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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just replaced my 20g tank with a 55g. In the 20g I used the typical dyed small aquarium gravel, but in the 55 I wanted a more natural look so I washed 50 pounds of crushed bluestone for a few hours and added it to the tank. The rock is about the size of a dime, a little more. It's not sharp and pretty well rounded, as I was mixing it with my hands for several hours and didn't feel any sharp edges at all.

My question is, is this acceptable for cichlids? I have 2 right now and decided it's going to be a cichlid tank, but will they get stressed about not being able to move the rock? They cant exactly put it in their mouths and move it around. I haven't added much decor yet so if I needed to change to sand it wouldn't be a terrible burden. Thanks.

Pic is of the current gravel:
 

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Large American cichlids wouldn't have a problem, but one of my pleasures in fish keeping is watching my male Johanni tirelessly work on his den (aka bachelor pad). How he will find shells in the tank and put them by the opening.

Depending on the species, not providing sand deprives both them and you from some of their most quirky behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Right now I have a Bumblebee and a Convict. I noticed that the Bumblebee absolutely loved moving stuff around and moving the gravel which is what sparked my concern. Maybe I'll remove that rock and use it sparsely around the tank and do sand tomorrow on my day off =/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Eh it doesn't look bad in my opinion. Here's just a crappy far away photo I had on my phone from yesterday. I think they'd be happier digging in sand though.

 

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My bumblebee before he died, god rest his soul, was a real digger. Sand would be best for both of those I think.

I have a little chubby pink convict and he's always moving sand around.

Pool filter sand is cheap and easy to clean, unless you hate light substrate, its a perfect choice.
 

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There's no way to vacuum gravel that big, I don't think you could keep the tank clean.

I used sand 1st time when I set up my current tank You have to be careful not to let it get sucked into the filters, but they really like to dig out lairs, and just sift through it. The poop just sits on top, and when you vacuum up some sand, you can just dump it back in.

I have eggcrate under the sand, and it looks tacky where they've dug down to it. Maybe a layer of big gravel like yours under sand would make it look natural when they dug that far?
 

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PFS is pre cleaned so it won't cloud up your pool, two rinses and the bucket water is crystal clean. Took me 15 minutes to clean 100lb of sand. Best invention ever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds good, I'll pick it up tomorrow. I'll probably just remove all the rock entirely and do all sand and then make a few sparse piles or something.
 

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I have fronts and have african cichlad substrate by caribsea. My problem is it was a dollar a pound and I need more but I just want like a plan black sand cand anyone help
 
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