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Thread: substrate

  1. #1

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    Question substrate


    0 Not allowed!
    I'm setting up an oscar / parrot tank. I was wondering what substrate do they like. Sand or pea size gravel?

  2. #2

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    either or, if you have your filter intakes up high you can use sand

  3. #3

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    As long as it's heavy sand, or that Estes stuff someone keeps talkin about (can't remember who... Fishguy maybe?). Oscars love to move stuff around. I had sand initially, stuff made for aquariums. I put it in, let it sit a few days until it cleared, and then put my Oscar in. The first night, everything was good. Nice and clear, he was happy. Well the 2nd night, when I woke up in the morning, the tank looked like milk and the filters were clogged. He dug a huge hole in the middle of the tank down to the glass, and moved all the sand to the right side and made a mountian. It's awesome watching these guys arrange the substrate to how they want it, but be sure to put in something that is 100% guaranteed not to cloud when stirred.
    Last edited by ZCciVic22; 02-21-2008 at 03:09 PM.
    The former ZCciVic22!

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  4. #4

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    i use estes and geosystem sand, estes would work well

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Yes, I only use and recommend Estes' Marine Sand (not actually marine, fyi). I have no issues with it at all. It is clean right out of the bag. It is heavy so for there to be issues with the filters the fish literally needs to spit it in to the filter intakes.

    One important aspect for cichlids (and other high waste producers) is that it keeps the waste on top so the flwo can keep it moving until the filters grab it. Gravel will trap lots of debris, leading to nitrate problems down the road.

    Sand will also not build up as steeply if piled (something cichlids like to do).
    Aquarist since 1995
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  6. #6

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    I have set sand and gravel tanks both for my Oscars... From my own experiences they prefer the gravel more than the sand because they cab pick it up and play with that.... With that being said sand is more natural to their environment and will provide the proper sloping of pits that they prefer if they breed out....
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    20 Gallon Long: Waiting for eco-complete planted red substrate that has been delayed 2 weeks due to weather.

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  7. #7

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    I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I've read somewhere that there are certian types of sand that, if ingested (which may not be suprising with the Oscar sucking up/spitting out so much), fish cannot digest causing blockage problems. Anyone else ever hear of this?
    The former ZCciVic22!

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  8. #8

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    This is true of any loose substrate. The difference is how much sand would need to be consumed to cause a blockage and how much gravel (being larger) would need to be consumed to do the same. It takes less gravel to block an animal up.
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  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishguy2727
    This is true of any loose substrate. The difference is how much sand would need to be consumed to cause a blockage and how much gravel (being larger) would need to be consumed to do the same. It takes less gravel to block an animal up.

    True, but on the flip side (and I should have added this), there was a type of sand that the fish could digest. True or untrue?

    Would they be able to pass the gravel, if it's not a huge amount?


    (I hope I'm not thread-jackin here... It's relevant, so I thought it would be ok... Sorry to the OP if you disagree, I'll ask elsewhere!)
    The former ZCciVic22!

    Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of your car; Oversteer is when you hit with the rear. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, and torque is how far you take the wall with you.

  10. #10

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    If it is calcium based (true marine sands) then they may be able to break it down. But even too much of this can cause a blockage.

    Sand and gravel can be passed if not too much is consumed and the animal is large enough (larger animal needed to pass larger gravel).
    Aquarist since 1995
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