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Old 05-14-2012, 07:38 PM   #11 
Cattitude
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OK so I went to the pet store and ended up getting a 26-gal bowfront with "deluxe" full-spectrum fluorescent light. I bought some plants: java moss, hornwort, wisteria.

Since the tank isn't cycled I didn't buy any corys yet. However, they had some nice-looking female bettas, and I had extra kritter keepers at home. Three of them came home with me. They are thankfully out of those cups now, and each has a small wisteria plant for atmosphere and a piece of IAL (my IAL order came in today, too).

For substrate they didn't have a lot of options besides gravel. I bought some Fluval plant substrate granules along with some "live caribbean sand". The sand is very fine and I found it impossible to avoid mixing it in a bit with the granules, even though I had a bowl on the bottom of the tank while filling it. I guess I will have to find more sand to cover the granules (I don't think I had a thick enough layer). I won't plant anything yet until I get more sand.

Thanks to everyone for the helpful advice so far! :-3
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:55 PM   #12 
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Careful of that sand - make sure it is for freshwater tanks, as saltwater sand will affect your pH and hardness. You need sand that is totally inert. :) Also run your fingers through it to make sure it is smooth and soft, no sharp bits that could hurt a cory's barberls. :)
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Old 05-14-2012, 08:19 PM   #13 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bombalurina View Post
Careful of that sand - make sure it is for freshwater tanks, as saltwater sand will affect your pH and hardness. You need sand that is totally inert. :) Also run your fingers through it to make sure it is smooth and soft, no sharp bits that could hurt a cory's barberls. :)
Hmm... the package didn't say one way or another, however since it's called "live caribbean" I am guessing it could be for marine tanks. It was the only non-reptile sand this petsmart store had. It is smooth, I ran my hands through it a lot while rinsing it. I didn't buy much of that sand. There's barely enough to cover the plant substrate. I'm going to another pet store tomorrow to see if they have the proper type of sand. Not sure if there's some way I can get rid of this marine sand...

Here's a pic of how it's looking now:


Last edited by Cattitude; 05-14-2012 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 05-14-2012, 10:01 PM   #14 
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If you have hardness and pH test kits, you'll soon know whether it is marine/cichlid or not. Looks really nice, though!
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #15 
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Was there water in the sand when you got it? And just saying live carribean sand sounds like it is indeed for salt water... Which means there is salt in it... Auchan means it gets into the water. Only way to get rid of it is take the tank down. You don't want any of it in your tank. Especially with live plants!
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:54 PM   #16 
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Was there water in the sand when you got it? And just saying live carribean sand sounds like it is indeed for salt water... Which means there is salt in it... Auchan means it gets into the water. Only way to get rid of it is take the tank down. You don't want any of it in your tank. Especially with live plants!
Sand seemed to have some moisture in it. I agree with you that it was marine sand. Stupid me, I ASSumed it would still be ok for a freshwater tank, and the package didn't say otherwise.

I just spent the past 2 hours or so sifting my plant substrate bits out of this milky white sand, after draining most of the tank water. Once I'd cleaned out all substrate and water I put the sifted plant substrate back, along with a fresh bag I bought today, and refilled the tank. So for now I'm going with 100% Fluval Stratum freshwater (I checked) plant substrate, it's basically little granules of black soil.

I went to two different pet shops looking for freshwater sand. One young guy told me they don't have freshwater sand because nobody would want it. I replied that nobody knows enough to want it, and tried to explain about cory and other catfish barbels but was met with a blank stare. He said they also carry small, smooth pebbles; I agreed those might work, but then he told me they are out of them and he doesn't know when they will get them. I was too tired to get mad.

Anyway, I did end up bringing home some more plants, a skull ornament, a hunk of driftwood, and a gravel vacuum long enough for this arm-deep tank. So the trip wasn't totally wasted.

Now waiting again for the water to clear enough so I can actually plant these poor plants!
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #17 
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Maybe try playsand from a hardware shop?
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