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Hello all, while the petco $1/Gallon sale is going on, I think I may be in the market for a 55g to house my Orandas which are currently in a 30g. I've been researching for a good substrate but so far I'm stumped...

Currently I am using Safe T Sorb Turface for the 30g and I have mixed feelings about it... Not too sure if I want to use it for the 55g.

Gravel I have a bunch of this but we know there really isn't benefits when using this for plants *but Plants are hard to keep with goldfish...*

I've also seen the CaribSea collection of substrates and heard some good stuff about it, would anyone recommend anything from that line for Orandas?

Sand/Pool filter sand I heard this was good but others say it would damage their gills when they are sifting through it. Also would there be a possibility of nitrogen bubbles?

if there is something that is not on that list that works well lmk!

Also I wasn't sure if this would fall under the substrate section because I am asking about what to use for my fish...
 

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Medium sized rounded pebbles. Large enough to where they won't accidentally swallow them with their food but small enough to where they can pick them up and clean them.
You can keep anubias, water lilies, vals, java fern and crypts with goldfish. All easy to take of low to medium light plants that don't need special substrate. If you add root tabs now and then they will do fine. I added duckweed to my goldfish tank to provided them with the "salad" they like to eat.
 

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I've never done it personally, but a lot of goldfish keepers swear by bare bottom tanks. I've seen some nice looking bare bottoms using potted plants and large river rocks, and I'm sure you can add some driftwood with some moss or plants attached as well.

I do have a goldie on large pabbles, too big to fit in her mouth, and its a pain to clean. As messy as goldfish are when they eat, there is always food drifting between the cracks to the bottom of the tank where she can't get to it, so I have to try to clean it up. A larger siphon would probably help with such large pebbles, but the one I have for her tank is a bit narrow, so cleaning her tank is not fun. She'll be moving and getting a new substrate (or lack of substrate?) soon too, though.

Though garfieldnfish did say small enough gravel to pick up, which mine is not, so that may work for you if that's what you'd like to try. I wouldn't be concerned about gravel not being the best for plants though. As mentioned above, root tabs work with gravel, and most plants that goldfish don't devour get their nutrients from the water collumn anyways.
 

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I am going to bare bottom shrimp tanks, They will be easier to clean. I plan on adding a few Lava large sized stones. Plus they have lots of driftwood and Moss to climb in. I hate the look of shrimp poop when it builds up, I plan to leave a small handful of sand for them to pick through, but the rest is going!!
 
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