Current substrate not compatible with fish I want to add soon. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Current substrate not compatible with fish I want to add soon.

I have been reading so many different things and am finally here again, after being away for 2 years.
I wanted to change over my substrate to sand, but found that it would be difficult to keep my live plants with a somewhat low maintenance tank if I switched.
So, here it is, two years later, and I still haven't changed over.
Please help.
I currently have Flourite substrate. I've had it for over 10 years and love it. My plants are doing great.
But, I want to add cories and khulis to my tank. Tender tendrils and burrowing fish will not be happy with Flourite and I won't be happy with spending loads of money on ferts and co2 dosing, etc.
I did read something about kitty litter, and almost tried it, but it was not coming clean. Maybe I didn't wash long enough. It never made it into the tank, and is now a block of dried clay in a bucket.

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 06:37 PM
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Sand is fine for lo-tech, don't know where you heard that it wasn't.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 06:44 PM
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I use fluorite with kuhli loaches and they are fat and happy. I suppose some folks have had issues with very sharp edges and cut barbels/injuries, but my 6 have never had any issue and are going on 3+ years and far larger then when I started. They never bury themselves (at least that I have ever seen), but my plants are dense and they hide underneath.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:06 PM
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I've seen many a cory with a bare face from small gravel type substrates like fluval. Your best bet would be to go with sand. It will be the optimal substrate for them and your plants will grow fine. Just buy a packet of root tabs and the plants will continue to flourish.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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What root tabs do you recommend?

I just thought of something:
Can Flourite be tumbled? Anyone familiar with that?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 07:26 PM
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Flourite is fired clay and may break apart into a big mess if you tumble it.

DIY fert tabs would be good. I've used the API ones with decent results.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 10:53 PM
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I like you have had flourite for around a decade. I have a colony of C. aeneus with long barbels that spawn every couple weeks. It does not seem to bother them. Can't speak to the loaches.

That being said I have kept corys on sand and it cannot be denied that they love rooting around in it.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 11:40 PM
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I have had cories of various species (panda, julii, habrosus) on flourite, floramax and eco-complete and their barbels have never shown damage. I have heard many others say the same thing.

My Tanks:

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 05:18 PM
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you didn't say how large the tank was(not that it realy matters) but you could have a "path"of open sand in the middle, with Flourite substrate on the sides for plants. you know kind of like scape the tank?
or you could have the front length of the tank, a few inchs back as sand. and Flourite for plants on the back side.
or off to one side, an oval shape for the middle, the possibilities are endless!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, the flourite has been great. I have been using it in all of my tanks, except the goldfish tank. It is pointless in that tank because they destroy every plant I've tried to put in there. Also, it isn't cheap stuff, and the goldfish tank is 75 gallons.
My tropical tank is a 20 gallon.
Those are great ideas, to scape the tank. I remember thinking of that a long time ago. I guess I forgot about that idea. I also remember saving the tops of the styrofoam 18 count egg cartons for some reason. I can't quite remember the point of that either. I think I read about somebody using peat in the carton tops and then covering it over with sand. The carton tops kept everything organized and easy to remove if the need or desire to change substrate arises.
I think I still have those around somewhere.

Has anyone read about or heard anything like that?
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 04:11 PM
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That's one of my metae cories, not the greatest pic, but you can really see how long the barbels are. Two years living on fluorite, multiple spawns, fat, happy fish. I've kept many cories on fluorite, no issues unless my water wasn't clean. It all comes down to water quality.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 11:03 PM
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I also have a healthy spawning group of cories (paleatus) over black flourite. And also some aeneus in a tank with eco complete. I haven't noticed any wear, but I do check. It might be something that takes years to happen. When I got a school of pygmy cories I did get some flourite black sand for that tank though....I understand they are much more sensitive and delicate. I just got some pool filter sand to try out on the 30 gallon I am going to set up, excited to try something new. And the price is right. I will probably end up putting some cories in there as well.
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