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A LFS owner told me that sand as a substrate is harmful to large cichlids (we were specifically speaking about oscars) because the sand can get in their gills and kill them? I have done alot of research online and have not found anything else about this. Actually, I have found alot of people who use sand. Does anyone have any ideas or comments about this?
 

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I don't know a thing about oscars- but to say that sand is harmful to large cichlids is untrue. Many, if not the majority, of folks who keep African cichlids here on C-F use sand in their tanks, and of course wild fish habitat often has sand.

There are some synthetic sands that have sharper edges that could cause damage to fish, but play sand, pool filter sand, and the commercial cichlid sands available are not sharp. If you are specifically interested in oscars, try this forum folder: Oscars. But for Tanganyikan cichlids, sand is best for many of the species we keep in our tanks, but is not essential.
 

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Fogelhund said:
:lol:

Never heard such silliness in my life before.
To be honest I have heard funnyer stuff coming from the lips of LFS guys but it is a cracker. :thumb:
Oscars are not hard water fish so just maybe and being kind here he is thinking that coral sand would be bad for Oscars. That I think I would agree with.
Not that it would do em any harm you would notice. Oscars are as tough as old boots. My guess is the guy is so thick he even managed to kill some Oscars due to extreemly bad water and blamed it on the sand. :wink:
Maybe the guy just has no cheap sand for sale. And has gravel. Its about the only other explanation I can think of other than the guy is hatstand.
All the best James
 

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To top it off Oscars are now "native" :popcorn: in south florida.
It is full of hard water sand and sharp rocks. The oscars deal amazingly well in it!
 

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Sand damaging the gills of large cichlids seems a reach to me too. If LFS refers to the fish depts. in large chains, I have found their sales people to be pretty ill informed to advise customers in general. I suspect if someone comes in and seems to know what they are talking about the clerks accept it as knowledge. Ask for department managers if something sounds wrong.

But I have a question that may be related. My N. helianthus are great diggers. I have white pool filter sand in my tanks. I found what looked like colorless poop on top of Java Moss and when I tried to siphon the poop out it broke up into what looked like pure pool filter sand. However I have seen no evidence of stress in my trio of spawning helianthus. I have a pleco type catfish and it may be his poop but his only stress seems from harassment by my spawning cichlids. I assume no damage is done. Has anyone seen this also? N. helianthus are not large cichlids.
 

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I thought the only thing that could kill a large oscar was a Stint in the freezer! :lol: :lol:

But most assuredly Sand CAN kill any fish...

If you fill tank with fish, then sand all the way to the top, no water=dead fish. Cause of death= Lack of water or Sand?! :lol:
 
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