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View Full Version : Big Blak.... So Indecisive ! HELP



BiGBlak
07-25-2010, 01:55 AM
This Is A serious case I wasted alot of money so far so im going to give you a little idea on what i need help on ...

20 Gallon Planted.
-Background Painted Black Looking for a good black substrate that is a dark black ( used black flourite sand and swapped it because i didnt like it ended up looking ashy black ) So what should i go with ? Regular Black Flourite ? Moon Sand from petsmart ? What would look best for the plants ?
55 Gallon Mbuna
- Im going for this look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDfoPhRwz4I
What substrate would result to get my tank started in the right direction for a look like this ?
Please Help im i keep buying lfs substrates and not being happy with them im tired of going the cheap route because it is starting to add on. So yea much appreciated.

Cliff
07-25-2010, 02:55 AM
I used black flourite with black sand on top. I like the look of that, nice and smooth. Plants seam to like the flourite as well.

Sorry, but my camera is not working right now, need to look at it latter tonight. There's a few pics in the belwo thread that might help

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=64703

HeatherB
07-25-2010, 03:16 AM
I really like the black Estes sand if you can find it. It works great. Needed zippo cleaning too! It did float when I first put it in, but no problems now. Light enough so that it doesn't compact and heavy enough that it doesn't get sucked up into my python.

FishGirl-Seattle
07-25-2010, 03:22 AM
There is another black plant substrate that I have started using - Eco Complete. I see results just as good as with Flourite, but it has the advantage of not being dusty so there is no rinsing, and it is cheaper. Cliff is right, black sand on top is a good idea, smooth look on top, plant grade beneath!

BiGBlak
07-25-2010, 05:09 AM
There is another black plant substrate that I have started using - Eco Complete. I see results just as good as with Flourite, but it has the advantage of not being dusty so there is no rinsing, and it is cheaper. Cliff is right, black sand on top is a good idea, smooth look on top, plant grade beneath!
Is eco complete A rich dark black ? and does it look good by its self ?

BiGBlak
07-25-2010, 05:09 AM
Any input on the mbuna tank substrate ?

Wild Turkey
07-25-2010, 07:00 AM
Is eco complete A rich dark black ? and does it look good by its self ?

Its not jet black, but it is a deep black. I like its look which is a little less uniform than other black substrates, more natural.

I think it looks great by itself. It makes the green of the plants pop, especially with a black background.

They make EC for african tanks also but I dont have experience with it.

190MPH
07-25-2010, 01:23 PM
I saw the the eco-complete for Africans in my LFS and it looks to be a 50/50 mix of the black sub with aragonite, visualize salt and pepper. It's supposed to be good for helping to buffer the water. It doesn't look bad, but it's all a matter of taste I guess. I have 3 different black substrates in various tanks and here is my take on them based on my experiences.

3M Color Quartz(discontinued) S-grade.
Pros: It seems to be the perfect size and density. You can sift it and disturb it and it drops right to the bottom. Cheap.
Cons: A major major major pain to clean.

Carib Sea Tahitian Moon
Pros: A little more shiny/shimmery. Stays on the bottom also. Available just about anywhere.
Cons: Another major pain to clean(some say this is nothing more than rebagged T-grade color quartz). Expensive. May be too sharp for certain fish like bottom dwellers, there are some who have had problems, others not.

Estes
Pros: No cleaning, although I would recommend it to get rid of any fine particles. Nice uniform size.
Cons: Seems to be lighter in IMO. I have to trickle the water in when I do a WC in my 20g or it will blow it everywhere. A little more pricey, but not outrageous. Doesn't seem to be readily available. I got mine online, none of the 5 LFS around here had it.

BiGBlak
07-26-2010, 07:47 PM
does anyone know if this http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+10742+21432&pcatid=21432
is as sexy as this http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2753227&ab=fish_fc3b
an is this the same thing as the second but white ? http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=caribsea+instant+aquarium+substrate+moonlight+sa nd&cid=5118698236902053488&ei=n-VNTPa-IqayiQS8lJDTCA&sa=title&ved=0CAcQ8wIwADgA#p ???
anyone use these ?

cichlids209
07-26-2010, 08:30 PM
the first two are the same sand only difference is the first link is the new packaging and comes with a clarify package for your water the second link is the old packaging and is just the sand the third link is the same sand just in white

kaybee
07-26-2010, 11:00 PM
Aragonite sand (or one of the african cichlid sands) would do well as a substrate for your mbuna tank in regards to contributing to a high-pH alkaline environment. I've mixed both types with the black sand.