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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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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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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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