View Full Version : Choosing the right substrate

02-11-2006, 02:33 AM
I'm working on setting up a 55 gallon tank. This is going to be my show piece. I'm not really planning to have any live plants, so substrate choice for me is mostly about looks and utility. So I went to the locally owned pet store last night to nose around and they had this beautiful black sand. Well call me weird but I never really considered sand of any sort as a substrate, I always just assumed it'd be gravel. So I got to thinking that sand would actually make a beautiful tank for me, and I'd really like the look of it. Here are my concerns.

- When vacuuming the substrateduring cleaning, will sand get sucked up? If so, what's a good way to avoid that? I have a python that I use for gravel vacuuming currently, and, well, it cost me some money and I like it. ;)

- I have a crayfish. Will he have any issues with finding food and / or packing food into the sand?

- Will bottom feeders such as catfish or plecos find themselves accidentally ingesting sand?

- Although I am not currently planning to add live plants, if I were going to what would I want for substrate? Planning for the unforseen and all that.

02-11-2006, 07:27 AM
- Vacuuming can be a problem

- I don't think it will cause a problem for the crayfish.

- That might happen in small quantities but will likely not be a problem as long as the sand is fine as it will pass through them. A larger problem can be plecos/catfish virling up sand in the water.

- Yes it can be a problem with plants as the substrate can be to dense for them.

I prefer to use black gravel with a grain size of about 3mm which I think looks very good while still avoiding problems.