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Old 01-12-2011, 04:40 PM   #1 
Renee S
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Use of Sand & Cories?

Right now I have my Betta in a 10 gallon tank (with heater and filter, of course) and I've been wanting to add some Panda Cories (like 3 of them) and I'm worried about their barbels getting ripped or hurt with gravel I have.

I'm currently using the TopFin Aquarium gravel and am concerned that it'll hurt the Cories. I'm also wanting to re-do my whole entire tank and put new decorations in and heavly plant it since my little guy loves swimming through the one tall plastic plant decoration I have now.

I've read some of the topics on here in regards to sand and how hard it is to clean. If I have the Cories on it, won't it be easier to clean? Also, would the sand be dangerous for the Cories, will they get impacted if they suck it up?

And what brand of sand would you recommend for a 10G?

Thank you!
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:55 PM   #2 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern Virginia
Fish don't really get impaction. Keep in mind that they are sand-sifters by nature--it would be pretty silly if their method of getting food somehow led to their deaths! As they take in and scatter the sand, they are capable of filtering it out through their gills. Reptiles don't have this advantage. :)

The only sand I've used is Seachem's Flourite black sand: my kuhli loaches really like it, and it's enriched for live plants. The black color really makes the fish stand out. It also isn't super duper fine like some sands, making it easier to clean.

Be aware that you will have to thoroughly rinse your sand, no matter which type you pick. There is often quite a bit of silt mixed in with it. The more thoroughly you rinse, the clearer your water will be. I put the sand in a bucket outside and fill it with a garden hose--stir the sand while letting the bucket overflow. The silt will flow out of the bucked with the overflow, and the heavier sand will stay put in the bottom.

As for cleaning the sand, it won't necessarily be easier because of the cories. Cories do help with debris, but all they do is turn it into poop. It's not like the crap on the bottom of your tank is just magically going to be gone. :) This is why I prefer black sand--with white or light colored sand you see every single turd. >___> Just not pleasant! To clean, instead of digging your gravel vac into the substrate like you would if you had gravel, you just sweep across the sand without really touching it. Just close enough for the suction to stir up the sand and release the particles into the siphon. Once you get the hang of it, it's quite easy.

Last edited by Adastra; 01-12-2011 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #3 
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Play sand is great. Get quikrete play sand, and it is really cheap (4.00$ for 50 pounds) Just make sure to wash it!
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:55 PM   #4 
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My Betta & shrimp planted/filtered 5G has a sand substrate in it.I used children's play sand from the supermarket (much cheaper than aquarium sand and its safe too).Like Adastra I would recommend a dark sand too if you want to make it look nice,my sand is a normal sand type colour (well it is sand ) and it always looks filthy.I use a gravel vac but it never picks up all the cr@p (too far above the sand it doesn't pick much up,too close and it starts to suck up sand etc) plus with a planted tank you can't get to every nook and cranny so you have areas of filth showing.The shrimp love the sand though,as I'm sure bottom dwelling fish would.
Dark/darkish sand would be my recommendation if you have a planted tank or don't like a smeggy looking substrate,or a very fine gravel.
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:04 PM   #5 
Renee S
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Hmm, thank you guys! I think I'm staying away from the sand for now until I know 100% what I'm doing!
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