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Thread: Newbie question,lol: Is gravel necessary?

  1. #1
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    Sophiemakes3's Avatar
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    Question Newbie question,lol: Is gravel necessary?

    Hi all... New to the forum, been lurking for a bit absorbing all the useful info you guys have to offer :) I've been out of the hobby for a few years and am just getting back in :) I'm currently in the process of setting up a 35g(i think) for my daughter (I'll do another post with more about that) for the moment my question for the experts is I've got a nice bunch of clean sand from Shaw that I'm planning to use as a base, and I'm wondering if I need to put a layer of aquarium gravel over top to keep it from floating to the top or will it stay on it's own? Also I'm running an Aquaclear HOB filter with a sponge on bottom,potscrubber in middle and Biomax on top should that be ok? its my understanding that people aren't bothering with the charcoal as much these days?

    Thanks in advance!!
    Jen

  2. #2
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    blue lagoon's Avatar
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    I have a 1-2 inch layer of #2 silica sand from Shaws for my Geophagus Proximus in a 6 foot tank.Works great.Try not to have it too deep because of the sulfates caused by decaying organics.You don't have to put gravel on top.The only thing you might want to use charcoal for is for removing medication and to get rid of discolored water(tannins).I haven't used charcoal for about 20 years now and have been keeping fish twice that long.WC's are the way to go;more and frequent the better,for growth in younger fish.

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    Carmelita's Avatar
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    Hi I have used sand in many tanks and found Selica sand very good even with plants .

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    Leigh Partridge's Avatar
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    It's true, you do not need to put a layer of gravel over the sand. Your tank will be a bit cloudy for a few days after rinsing and adding the new sand, but after that there won't be any problems. Myself, I only go with one or the other. You will have to clean the sand a bit more carefully when siphoning thru substrate though compared to gravel... As for charcoal, it is a waste of space in your filter day to day. Just use the space for mechanical and bio media.
    100g CA/SA Cichlids 77g Jaguar Cichlid
    40g CA Cichlids 36g Geophagus Steindachneri
    34g Gymnogeophagus Labiatus

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    Awesome, thanks for the replies :) the #2 silica is what I have so that's perfect. I'm happy to hear that the gravel isn't needed, when I used it before I found that alot of waste became caught in the gravel, and also my larger fish would pick up the rocks in their mouths and spit them out which concerned me. I've gone with about 2 inches of silica in the bottom (slightly lower in the front) with a few larger rocks spread here and there for decorative purposes and also to allow more surface for moss and or healthy algae to cover. I've got the AC HOB filter with sponge,scrubbie and one bag of ceramic beads, I'm planning to add water tomorrow and start cycling. I'm planning on adding live plants, undecided on what yet tho, I like the look of the marino moss balls...intending a community tank but haven't chosen any fish yet either, Do people still foster unwanted fish? we'd be willing to take in a few needing a new home...Sorry,I'm hijacking my own thread now haha I think i need to make a few posts in other sections lol

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