I’m too indecisive, dark or light sand?

Light or Dark sand?

  • Light

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • Dark

    Votes: 5 71.4%

  • Total voters
    7

mevly

Hi all!! I’m planning to redo my 10 gallon but I am having the hardest time deciding between dark sand and light sand for it. I love the look of both, but I’m leaning towards lighter sand.

What are your opinions on dark vs light? Pros vs Cons? And if anyone has pictures of either I would really appreciate them so I can get some inspiration.

Also, what would be a good sand? I’m thinking I would either do pool filter sand or Caribsea sand for light and for dark BDBS or Petsmart sand.

I think the only reason I haven’t gone with light is because it looks dirtier faster, and I’m battling some brown algae right now so it wouldn’t look good. I absolutely love how it looks natural though. And dark sand I love the contrast of it. I just can’t decide haha!!

Edit: Oops, autocorrect got me LOL. Supposed to say sand, but I don’t know how to change the title.
 

Blacksheep1

anyway I prefer black sand as i think white can look dirty faster. It’s Just preference though :)
 

mevly

anyway I prefer black sand as i think white can look dirty faster. It’s Just preference though :)


My thinking as well!! It’s the only reason I haven’t bought light sand already.
 

Blacksheep1

i personally feel dark makes your plants pop too. Not that I’m happy with my tank but you asked for photos… this was just before a wc.
F7D8294C-5147-4DBF-8575-179AC03C58CA.jpeg
 

ProudPapa

For me it depends on what I'm stocking the tank with. For example, I have a small tank on my desk at work with black sand and albino koi guppies. The bright orange contrasts nicely with the black sand. I don't think they'd look as good with white sand.

Similar for shrimp. Red look good on black sand. Blue ones would blend in and be hard to see, so I use pool filter sand for those.

My other display tanks have pool filter sand.

Whatever you decide, I'd recommend either pool filter or sandblasting sand, unless you just like spending more money than you need to.
 

mevly

i personally feel dark makes your plants pop too. Not that I’m happy with my tank but you asked for photos… this was just before a wc.
F7D8294C-5147-4DBF-8575-179AC03C58CA.jpeg
I think that’s beautiful!! Definitely a lot better looking than mine that has blue gravel and lots of ornaments including a shark head lol. Is mine fun looking? Definitely, but I prefer more natural scapes. Also, is that a mixture of light and dark? I can’t tell.
For me it depends on what I'm stocking the tank with. For example, I have a small tank on my desk at work with black sand and albino koi guppies. The bright orange contrasts nicely with the black sand. I don't think they'd look as good with white sand.

Similar for shrimp. Red look good on black sand. Blue ones would blend in and be hard to see, so I use pool filter sand for those.

My other display tanks have pool filter sand.

Whatever you decide, I'd recommend either pool filter or sandblasting sand, unless you just like spending more money than you need to.
That’s a really good point. I haven’t thought of that! Currently I only have 2 fish, a black molly and a gorgeous blue platy. I will probably get a couple more fish in the near future. I want to do that after I finish redoing my tank though, but I definitely love colorful fish.
 

DoubleDutch

i personally feel dark makes your plants pop too. Not that I’m happy with my tank but you asked for photos… this was just before a wc.
F7D8294C-5147-4DBF-8575-179AC03C58CA.jpeg
And a lot of fish prefer a dark substrate before a light one.

 

ProudPapa

That’s a really good point. I haven’t thought of that! Currently I only have 2 fish, a black molly and a gorgeous blue platy. I will probably get a couple more fish in the near future. I want to do that after I finish redoing my tank though, but I definitely love colorful fish.

I'd probably do pool filter sand with those relatively dark fish.
 

SparkyJones

do half light and half dark and let the fish decide for you!
 

Blacksheep1

No mines not a mix it’s just a generic black , it doesn’t look super dark though like I expected it to.
Ahhh the mods have changed your sandwich choice, you’re on salad or soup now I’m afraid ;)
 

TClare

So black sand can make fish colours look stronger and provide a nice contrast with plants, while a very light sand can sometimes cause some fish to look pale and washed out and maybe more stressful for them, especially if lights are bright.

BUT on the other hand I like my tanks to look natural and I don't think there are many natural freshwater habitats that have black sand, it can also look rather harsh. In the video above the sand is probably very light but it is covered with leaf litter and twigs and mulm that make it darker and the fish colours show up well. Personally I like to use natural coloured sand (from my local river) and I do often use almond leaves on top which givers the darker effect, but even when I haven't got any leaves the sand is not too light or bright and fish and plant colours look fine.
 

