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Old 10-27-2009, 02:00 AM   #1 
thegameksk
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Gravel vs gemstones?

Is there a real difference between the two? Also does anyone know how much I would need for a 10 gallon tank? How about where I can get some at a decent price? Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:39 AM   #2 
Lupin
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No difference other than aesthetic reasons. I like the natural looks but gemstones work just fine for me. You don't want to have plenty of gemstones though that could potentially trap organic matter in inaccessible areas which may cause anaerobic bacteria to form and generate hydrogen sulfide that could kill your fish if you disturb the dead areas. If you can keep the tank barebottom with a few gemstones scattered, it looks more pleasing in my opinion than a bottom stuffed with an inch or two level.
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:05 AM   #3 
ChristinaRoss
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also, when using the gemstones, i dont think youd be able to plant live plants if you wanted to. i personally prefer sand, you can grow live plants and also actually see when its been cleaned.

i got my "play sand" at home depot about $3 for a 50lb bag
you can get gemstones at most dollar stores for a buck a bag, youd probably only need 2 or 3 depending how thick you want it.
typically gravel is about 2" or a pound per gallon. you could get a 5lb bag at walmart or a petstore and itll be fine, $4-5
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:32 AM   #4 
kelly528
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Pros:

-Look pretty
-Easy to clean if tank is uncycled

Cons:
-Low surface area supports considerably less nitrifying bacteria than other substrates
-Difficult to vacuum
-Will trap tankmates such as ADFs and shrimp
-Makes food inaccessible for bottom feeders
-Makes waste more apparent
-Probably kind of expensive to fill a 10g tank.
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:20 PM   #5 
withluck
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I like sand as well.

You could put your choice of gravel/sand down then use the gems as an accent. I think I saw a member here who had something like that in the "post your betta home" thread. It was really nice. I think she had 3 gems in the middle of her tank, all of the same color. It was nice.

In my 55 gallon I had black gravel down, and I used large aquarium safe "dragons eyes" or something like that. Basically, large round red marbles. I also used some clear ones, it looked really nice. The red, black, and white was kind of funky.. lol.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:00 PM   #6 
Jupiter
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Yeah, gems are not for me...I like more natural looks. And like everyone else mentioned, it's very hard to clean because stuff gets stuck in the nooks and crannies.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:39 AM   #7 
ChristinaRoss
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i find the sand very easy to keep clean, there are no nooks and crannies to get into like gravel
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