Sustrate color, grain size and ph altering - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Sustrate color, grain size and ph altering

I've got a 90 gallon tank that I plan on adding plants to.
For fish I've got C.Moorii, Yellow Labs, Clown Loaches and two bristlenose plecos. I'll be going with fairly easy, low light, not-too-much-fun-to-eat plants like crypts and swords.

I'm having trouble picking out a substrate, here's why:

The C.Moorii are sand sifters/spitters so I can't go with gravel-sized grain--it's got to be sand--or pretty close to it. (Can't be too fine either or it'll mess with one of my filters). So that eliminates the Flourite.

I'd almost decided on Eco-complete but where I'm not going to completely cover the substrate with plants the black/grey eco is going to show quite a bit and I don't want to have all that black showing. (I've got a black background so I think the overall effect would just be too dark)

I looked at the Aqua soil sand--exactly the color I want--a rich tan/brown, but it claims to LOWER the ph and while I know most fish can adjust to a different ph than what's considered ideal for them, 6.5 is too low for these africans and plus I'd be fighting my tap water which comes out in the high 8s and is easily lowered and locked to 8.3 with just the right amount of baking soda.

So my question: what would you suggest for a substrate that is hopefully not going to hinder plant growth, (be nice if I could find one that helps it), doesn't significantly alter the ph, would be considered sand, and isn't black?

Thanks.
Robin
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 12:34 AM
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Why not check around the local distributors and see if you can't find a nice neutral colored quartz sand?
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Why not check around the local distributors and see if you can't find a nice neutral colored quartz sand?
I think that may be the only way to go. I was getting hung up on the thought that it had to be a plant substrate
--guess not??
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-29-2006, 12:53 PM
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Nope. Plants will do better in a "plant substrate" but if you get a good coarse sand they will do fine. Just make sure to keep up on the water column ferts. Since you have sand sifters in the tank don't use a layer of peat under the sand as it's going to create a mess when the fish get going.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 07:52 PM
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isn't rex a genius? he knows all....
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