Nopsu

I use natural sand/fine gravel with red, grey, write mix granules, I got a 20kg bag from local hardware store with cheap price. Looks natural and is not overly light nor dark in colour With harder water fish like yours you could also mix in some crushed coral which could give a nice touch
With lighter colours it might be easier to see when you need cleaning done, darker make fish/plant colours pop out.

Natural, not uniform coloured sand or gravel are still my personal favourite choice
 

HKsai

Dark. I tried light sand and it always looks dirty no matter how much you vacuum it.
 

Blacksheep1

I’d recommend , if you’re not adverse to ‘pest’ snails , some Malaysian trumpet snails for your sand , which ever colour you choose. Some people hate them, I’m personally a massive fan , I know a lot of others here are too. I’m not sure how much snail experience you have so I’ll explain :) they’ll turn your sand over for you so you don’t end up with pockets of toxic bubbles that’ll eventually escape your sand, polluting your water and harming fish ( basic explanation ) .
they stay buried and you’ll hardly ever see them, they do reproduce like mad though , and from 3 or 4 you’ll end up with a lot. I personally love mine but some see them as a pest. I’d recommend them but also recommend you do your research so if you know if they are for you :)
 

ruud

Don't mind me, I have a serious substrate fetish. I would let the choice of a substrate depend on the overall theme. In general I prefer light sand mixed with mulm that results from decomposing plant matter. Looks very natural and provides several benefits to plants and animals.

No vacuum cleaning allowed.


IMG_20220515_195501018.jpg
 

WRWAquarium

Just go with what you like. Where I work there are display tanks with literally ever colour and size of sand and gravel. I can't see any fish that are stressed or seem to dislike one colour more then another... Even the sword tails in the barbie pink gravel tank haha.

That said I have a thing for pea gravel or natural sand as it reminds me of clear river and stream beds when I used to go net dipping as a kid :)
 

BPSabelhaus

I’d recommend , if you’re not adverse to ‘pest’ snails , some Malaysian trumpet snails for your sand , which ever colour you choose. Some people hate them, I’m personally a massive fan , I know a lot of others here are too. I’m not sure how much snail experience you have so I’ll explain :) they’ll turn your sand over for you so you don’t end up with pockets of toxic bubbles that’ll eventually escape your sand, polluting your water and harming fish ( basic explanation ) .
they stay buried and you’ll hardly ever see them, they do reproduce like mad though , and from 3 or 4 you’ll end up with a lot. I personally love mine but some see them as a pest. I’d recommend them but also recommend you do your research so if you know if they are for you :)
Not sure how people think something that provides a benefit is a bad thing ;) If the population explodes, it’s because of something we did. They’re just trying to fix it :)
 

Blacksheep1

Not sure how people think something that provides a benefit is a bad thing ;) If the population explodes, it’s because of something we did. They’re just trying to fix it :)
Oh I fully agree with you :) I love the quirky little guys . Besides you barely ever see them! When I see one on the surface I pay more attention to it as it’s a treat to see them .
 

BPSabelhaus

Indeed. They just magically appear on the glass at night. Little detritus faeries.
 

Blacksheep1

Indeed. They just magically appear on the glass at night. Little detritus faeries.
I love that description ! Mine have a monthly night time migration to the top of the tank and by morning *poof* no sign of them !
 

mevly

do half light and half dark and let the fish decide for you!
do you mean by mixing them together or one on one side the other on the other side?
I’d recommend , if you’re not adverse to ‘pest’ snails , some Malaysian trumpet snails for your sand , which ever colour you choose. Some people hate them, I’m personally a massive fan , I know a lot of others here are too. I’m not sure how much snail experience you have so I’ll explain :) they’ll turn your sand over for you so you don’t end up with pockets of toxic bubbles that’ll eventually escape your sand, polluting your water and harming fish ( basic explanation ) .
they stay buried and you’ll hardly ever see them, they do reproduce like mad though , and from 3 or 4 you’ll end up with a lot. I personally love mine but some see them as a pest. I’d recommend them but also recommend you do your research so if you know if they are for you :)
I will definitely consider this, I already have a nerite snail too. Are they able to reproduce if you only have one? I haven’t really been able to find a solid answer
 

ProudPapa

I will definitely consider this, I already have a nerite snail too. Are they able to reproduce if you only have one? I haven’t really been able to find a solid answer

One stage of their life cycle needs brackish water, so they won't reproduce in your freshwater aquarium even if you have ten. They may lay eggs, however.
 

SparkyJones

do you mean by mixing them together or one on one side the other on the other side?
i meant, half and half, see which side they prefer, line down the center and see which side they like to spend most of their time.
 

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