Gravel Or Sand

Milliemae124

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Hiya so I’m hoping to upgrade my 2.5 to a 6 but I don’t know what substrate to use. In the 2.5 I currently have medium sized gravel but I don’t think it would be suitable for a planted tank. I don’t know weather to go for small gravel or sand, what do you think would be best. Also does anyone know of a good way to vacuum sand or small pieces of gravel?
 

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bgclarke

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Most of my tanks started out with standard gravel.
I am slowly switching out the gravel for black sand.

The only tank I have with gravel that I am not changing is the one with pea gravel.

For vacuuming sand, I just wave the siphon above the surface of the sand to loosen the debris and then just let the vacuum suck the debris up.
 

TropicalFishieFish

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I use sand due to it's natural look and it is great for scavenging fish (loaches,shrimp etc). It is harder to clean though bear in mind but looks gorgeous with fish.
 

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Sand, it's a very natural substrate.
I prefer tan sand, it's more natural than of black, lighter substrates are found mostly in the wild.
 

SFGiantsGuy

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And also be advised: IF it's a planted tank, that sand is very very dense, and that will make it harder for rooted plants to "push" their roots through. And also, IF you get any catfish, then yes sand IS ideal. Not to mention that "sharper" gravel can be tough on catfishes barbels. But here's the thing that a lot of people may not be aware of: the quality of water also plays a major factor regarding catfishes barbels. Basically, in a nutshell, the better the water quality, the better the substrate, the better overall health of the barbels. Catfish use their barbels about 99% of the time, and yeah I also agree black substrate looks great! (I use Eco Complete and River sand which is slightly larger than your basic sand granuale size) but that is just my take regarding sand and black substrate. And the somewhat funky "technical" differences/effects.
 
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