Substrate advice

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Substrate advice

Postby Amyzes » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:29 pm

Hi all,
I have a 29 gallon planted tank with sand substrate and kuhli loaches. There are also some Japanese Guppies and otocinculus in with them.
The tank has CO2 and grow lighting, but there are enough plants that even mid day I usually see a loach or two out and about.
I feel like I'm battling between the plants and the loaches, because they love sifting through the sand and cover my foreground plants with sand.
My question is: is there a substrate you recommend for plants and kuhli loaches? I would like to have areas of my tank which are not sand, but won't hurt my loaches.
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Re: Substrate advice

Postby Bas Pels » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:54 am

peat is what kuhli like, and when watered properly, it will sink more or less as good as sand does
Bas Pels
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Re: Substrate advice

Postby Diana » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:24 pm

Peat floats much more easily than sand, I would not use it in a tank with any burrowing fish. When I used it in a tank with Angelfish (not diggers at all) the plants still had peat settling out onto the leaves whenever I did a water change.

You might look into some of the ADA product line. When it is new it stays in a pretty nice little compact pellet. Not sure what it will be like after a few years. If you think you want to switch over to one of these materials, do enough research. Many of them need to go through a cycle of their own, because they produce toxic levels of ammonia when they are first submerged. This lasts for about 3-4 weeks. You can plant a tank right away when you switch, but should not add fish until this ammonia production is greatly reduced. This would mean housing the fish somewhere else for the duration.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!
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Re: Substrate advice

Postby Bas Pels » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:42 am

Different people, different experiences
Bas Pels
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Re: Substrate advice

Postby Dojosmama » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:18 pm

Instead of sand, I have small, smooth, rounded pea gravel with no sharp edges on it. My dojos are fine with that. Plants also grow well in it, with the help of low-level ferts. I have low-light plants such as Anubias, Java ferns, Amazon Swords and Crypts. They are growing prolifically in both of my tanks, with only the gravel for a substrate. Anyone who says you can't grow plants in gravel doesn't know what they're talking about. Loaches are less likely to uproot plants in gravel.

Just make sure the gravel is smooth and rounded, so as not to hurt the loaches.
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