Jump to content

Suggestions for [bulk] substrate for discus tnak


kapp
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

My new tank installation should be going ahead in the first week or two of December and I need at least 100kg of substrate. I want the tank looking like an Amazon biotope and so was looking at laying down Pisces Golden Sand, however the manufacturer is out of it.

Can anyone recommend a substrate that would look good that doesn't have ADA soil-like pricing levels?

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, kapp said:

100kg of substrate

?

100kg of anything will cost you heaps.

What about Bunnings play sand? Bought by the ton ?

You will just need to find other ways of reducing pH instead of relying on buffering substrate.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my tanks I just use the prebagged washed play sand. Because the sand is not really clean I give it a good wash in a  bucket with hose water, but this can help you loose a fair bit of the sand since there is a lot of light floaty sand that if it went in the tank just makes the whole tank murky with tiny granules even floating in rafts on the surface.

Because a thick bed of sand can cause anaerobic bacteria to flourish (and pockets of stagnant "off" air can be trapped underneath any structures you have in the tank like rocks of even timbers) I often add washed river gravel to the sand especially where I have any rooted plants. My tanks are also quite infested with MTS which are supposed to be good for turning over the sand and keeping it air rated. I find most plants have no issues growing through my sand/ gravel mix and often the roots of any plants extend to nearly the entire base of the tank.

If you don't like the look of white sand in the tank (and discus can look better and be calmer with dark substrate) you could look at still doing a sand/ gravel substrate and then "top" it off with a leaf litter capping. The leaves should give you the desired pH and also make the black/ tannin water which I believe is what most discus thrive in. Leaves that could be used include good reliable IAL, tried/ dead mulberry leaves, paper bark leaves and even grevillea leaves, you could even add the nuts/ cones off she oaks for added pH.

Just curious but will the tank end up being a brightly lit heavily planted biotype or a dimmer light possibly more of a spotlight affect with limited plants lots of timber structure. leaf litter and tannin stained water and just a few hardy plants that can tolerate the dimness? In PKF (Practical fish Keeping Magazine) I have seen some stunning black water biotypes using just the later setup.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi guys, thanks for your replies.

So normal sand doesn't include any lime or other material that would increase hardness?

 

@jayc Atm I'm not looking for a soil that provides pH buffering, as I'll keep the pH around 6.8-7, which Sydney tap water is close to and I'll have a CO2 system to help micro balance to that range. So just need a soil or substrate that looks good for discus that's good for plants too.

@Baccus The tank won't be "heavily" planted as I don't want to distract from the fish. And from what I've seen on YouTube of their normal habitat, that prefer to hang around submerged logs than hide in dense vegetation. But there'll definitely be a lot of plants just not really really dense. The tank will be bright rather than dim but should have a blend of such areas due to shadowing from branches, etc, I put in there. Have done tanks like you've suggested with IAL, etc, but they were my apisto set ups. Am still working on the design for this tank.

 

My latest thinking is to use Dupla Ground as a base and to build up the back or back corners and then to put the Pisces Golden Sand as a top cover once it becomes available again.

Edited by kapp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, kapp said:

Dupla Ground

Dupla ground is a great option.

But if it was me I would not put the pisces sand over the top of that. The sand will fall through the small gaps and disappear. Either use one or the other.

 

3 hours ago, kapp said:

So normal sand doesn't include any lime or other material that would increase hardness?

Play sand bought at bunnings is fairly neutral. At least the last batch I bought for a friend 1 year ago. This is from a Sydney store however. I hear different Bunnings in different states use different quarry suppliers. So test the sand out first if you are concerned.

 

You can also check out "Scoria" which is basically volcanic rock, that you can get in 7mm.

If Bunnings doesn't have it, don't forget to go to your local Nursery to look for sand or scoria.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as an alternative you can use pool sand as the base and put the pisces on the top of that. Keep the pool sand away from the glass and nobody will know it is there. I have found it to be much cleaner than play sand, no clay content, so nothing is lost when giving it a wash and cost about $23 for 20kg bags. The other advantage is that it is a rounded sand, to allow water to flow through it, so is less likely to get anaerobic build up in your deeper sections.

As an added bonus you can add live black worms from your LFS and they love to go deep in the sand. This helps to aerate the sub and is a source of food for your fish as well. My shrimp tank has a grass mat of worms poking up every morning as they dont eat them but i do see some worms poking up in our angle/gorami tank every so often so i know they are still in there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Madmerv you just get pool sand from pool supplies places? Great tips though, thanks. 

@jayc thanks again. I'll check out that Sonia, sounds like it could be a good addition to assist aeration into whichever base I go with. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, kapp said:

Sonia

Scoria. LOL!

