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help on substrate?

2872 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dreday
hey guys i need some help from the experts i really like the sand look as far as substrate but some people at the lfs told me my mbunas are goin to play around in the sand and my tanks is always goin to be cloudy now how true is that? or how about crush coral? as far as crush coral i like the look too but i dont have to worry about the ph im lucky the my water has a high ph me out please thanks....
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sand in your tank is just fine. just make sure you wash is REALLY well first!
thanks yeah i think im goin with sand
the larger the grains of sand the quicker it will settle. i have playsand wich is on the finer side of sand and if the fish stir it up it settles right back down. if you have any kind of bottom feeders, they will greatly appreciate the sand too.
i use pool filter sand and it sinks straight to the bottom with zero clouding. it hardly even needs to be rinsed.

if you are worried about sand clouding water i reccomend pfs as a substrate that settles very nicely. its got a nice tan, natural color too. i highly reccomend it.
what about color quartz?? i have heard people use that before and wonder if anyone has it. 3m colorquartz. and which type, s-grade or t-grade??

i have play sand in my tank now and hate it. i washed it for 2 hours and it still clouded my tank for 2 days. and now it ends up everywhere. it does not settle fast at all. also the fine grade helps it compact which means where ever the fish do not dig ie under rocks or decor, the sand develops those black pockets of gas. built up nitrate gas that cant escape. and yes i know you should stir up sand during maintenance, but i hate moving 160lbs of rocks around to stir up whats underneath.

i too am looking for a new substrate but do not want to pay lfs prices.
i used Monterey beach sand for a while. It was nice and i baught it at Home Depot for $5 for a 50 pound bag. It didn't cloud at all once i got it washed really well. It did get the black pockets that i had to stir up though. Since then i have swtiched to tahitian moon sand. Super pricey and a pain in the but to wash. Once it was clean though it never clouds and settles very well.
The 3M colorquartz in the 'S' grade is very fine, but way better than sand. I just changed out the tan gravel I had in my 75G tank and replaced it with 75 pounds of Black S grade colorquartz. The fish almost instantly livened up.
i am just afraid the s grade is to fine and will create the same pockets.(anirobic)
well i did not read threw it all but i thank you for the link. i am using about 20-25lbs in my tank now to see how it works. if it goes well i will get some more, maybe t grade for the rest of my tanks. i read the t grade was more angular and thought it might be to rough but the thread said t grade is better than s.... :popcorn:
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