Question Looking For Trick To Keep Sand Sep From Gravel ?

jake37

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I'm setting up a 120 gallon tank (48L 24W). My intention was to use eco-complete as it is working well in my current tank but I'm interesting in creating a section that is either white or black sand to see if it has an impact on loaches/cory behavior.

Two questions - would white clash with black eco-complete and would I be better of with black on black and second is there a trick to keep the sand from mixing with the eco-complete.
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I thought about something low-tech like a ruler or bowl or something that could hold the sand but maybe someone has something more clever or maybe the two substrates just don't mix over time. One of the reason to keep them from mixing is I don't want the sand filling in the holes in the eco-complete in case it impacts plant life and in 2 years I'll have to move the tank. Maybe just better to stick with eco complete and not worry about the sand ?
 

Ohio Mark

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I have a 20 gallon where I used eco-subtrate in the back and used a stone "wall" to make a two level tank. I plugged the holes with filter floss and the stones rise up maybe 3/3" above the eco-complete. In the front I did all sand for the sake of my bronze corydoras. I am always amazed how many chunks of eco-complete get swooshed over the "wall" by excited corys! I pick it up and put it back where it belongs, but seriously, it is surprising how often some ends up on the sand.
 
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jake37

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Does the sand make a big difference in how your cory behave or do they act the same both on the sand and eco-complete ?

Ohio Mark said:
I have a 20 gallon where I used eco-subtrate in the back and used a stone "wall" to make a two level tank. I plugged the holes with filter floss and the stones rise up maybe 3/3" above the eco-complete. In the front I did all sand for the sake of my bronze corydoras. I am always amazed how many chunks of eco-complete get swooshed over the "wall" by excited corys! I pick it up and put it back where it belongs, but seriously, it is surprising how often some ends up on the sand.
 

Ohio Mark

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I know there are many different opinions on this, so I'm basing mine only on my own experience. They seem to prefer the sand. They "hide" on the eco-complete, but that's just because the sandy area is more open and the eco-complete area thickly planted. They seem to feed better on the sand and when they are not hiding, they dig around on the sand.
 

yukondog

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I've done the same thing Ohio Mark has done but using BDBS and reg. sand and no matter how hard I tried the sand would always get mixed somehow. I have corys in both sand and pea gravel and see no difference in behavior. Good luck
 

Ohio Mark

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Yukondog makes a good point. My corys on fine, rounded gravel do just fine. I assume that mine prefer sand to eco-complete simply because they CAN choose. I'm not knocking eco-complete as an option.
 
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jake37

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We got a bit off topic; I wanted to ask if it was a bad idea to find a plastic container that was approx 2 or 3 inches high - fill it was sand and then put it in the tank (covering the top edges with the eco stuff so they dont' show). I was thinking maybe a 12x12x2.5 container? Would this cause issues long term - would the plastic degrade or poison the fishes ?
 

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