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Old 08-10-2012, 06:27 AM   #1 
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Are there any substrates to avoid using in a betta tank?

I read somewhere some bettas will ingest the finer varieties of substrate? I would like to know if that's true or not. I do know during feedings, Bettas will INHALE food if there's other fish in the tank.

So tell me, is this something I should worry about or a pigment of someone's imagination?

I'm going to the supply yard to research the different types of inert forms of gravel today and hopefully bring back a giant bag over the weekend.

Any input would be helpful.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #2 
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I guess I would actually stay away from the larger stones and glass marbles. Bettas will sometimes wedge themselves under them and get stuck/injured.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:53 AM   #3 
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All fish will test out the substrate, sometimes scooping some up with their mouth and then expelling it. As for ingesting.. I would think that is rare and only for those "not so smart" bettas, individually.

I personally stay away from the dyed rocks as they tend to be rough and clouds up the water more.
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:17 PM   #4 
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White Topfin gravel. End of rant.
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Old 08-10-2012, 01:53 PM   #5 
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I've never seen one try to eat the substrate, but my girls in my sorority have "picked" at the sand and bits of dirt. I suspect there are micro-organisms growing there that perked their attention.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:07 AM   #6 
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Couldn't find the material I wanted yesterday.

Going to make a few calls to other stores/supply houses to see if they have it.

  • IV, I never intended to use large stones or glass marbles, if I do it would be a couple select ones and only on the surface of whatever material I end up choosing. The substrates I'm considering are almost identical in size as the various brands of pellets I've used.
  • Mya... if any of mine fish are that foolish to ingest the rocks, then they deserve it, I don't think I have any that challenged though, but when they're hungry, I can't rule anything out. I'm not a fan of the epoxy/painted substrates.
  • PCup... why you no like the white stuff? Is it because of dirt/algae issues the longer you use it? The 10G tank I'm using was filled with 20lbs of it. Should make for some nice potting gravel.
  • SilvF.... when I poured in about 200-300 mosquities, they went straight to the bottom to the tank. All the girls swarmed to the floor and started to jump over each other trying to catch them all.

The ladies... were down there for close to an hour, dancing around & combing the surface. A couple of the girls were desperately were trying to use their ventrals to move the gravel. One of the cutest things I've ever seen.

I'm definitely not going with playsand, white sand or fine black sand. It's going to be some sort of cous cous sized pebble.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:26 AM   #7 
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Avoid Beach sand and river stones either from LPS or nature it might have parasites..

LPS is still from nature I just say..
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #8 
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I have had one female choke on substrate before. She then commenced zooming back and forth to dislodge it. It wasn't huge or anything but it seems she mistook it for food. Luckily I have a tendency to purchase fine substrate so minimal risk if they did do it. Of all the bettas I've ever has, just the one female actually ate a piece of stratum. xD
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Old 08-12-2012, 07:07 AM   #9 
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I've heard white substrate is stressful for fish. I don't know, but it's stressful for me...besides, it gets dirty and ugly.

Small, variously colored pea-gravel looks nice and natural. Lots of keepers like pool-filter sand.

I personally don't use any substrate. Too hard to keep clean.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:34 PM   #10 
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I've finally researched the white gravel stressed out fish issue. For the light sensitive fish it will cause problems because they'll hide more if your light is too strong. Also if you have a algae bloom, your gravel will get ruined when it gets coated in funky swamp green. Some people claim they see no issues.

If you white gravel does get discolored, I highly doubt anyone is crazy enough to go through the trouble to take an individual piece of gravel to scrub it clean with a toothbrush.

So much easier to go with a darker substrate in the first place to avoid all the potential staining issues.

I'm glad I have darker substrate options available.

I'll need to practice my hovering technique with the siphon.
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