Sand Or Seachem Fluorite Red Clay? Or Maybe Small Gravel.

What is your favorite substrate?

  • Gravel

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  • Sand

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  • Other?

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FishMommer

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Hi, just wondering about anyone's input? Especially if you have one or the other? I am guessing many may have sand, not sure about the red clay?

Also not sure if it makes a difference in cycling a new tank? Not that it really matters.

I ask as we were thinking of sand initially. Then someone mentioned difficulty in cleaning and recommended the Red clay. A smooth small gravel could also be in play (ease of cleaning) Carib Peaceful River I think it is called?

AFD and Kuhli's involved which I think is why I was originally going for sand. But I like the idea of maybe one and done "so to speak" with the clay? This will be a planted tank. I am in no rush for the plants to get out of control growing-wise, so fine with the sand there too.

Tank is a 20 gallon long. I was also told with two Aquaclear HOB 30 on a 20 long it would kick up the sand? So I was thinking of maybe a more course variety if going that route? Do I need the 2 HOB for the 20 long? I figured it would help with the length. Both would be run on lowest setting.
 
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Posted a poll to go with it. Let me know if I should add an option beyond Other.
 

Cichlidude

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FishMommer said:
Hi, just wondering about anyone's input? Especially if you have one or the other? I am guessing many may have sand, not sure about the red clay?

Also not sure if it makes a difference in cycling a new tank? Not that it really matters.

I ask as we were thinking of sand initially. Then someone mentioned difficulty in cleaning and recommended the Red clay. A smooth small gravel could also be in play (ease of cleaning) Carib Peaceful River I think it is called?

AFD and Kuhli's involved which I think is why I was originally going for sand. But I like the idea of maybe one and done "so to speak" with the clay? This will be a planted tank. I am in no rush for the plants to get out of control growing-wise, so fine with the sand there too.

Tank is a 20 gallon long. I was also told with two Aquaclear HOB 30 on a 20 long it would kick up the sand? So I was thinking of maybe a more course variety if going that route? Do I need the 2 HOB for the 20 long? I figured it would help with the length. Both would be run on lowest setting.
One Aquaclear 50 will work at 200 gph.

Edit- I have Seachem Flourite in my 10 gallon tank, planted. Great stuff. Just make sure you wash it for like an hour first.
 

Mr. Kgnao

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I tried the Seachem Flourite, I didn't really appreciate the look of it, but my tastes aren't necessarily your tastes (how do you feel about Mies van der Rohe or Giacometti?), and it was rather expensive, but it did grow plants. I'm partial to a real coarse, mottled play sand, if you can find one; fine white sands look great, until they don't. I recently set up a tank for breeding neons and used a medium sized, smooth pebble which I was sure would look terrible, but it's starting to grow on me, although getting plants to stay in it until they begin to root is a real pain, you definitely wouldn't be doing any Eleocharis without some kind of clever work around.

If I'm too indecisive to be of any help in choosing a substrate, at least I'll say this much definitively: the best filter for a 20 long is a matten filter.
 
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So much food for thought here! Of course I had to look up Mies & Giacometti. It may be less about my tastes and more about my son's in the end. Thanks for all the scoop. The Matten too. Had no idea.
 
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FishMommer

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Cichlidude said:
One Aquaclear 50 will work at 200 gph.

Edit- I have Seachem Flourite in my 10 gallon tank, planted. Great stuff. Just make sure you wash it for like an hour first.
Ok thanks!
 

Mr. Kgnao

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FishMommer said:
So much food for thought here! Of course I had to look up Mies & Giacometti. It may be less about my tastes and more about my son's in the end. Thanks for all the scoop. The Matten too. Had no idea.
Sorry, I was just being facetious, I doubt knowing my preferences in 20th architecture will help you decide on a substrate. But it's still good to know there's now another person in the world who has at least heard of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. I once pretended to be a prospective university student to tour a campus largely designed by him, a fairly important architectural landmark at a university focused on design, and the young person giving the tour had no clue who he was. I was disappoint.
 
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FishMommer

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ouch. let's hope said student was also pretending. :inpain:
 
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FishMommer

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Curious. If I do skip the Red Clay and go for sand, are there sands that are preferred? I was thinking of maybe one that might be more coarse rather than fine? I ask as I have heard it might get kicked up by the filter(s) and or maybe a little on the coarse side works better in preventing bacteria issues (or is that only for saltwater?).

Or any other input, sand, or clay? I guess I was thinking the Kuhli's will be more visible with the sand vs. the clay. I almost forgot. I think I was avoiding the small gravel as while it might be ok for the kuhli's it might be an issue for the frogs.
 

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