Gravel substrate for dojo loaches?

adrift02

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HI all -- I have a couple dojo loaches in a tank with sand substrate (~6 months now). I'd like to switch to gravel substrate when I upgrade the tank, but want to make sure it's smooth and won't cause issues. Anyone else have happy loaches with gravel and can you recommend a good brand where it's smooth?
 

Myyyman

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If I was honest, I'd stick with sand. It's so much easier to clean and your loaches will like it more. What is it about the gravel you like because you can get different shades of sand. Also - caution: A lot of gravel brands will say their products are smooth, which for the most part they are, but its hard for them to be 100% sure. So check any gravel before you put it in.
 
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adrift02

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Albinosharkman said:
If I was honest, I'd stick with sand. It's so much easier to clean and your loaches will like it more. What is it about the gravel you like because you can get different shades of sand. Also - caution: A lot of gravel brands will say their products are smooth, which for the most part they are, but its hard for them to be 100% sure. So check any gravel before you put it in.
Thanks for the response. If there isn't a good gravel that will keep the loaches happy I'll just stick with sand. It's not a huge issue -- I can get something darker to hide the poop between weekly cleanings and doing an extra filter clean to clear up sand blockages is only an extra 10 minute annoyance.
 

Myyyman

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You can do gravel, it's just harder. Don't let me put you off if you really want to.
 

JenC

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I find it interesting that you want to switch from sand to gravel. Most changes seem to go the other way. What's prompting the desire to change?
 
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adrift02

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With sand I suppose it's a bit easier to suck up the crud, but other than that it felt like gravel was zero maintenance other than the usual weekly cleanings. The sand I have is light colored and shows all the poo, it gets hard and gross looking unless I break it up / mix it, and no matter what some kicked up sand gets into the filter which requires a separate cleaning the next day.

Interesting to hear most people like sand better. Maybe my set up or sand type needs to change. I won't go back to gravel unless the loaches will generally be fine with it though. I didn't want the fish (wife's purchase) but want to give them the best environment I can.
 

JenC

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Black Diamond Blasting Sand is a very popular substrate if you'd like a change but want to stick with sand. It's inert, dark so every bit of poop isn't as obvious, cheap at $9.99/50 lbs, and safe for bottom-dwellers like loaches. I have it in all my tanks and really like it. The dark color really makes fish and plant colors stand out, especially when paired with a black background. Just stick with medium grit 20/40. People say the fine grit 30/60 is really light, gets sucked up in siphons, and can cloud up at the slighted movement.
 

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