Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,652 Posts
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.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,106 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
TheMick said:
I'd say it's a personal choice. It'll all work for the fish really.
Yup.

TheMick said:
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
TheMick said:
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.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,891 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
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.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top