Black substrate

Shaylac98
Member
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?
 
marmaaa
Member
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
Member
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.

Image-2.jpeg
 
redmare
Member
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
What kind of sand?
 
marmaaa
Member
redmare said:
What kind of sand?
I have the Petco imagitarium black sand in this tank. I don't have any plants that need to be put in the sand in this tank but for my other one I have some amazon swords and I give them liq ferts and some root tabs since sand doesn't have any beneficial ingredient in them/
 
  • Thread Starter
Shaylac98
Member
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.

Image-2.jpeg
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!
 
  • Thread Starter
Shaylac98
Member
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
Member
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
Member
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).
 
redmare
Member
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!)
 
marmaaa
Member
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.
 
SilverLake
Member
I went with eco-complete ans feel really happy with the results, I don't have any photos atm, but I should soon
 
Nickguy5467
Member
i use sand to keep my cory whiskers happy


IMG_20200706_170031070.jpg
 
JB92668
black gravel is good for plants
 
Mhamilton0911
Member
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.
 
LadfromLondon
Member
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.
 
Nickguy5467
Member
from what I understand. Sand is pretty important if you have Cory's though. Save the whiskers
 
  • Thread Starter
Shaylac98
Member
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!
 
  • Thread Starter
Shaylac98
Member
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.
 
SilverLake
Member
Shaylac98 said:
When you get some pictures please share them!
As requested! This was the best one, the coloring on the rest make it look like the gravel is a bit brown.
 

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