Yes, nice and cheap to use to bulk up the base. 20kg is only $8 or there abouts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, kapp said:

@Madmerv you just get pool sand from pool supplies places? 

Yes some pool supply shops have it but it is getting harder to find as they are going to flurite or something like that now for sand filters. Clark rubber shops have it also usually.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, jayc said:

Scoria. LOL!

Oh for goodness sake. Autocorrect on my phone has not been my friend this morning...

 

Thanks for all the info, much appreciated.

50 minutes ago, Madmerv said:

Yes some pool supply shops have it but it is getting harder to find as they are going to flurite or something like that now for sand filters. Clark rubber shops have it also usually.

Thanks mate. Just called the local pool shop who actually service my complex's pool and they have sand in their shop. Going to go check it out tomorrow. Much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, kapp said:

Oh for goodness sake. Autocorrect on my phone has not been my friend this morning...

HAHA, I had to double check my own post to make sure I didn't type the wrong thing. That would have been embarrassing, asking you to check out Sonia. What is this a dating site? ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all,

Quick update. So I got Dupla Ground for areas of the tank I'll have plants - final designs still being worked out. And Pisces Sahara Gold sand for the other areas.

 

Word of warning to anyone after the Pisces Sahara Gold though - their quarry is now hitting darker sand. There's now no gold in the latest batches of Sahara Gold. It's actually more like salt & pepper colour. Not sure why they sent it out with the same name instead of discontinuing the old line and saying it wasn't available anymore. I ended up getting it still as it was an ok match for the background I'm getting for the tank and there's nothing else out there with a similar golden colour, however anyone really wanting the old colour will be very disappointed.

 

@mods - not sure why this topic has been moved to fish health and care as this topic isn't related to either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Join Our Community!

    Register today, ask questions and share your shrimp and fish tank experiences with us!

  • Must Read SKF Articles

  • Posts

    • beanbag
      I don't know if bacteria is the cause.  It seems to be an uncommonly diagnosed problem because most shrimp articles only talk about bacteria infection as "a few shrimp die every day / week"  What can I say, a standard dose of minocycline and erythromycin didn't work to stop it, so not sure if oxytetracycline will work.
    • jayc
      Ah yes. That was the injectable form of oxytetracycline. Each mL of the injectable form contains: 100 mg oxytetracycline HCl, 5.75% w/v magnesium chloride , 6 H2O, 17% v/v water for injection, 1.3% w/v sodium formaldehyde Sulfoxylate as a preservative and q.s. with propylene glycol. Basically, it has additional compositions in it. 1000mg might have been the dose recommended for the injectable oxytetracycline, but if you have the powder form then follow the dosing rates as recommended on your bottle. Hope that clears it up a bit.     As for doxycycline and it's use to treat short antenna ... I cannot comment on whether it will be more effective than oxytetracycline or not. But if you do use it, only try one at a time. Is bacteria even been proven to be the cause of "short antenna disease"?
    • beanbag
      14 April 2015 -  Update based on experiences of one of our SKF members. Unfortunately for this shrimpkeeper it was too late to save these shrimps, but hopefully this experience will help someone else. 250+ shrimp were lost before the bacterial infection was halted.   A vet was consulted and he eventually ended up contacting a senior lecturer of aquatic animal health at University of Adelaide school of veterinary science. He stated that bacterial infections being internal or external are almost always gram negative in aquatics and recommended using oxytetracycline at a dose rate of 1000-2000mg per 40ltr of water.   Dosing method: Oxytetracycline is available in 2 forms. Powder and injectable. The injectable form was used as it is a stronger form. This meant that we could use less to obtain the required dosage.   Dosed straight into the water column at 1000mg per 40ltr of water.
    • jayc
      What?! Can you point me to where you saw that please?   If in doubt, Always follow the directions on the bottle.
    • beanbag
      What is the recommended dosing for oxytetracycline?  The sticky thread has a mention of " 1000mg per 40ltr ", but I don't know if that refers to total amount of powder, or active ingredient percentage. I live in USA, where oxytetracycline is not as common, but I was able to obtain a bottle of powder.  On the bottle, it says [calculated out to] 75 mg / 10 gal, which is a wayyyy lower value.  Also, the manufacturer / distributor won't tell me the fraction of the power that is active ingredient vs filler. This is for a Taiwan Bee shrimp tank with pH 5.5 and Gh 5, in case that matters for the effectiveness of oxytet in these parameters. I also have doxycycline available if that is equivalent / better. It's to treat that "short antenna disease" in one of my tanks that seems to show up once every few months. I've already dosed with Maracyn 1 (erythromycin) and 2 (minocycline) and they didn't seem to work.
×
×
  • Create New...