Black substrate

Shaylac98

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I’ve been looking for different black substrates But can’t decide between making the jump and trying sand or sticking to gravel or something between. Any suggestions?
 
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Shaylac98

Shaylac98

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kattiq said:
I use Fluval Stratum, its not completely black and it's not sand either but great for growing live plants if you are interested in trying that.
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Would you say having plants is difficult? I’m scared I’ll plant them and they’ll just all die. Also I love your tank btw! I’ll look into that substrate!
 
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Shaylac98

Shaylac98

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Is it more difficult to clean a sand tank? I want one so bad but I’m scared when cleaning the tank I’ll lost a lot of sand!
marmaaa said:
I have black sand in my 5g betta tank and I love it! It didn't fog up my water although I only washed it 2x and its looks super clean and fine compared to gravel IMO.
1594076253815.png
 

kattiq

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Shaylac98 said:
Would you say having plants is difficult? I’m scared I’ll plant them and they’ll just all die. Also I love your tank btw! I’ll look into that substrate!
Honestly, with the right plants it's not hard at all! All mine are low light plants, and I use a cheap light I got off amazon. I've had some algae issues but that's about it, just need to make sure you use a timer! I barely fertilize (used osmocote for "root tabs) and they just keep growing. There are plenty of post on here with some great suggestions. My favorites are Hygrophila Angustifolia and Amazon Swords right now, literally fool proof.
I just prefer live plants and I think my fish really enjoy it better too. However, you can grow plants in sand too if you choose that route, you just need to make sure to fertilize more. :)
 

faydout

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Shaylac98 said:
Is it more difficult to clean a sand tank?
Everyone's opinion on this one is likely to differ a bit but having used both substrates, I prefer cleaning sand. There's a little trick with vacuuming it but once you know, its simple (pinch the tube closed when your sand starts getting close to the top of the vac).
 

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Shaylac98 said:
Would you say having plants is difficult? I’m scared I’ll plant them and they’ll just all die. Also I love your tank btw! I’ll look into that substrate!
I did my first planted tank with some java fern glued to driftwood. I did nothing else at all, and they were as easy as fake plants! Java fern could grow in a crack in the sidewalk, it's pretty impossible to kill (as long as you don't bury the rhizome!)
 

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Shaylac98 said:
Is it more difficult to clean a sand tank? I want one so bad but I’m scared when cleaning the tank I’ll lost a lot of sand!
No, honestly when I do water changes sometimes ill sometimes siphon the sand to pick up any debris that may be on there and it will work easily. Just make sure when you fill your water back to not directly pour it on the sand or else some will rise but they easily go down afterward. I have black sand and white/tan sand in another tank and every debris shows up on white/tan sand which looks weird sometimes but can be easily cleaned.
 

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I use black gravel in my 48gal, and I have sand in smaller tanks. My plants do well in both types. But I'll probably switch to sand in the big tank, I like the look better.
 

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Shaylac98 said:
I’ve been looking for different black substrates But can’t decide between making the jump and trying sand or sticking to gravel or something between. Any suggestions?
Seachem Fluorite Black is sort of in between sand and gravel although it might be a little more similar to gravel.
 

LadfromLondon

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I have sand in my smaller tank and black sand-like gravel in my bigger tank. I am switching both to black sand-gravel.

Sand is not that much harder to keep, but it in my experience can get too frustrating to bother with. I still have to dig up anaerobic gas pockets despite having MTS in the tank and my Cyanobacteria is ever-prevalent despite medicating and black outs.

Again, these are rare instances but for me once it gets dirty once, you’ll never get the same look you wanted but if you get black sand, then you will not have this issue.
 
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Shaylac98

Shaylac98

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SilverLake said:
I went with eco-complete ans feel really happy with the results, I don't have any photos atm, but I should soon
When you get some pictures please share them!
 
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Shaylac98

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Thanks for the advice!!
kattiq said:
Honestly, with the right plants it's not hard at all! All mine are low light plants, and I use a cheap light I got off amazon. I've had some algae issues but that's about it, just need to make sure you use a timer! I barely fertilize (used osmocote for "root tabs) and they just keep growing. There are plenty of post on here with some great suggestions. My favorites are Hygrophila Angustifolia and Amazon Swords right now, literally fool proof.
I just prefer live plants and I think my fish really enjoy it better too. However, you can grow plants in sand too if you choose that route, you just need to make sure to fertilize more. :)
 

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