Cichlid Fish Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My water pH is naturally low (6.2), so my plan is to use aragonite substrate in my 75g African aquarium. My lfs carries Carib Sea Aragonite 0.5-1mm, and I just wanted to check that this is appropriate/adequate? Is it too fine for the fish (planning haps/peacocks)? Too fine to be safe for the filter (FX4)? Or okay for all? Just want to be safe, and a bit of a cichlid newbie.

Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
I think it is overpriced and too fine and will not permanently or maybe even ever buffer the water as advertised.

I would use baking soda to buffer and buy pool filter sand for substrate...$10 for 50 pounds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
We found the carib sea .5mm- 1.0mm substrate was to fine for our liking. When the fish plow through it the filters pick up alot. Pool filter sand mixed with nature's ocean aragonite sand #1, or #2 if you can find it. is the mix we found best suited for our needs. We mix it 50 lbs. sand to 40 lbs. aragonite. We searched for a more course pool filter sand to help keep it out of the filters. Some brands were better than others. Some is still going to get in, but not as bad.
Our 75 gallon tank that started with 100 lbs, of carib sea sand has about 40lbs. left. We have been slowly adding a more course sand as the filter picks up the carib sea sand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
It is kind of pricey, but I use it in an 125 gal all male peacock/hap tank and really like it. My tank stays in great perimeters (pH 7.8 to 8.0) with weekly water changes. My pH is naturally higher though, (7.2) therefore DJ may be right on the buffer. I used the African Cichlid Mix, (Black and White). I'm running an FX6 and a SunSunHW-302 for filtration and a Fluval CP4 to help circulate it. It will take a good week+ to clear up in the tank if you don't rinse it. The instructions say not to rinse. At least mine did, even with the little packets to help stop/clear it, it still took a good week+ to clear. My outcome is different than BlueSunshine, maybe a different mm? Try this in your tank full of water and all pumps/filtration running, grab a small handful of playground sand, drop it from about a foot up (my fish carry mouthfuls this high and drop it) in the center of the tank and watch where it lands, close, if not into your intake. The try it with Carib-sea. It won't even be close. Again, at least in my tank. Because of this, very minimal if any in filtration system and it's easier to vacuum without sucking it out I've found. I use a python with a 2 ft suction tube and adjust the suction to where I can skim across the top to where it keeps about a 2 inch swirl of sand going with the poop rising above it. Very little, maybe a few grains get through. Anyhow, that is my experience with it. I'm sure it could be a big debate either way, but I'm glad I went with it instead of playground sand. And no, I do not work for Carib-sea. Lol! Fact is, I was freaking out because it wasn't clearing up, but once it did, it's beautiful.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
Don't confuse playground sand with pool filter sand. Pool filter sand is clean and the grains are a specified size (20 grain) to make it work in pool filters.

It just happens to also work with your Python...it is heavy enough to fall to the bottom even through the suction...does not fly around and get in impellers...but it is fine enough for the fish to sift it through their gills without injury which is part of their natural behavior.

For buffering, try crushed coral in your filter media trays.

I have had aragonite substrate for 12 years now and pH started at 7.8 and remains at 7.8. No impact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Don't want to hijack the thread, but I think it will help him in his decision. Did you rinse yours DJ when you had it or not, and was it cloudy? It seems to be a hot topic for Carib-sea sand even though the bag says to do so, many don't. Just wondering if it affects anything claimed to work? Again, I like it for the looks and ease in cleaning more so than parameters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,460 Posts
I have the caribsea moonlight sand in my 210 and the output from the spraybars (at the top of a 29" tall tank) push the sand all to the ends, leaving a bare bottom in the middle of the tank. I like the look but it's too fine for me.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
40,494 Posts
I never bought caribsea because of the grain sizes, the look (not like the lake).

I did buy a different expensive aragonite substrate and it was very nice...very even and rounded grains. But no impact on pH so after that it was PFS for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
Pool filter sand and play ground sand are very different. Regardless what substrate is used, it should be rinsed very very thorough. Choosing the lazy way usually causes problems in the end.
Our tap water is 7.8 ph and our tanks stay at 8.2 ph. The only thing used by us is aragonite sand and some base rock mixed in with our other rock work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,011 Posts
I have the Sunset Gold in my tank. It stays put and looks more natural to my eyes than PFS. Carib Sea substrates are way overpriced but they have some great looking stuff.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top