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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm conflicted. I really like the look of the black sand but I also really like the look of the white sand and I can't decide which would look best in my 70 gallon tank...

I'm going to use Miracle-Gro Organic Potting Mix and I'm going to cap it with either Black Diamond blasting sand or, pool filter sand...

My intentions for the tank are to do a low-tech, med. light set up with root tabs if necessary.

The 'for sure' fish (the two types I definitely want lol) are diamond tetras and cardinal tetras.

So, what do you think guys?
 

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Of course in the end it's whatever you want, but I don't think the diamond tetras will show up at all on a white substrate - it'll also be hard to keep clean (maybe impossible) with Miracle Grow underneath. I think colors show up better against dark backgrounds. It's my understanding that fish prefer dark substrates for orientation, too (although the cichlid folks use light sand all the time - it might be natural for African cichlids).
 

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The white sand "Looks" nice but NO. I tried it on my 29gal thinking the same thing and just no, it never stays white, and it does not look good after months of sitting there. I'm counting down the days when I can switch to aquasoil.(already went the Black sand route and that's my second vote)
 

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You've heard a couple of negatives on the white sand, and it's hard to disagree.
The other side of the coin is that white silica PFS really makes the plant & fish colors really pop, imo. And it's easy to keep clean - you just need to employ a few little tricks to do that, and it just keeps looking great.
This is my tank - up & running close to 2 years, and I still love the substrate.
Have a look:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/h357/discuspaul/Sept2011
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for showing me that thread! Lots of good info and advice here.

I guess the verdict is that white is nice - but a pain in the butt to manage...

Where as black is also nice and less of a pain.

In the thread that Wkndracer posted I noticed to that the fish and plants really seem to be more of a focus in the tank with the black sand, whereas in a tank with white sand, your eye is generally drawn to the substrate quicker.
 

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One of the rare questions with a real black or white answer.:biggrin:

Seriously, I used to love white sand too, but I was never able to keep it looking good for more than a couple of months. It would always get a biofilm coating that turned it a dingy, dirty tan color. (That is nitrifying bacteria, I think.) Black sand always looks black, but some black substrates soon bleach to a grey color, which I like, but not as good as I like real black, like black blasting grit.

Sometimes even a black or white question has a grey answer?:proud:
 

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So, in everyone's opinion, which is the Best Black Substrate available? I'd like to change my tank out to black from the Brown Flourite I presently have. Thanks
 

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Black doesn't show the dirt and shows off the colors. In my 40 I have dark pea gravel in the back with pool filter sand in the front, I like the contrast it provides. But there are huge advantages to having a dark substrate all over.

Lesley, you could just switch the brown flourite to black flourite or black sand flourite.
 

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I like them both for different reasons. I think that the black makes shrimps really stand out, where the white is great for showing off the subtle colors in some fishes. Rams are a good example of this.
 
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