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Old 05-15-2008, 12:21 AM   #1
CincyReefer
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Tropic Isle Tahitian Moon Sand


Heyo

I have an 12gal nano and Im doing it as an planted tank...Is this stuff a good substrate for a planted tank http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...24&pcatid=7324? what do you guys think?
Thanks for any advice
JB
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:43 AM   #2
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Love it. Looks really nice in the tank. I always use root tabs for rooted plants when using it though. Plus a layer of laterite under it.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:52 AM   #3
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I cannot speak for other peoples' experiences but I have a 3 gallon low light, low tech nano at work with a cap of Tahitian moon sand capped over a dusting of peat and leonardite. Java fern, anubias nana, and ambulia are thriving, but the dwarf sag is not doing too well and the cryptcorne melted and never recovered. The Amano Shrimp and White Cloud Minnow are still alive and kicking.

I have another 5 gallon low tech, low light tank tank with a cap of Seachem Onyx sand capped over a dusting of peat moss and leonardite. Amano Shrimp, Dwarf Frog, and otocat are alive and kicking and have been for several months. There is a smidgen of black bursh algae mostly on some ambulia and cardamine lyrata plants, but this may have more to do with frequent water changes than anything else. Otherwise, plant growth is much better in the 5 gallon. The cryptocorne never melted from day one and even sent out another runner, ambulia are growing slowly but thriving, hygorphilia polysperma is thriving, anubias nana, java fern, and apongenton plants are all thriving.

IME, plant growth with the Seachem Onyx Sand, at least for me seems better than with the Tahitian Moon sand, with all other things(except) tank size being equal.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:55 AM   #4
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Alright, thanks both of you for your imput! hey 'theinjected1' whats laterite?

Seachem Onyx correct? Ill have to look into that
Anyone else?
Thanks
JB
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:44 AM   #5
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No, laterite and Onyx sand are not the same. Espcially not in looks... Onyx sand is black, and laterite is red. Laterite is red clay with a very high iron content.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CincyReefer View Post
Alright, thanks both of you for your imput! hey 'theinjected1' whats laterite?

Seachem Onyx correct? Ill have to look into that
Anyone else?
Thanks
JB
I cannot confirm this 100%, but I have read about some members who claimed that when they kept catfish with Tahitian Moon Sand and Seachem Onyx Sand, the catfish suffered from barbell erosion and eventually died. Many say that barbell erosion may be more to due to with a bacterial infection than substrate. I did have a peppered cory that was transferred into the 3 gallon nano at work with Tahitian Moon sand and he died within a couple of months, but I am not sure what killed him. He was pushing 9 years, so he could have just died of old age. I am not saying that Tahitian Moon Sand or Seachem Onyx sand are necessarily bad if you keep catfish and I don't want to spread FUD. It is just something I read that may or may not be true and something you may want to keep in mind if you plan on keeping catfish.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:11 PM   #7
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So would say I should go with something else? because I do want to have a trio of cories, but I really do like the 'black sand look'. what do you think?
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
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So would say I should go with something else? because I do want to have a trio of cories, but I really do like the 'black sand look'. what do you think?
This is one of those situations where you will end up with a lot of contradictory and conflicting information. It would interesting to see what other members' experiences are with respect to catfish and TMS and Seachem Onyx Sand.

This is one of the most interesting forum discussion I read about re: what to look for in a sand that would be ideal for catfish and not cause problems.
http://www.aquahobby.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=50464

The interesting this is the recommendation of playsand, and even then, there is a warning that not all playsand is equal and some depending on grain size will be just as harmful to catfish. Again, some members will tell you that they have had the worst plant growth with playsand as it compacts easily while others will tell you that they have had fabulous growth in tanks where they have used playsand. Again, you may just have to decide to try and see what happens. Like I said, I don't want to spread FUD.
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:21 PM   #9
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hmm, thanks for the link homer, thats interesting. Now what would you say would be the problem relating to cories. Would it be that the sand grain is too small which leads to their dimise, so going with a more of a gravel instead of sand substrate would be better?
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Old 05-15-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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Why not just get Flourite Black sand. You won't need root tabs.
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Old 05-15-2008, 10:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CincyReefer View Post
hmm, thanks for the link homer, thats interesting. Now what would you say would be the problem relating to cories. Would it be that the sand grain is too small which leads to their dimise, so going with a more of a gravel instead of sand substrate would be better?
I think(just speculation) and have not really tested the idea is that the coarser/the rougher the sand the more likely it may be too erode the barbells of cories. There are a couple of things that could avoid this. If you have a sample of sand that you want to try, run your fingers through some, if it feels soft and silky, it should be okay. If it feels coarse and sharp between your fingers, I would not risk it. Also, if you know of a river or lake with some catfish, that has a natural sandy bottom, you can always grab some of that sand, be sure to fully sterilize it by boiling in water and use that. Chances are if it is not sharp enough to erode the barbells of catfish native to the river or lake, then it likely will not or should not erode the barbells of your your catfish.

I had a peppered cory catfish and dwarf aquatic frog in a small filtered 2 gallon tank. The tank was not planted and I was not into planted tanks. I did weekly 50% water change and gravel siphoning, the gravel was just plain epoxy coated gravel(I think 2-3 MM grain size). Believe it or not, the frog survived about 7 years and the catfish died after 9 years. To make a long story short, I only have experience with regular gravel and peppered cory catfish. Lol, I don't want to run cruel experiments on cory catfish just to satisfy my curiosity as to how sand would work . That is why I have avoided purchasing catfish as tempted as I have been as the tanks that I thought of putting them in either have a sand bottom.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:19 AM   #12
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CaribSea's site says that Tahitian Moon sand is not recommended for a freshwater planted aquarium.
http://www.caribsea.com/pages/products/super_nat.html

I've read about many people that are using it though.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:36 AM   #13
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I know lots of ppl use TMS in planted aquariums... I suspect that's a badly worded recommendation trying to steer ppl towards EcoComplete since TMS is inert?
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:29 AM   #14
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CaribSea also says that TMS is not "Soft Belly Safe."

That statement is strange too.
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:58 AM   #15
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That stuff always reminds me of the stuff they use in the cigarette butt containers on campus.
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