about to setup an was wondering what sand to get.
i was thinking about getting some of the play sand from home depot an cleaning an sithing it, an buying prolly 1=2 bags of that cichlid substrate sand an mix it in with the play sand. what you guys think?
 

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newforestrob said:
I,m using this in my 75 saulosi only,I went with this because pool filter sand, I thought was causing diatoms and would not go away after over a year,maybe it was just this particular sand or my lighting or phosphates in my water or a combination of everything.
Anyway as for buffering I do 2 20 gal. water changes weekly and my ph is low 8s to begin with,I think if you have good ph to begin with and do regular water changes you shouldn't have to worry about it.
As for the look,I'm still not sure I like the look ,it doesn't look as natural as pool filter sand or play sand or quickcrete,it looks kinda grey,but under the right lighting it looks white,I use 50/50 acintic,the grain size almost looks like kitty litter size,anyways heres a picture in my tank
Just wondering what is the substrate you're using in the photo above?

Also curious how you get your pH in the low 8s to start with? TO water averages around 7.7 according to the last water analysis...plus our kH is low so the pH drops before long unless you buffer it.
 

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the substrate is caibsea eco-complete cichlid sand(white),yes my ph is low 8s out of the tap(scarberia),I do around 15 gallons bi-weekly water changes,because like you say kh is low,so I like to replenish water more often without adding any buffers
 
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i use seachem malawi/victoria buffer to bring the ph to around 8... also you can use baking soda.... which is the same thing and wayyy wayyy cheaper....
 
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