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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

New here and relatively early in my aquarium journey. I have a couple of small planted tanks but have just got a 35L tank that I'm hoping to create a tropical planted tank. I'm wanting to have a few bottom dwellers in there - quite like the Kuhli loaches etc. I'm wanting to section off slightly with some planted areas, but for the main middle part i'd like a bottom where the bottom dwellers would be happy and its just substrate. I already have enough of the Pisces Black Diamond Quartz that i could just use that (and i quite like the black), but I've seen many mixed reviews on whether it's appropriate for bottom dwellers. Thoughts? My main aim obviously is for them to be safe and happy. So i was leaning towards sand, but I haven't had a sanded tank before and i was worried about the water looking cloudy or something from the kick up and also cleaning/ maintenance (i.e. do you still vac? ) as well as breaking the filter. I also heard that the thickness is a big thing that you really need to get right.

Apologies in advance for my ignorance. And thanks in advance for any help I receive.
 

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I have also seen many poor reviews regarding that substrate. I recently set up a small tank and ended up using fluorite black sand instead of the diamond quartz… and the fluorite black looks amazing. But since you already have the diamond, chances are that it won’t harm the fish and the bottom feeders will be just fine.. you may just be unsatisfied with the final appearance… but since you have some left over,, I’m assuming you used it before and liked it. With the fluorite black sand… a few good rinses in a bucket will make the water crystal clear. Reall not the best pics attached .. and ignore the “peanut butter middle”, but the top of the substrate is flourite black sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for that. The tank it was for previously was just a planted tank, so aesthetically it was good. I don't mind buying more product it's just that if this is fine I'm happy to use it and if not i just want to get the most appropriate thing. From what i can tell the bottom dwellers are best on sand. When they dive in it, dig etc etc does it put sand up into the water making it cloudy or anything? Also unsure about cleaning sand do yous till do a vac on it?
 

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Keep an eye out for injuries just in case, from my experience using quartz there's potential for very sharp edges and I think that might be why there's mixed reviews. It's not all the time, most of it has rounded edges, but sometimes, I imagine, some larger sharp edged pieces get in there and can cause injury. I have not read reviews so I could be way off on the complaints but I'm always cautious using quartz with anything that's scaleless.
 

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Crushed quartz will be fine with them.

There was a quartz product from 3M that was really popular in the hobby in the early 2000s - Color Quartz/Colorquartz. Lots of people used it with Cories, diggers and other soft bellied critters with no issues.

It was ceramic-coated quartz but it was still sharp as all get out - about like pool filter sand. I still have some in a big bucket that I use on occasion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you both for your replies. Okay, I think I feel more comfortable then using the quartz. Did anyone have any info on my concerns with sand though ? I just want to make an informed decision that's all. Also is there different types/ sizes for sand that i should be looking at?
 

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Thank you both for your replies. Okay, I think I feel more comfortable then using the quartz. Did anyone have any info on my concerns with sand though ? I just want to make an informed decision that's all. Also is there different types/ sizes for sand that i should be looking at?
Most people don't have issues using sand with bottom dwellers. Most of the time, there are issues with water quality or other problems when there are barbel injuries. There are thousands of folks here on the forum documenting their experiences. So definitely check out the tank journals section or search for the name of the specific substrate(s) you're interested in to see if others have used it.

And ultimately, if you have any concerns about something, search around and post if you want to come up with alternative options. As mentioned about, Seachem's Flourite sand products (not sure if they're available in your region?) are always a great option. They're not really sand but ground up clay (baked into oblivion - it's really nice) that's a little more soft to the touch than silica sand.
 
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