Substrate advice

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Substrate advice

Post by lorenaustin » Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:47 am

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.

Bas Pels
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Re: Substrate advice

Post by Bas Pels » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:47 am

Let's start with pointing out your other fish don't care what substrate is used.

Pangio like to sift in the rotten leaves on the bottom of their habitat. The best way to mimic that is using peat.

Were you to add some peat to the tank, say 2 liters (half a gallon) which was boiled shortly to get it sinking, I ould assume the Pangio would leave the sand alone.

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Re: Substrate advice

Post by urtur2000 » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:03 am

Depending on what plants you have, your solution may be to change the plants rather than change the substrate. My kuhlis don't really dig up the plants, but I only have fairly large plants rooted in the substrate (cryptocoryne balansae). They have a decent amount of oak leaf litter to go through, which serves a similar function as peat moss. But you may not be able to grow small substrate-rooted plants (e.g. baby's tears) in the same tank as these fish.

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Re: Substrate advice

Post by NancyD » Wed Apr 08, 2020 11:44 pm

Try putting a few small pebbles around the base of the plants. I never had kuhlis dig up well rooted plants in pool filter sand. Mine preferred to lounge on the plants all the way to the surface.

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