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  1. What does everyone use as a substrate for outdoor mini ponds? Gravel, sand, dirt? I am planning on getting a 100 gallon tub from a big box store to use as a tub. I'll be planting and adding some fish to it to enjoy outside. I am thinking gravel as a base with some areas with larger pebbles / stones for egg scattering fishes. I would like 1 or 2 water lilies and maybe an iris and some floatering plants. I have water wisteria and pogostemon octopus in my current tanks, so some trimmings from those may end up out there, and may get some crypts to plant in the lower light areas, depends on how everything else fills in. Thanks!
  2. Does anyone on the forum have experience using Activ-Flora substrate on a large planted aquarium?
  3. Do you run substrate in your quarantine tank? Why or why not? I’ve been running a bare bottom w/ sponge filter because I like to scrub it out well when I’m done. But, I also like the idea of having some substrate to keep the tanks cycle more predictable.
  4. What's up community! Greetings from Austin Texas! So this is what I got, I have a 20 gallon high planted (ish) tank. When I first set this tank up as a newbie I went with a rock gravel, and to be honest with the addition of aquarium co-ops plant root tabs, I haven't cared because I've seen plenty of plant growth. But now after too many forums, and too much scrolling through Google images of tanks with black gravel, I am hooked on the look. So basically what I am asking, is what should be my steps in replacing my gravel? I currently only have one betta fish and three snails and a few amano shrimp living in the tank. I also have a spare 10 gallon tank I could use as a temporary tank. Just kind of want to get some advice from the community to make sure I don't do anything wrong and accidentally kill my fish and snails 😳 I added a picture of what my tank looks like so you can see the current gravel. As of today, July 13th these are my tank numbers: pH: 7.0 Ammonia: 0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrates: 10ppm anyway, TIA to all who reply!
  5. So fertilized plant substrate last about a year. Do you remove the old pellets and put in new? How do you deal with the original fertilized clay? I notice most responders seem to not have the fertilized plant substrate. Am I better off with or without it? I like to vacuum almost daily. My my ammonia nitrite cycle has been pretty much zero, but my nitrates in the 40 gallon tank could be less, recently I did 50% water change. It seems I can hold nitrites near zero by daily gravel vacuuming. Basically I let my 40 gallon take go a bit and got into nitrate concerns. Since then I have changed about 80-gallons. Do you feel that the ammonia/nitrites produced by a fertilized plant substrate will result in more otherwise unneeded water changes?
  6. I'm curious about starting a planted tank with sand. Cory showed the sand he uses in the 800g in one of his videos before (attached here). I'm interested in using this sand. Is it just a matter of using lots of root tabs when it comes to using a sand substrate?
  7. Hello, Can someone please advise as to whether a newly acquired half-banded eel (3.5 inches) can live in an acquarium with gravel, like this one: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/imagitarium-blue-jean-aquarium-gravel-5-lbs-2558041?cm_mmc=PSH-_-GGL-_-CAL-_-PME-_-PET-_-AQU-_-0-_-PM_GGL_FY21_SBU05_PrivateLabel-Imagitarium_LIA-SMRT-_-0-_-0&gclid=Cj0KCQjwu7OIBhCsARIsALxCUaOqxdahIzF6G3JMznpL_FWzz3bixkPOvpIVQbvYgSvgrB33kLlYlLEaAuK6EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds I have read that they need sand. There are quite a bit of hiding places, etc. although today I found him (or her) hiding in the sponge filter... If they cannot live well in gravel, how to change the substrate?? I am afraid all of with work in getting the acquarium established will be gone if I change the soil. Moreover, I have no idea how to clean the acquarium with sand - wouldn't all the sand get sucked up with the debris? Otherwise the eel is eating and seems OK (after a week from the shop). Many thanks!!
  8. Does anyone have any good ideas on substrate for a three gallon on Amazon that is cheap. Thanks!
  9. @StreetwiseI have never used organic soil but I'm about to set up a new tank( I have a catfish that has out grown his 30gallon), so with this said will any organic soil work even the ones you can buy at home depot??
  10. Any experience with this sand? It should be home for 12-14 Corys. Thank you.
  11. any recommendations for a natural/ River bed looking substrate ?
  12. I live in a place that is almost entirely COVERED with lava rock. The only places that are not are the fields farmers have spent generations slowly removing the lava rocks in order to be able to use it as a field. I have found several colors, consistencies ECT. What would I need to do to make this abundant and free resource that people are LITTERALLY tossing into giant piles and trying to get rid of into a resource for my aquariums? Are only specific kinds of lava rock usable for aquariums? What kind of sterilization could I do, considering the usual methods are unsafe with lava rocks? (boiling or oven heating can cause explosions of water trapped in the pours turning into steam)
  13. I am setting up a new tank and would like to get a pair of German Blue Rams. Does their color look best on light or dark substrate?
  14. Hello, Is anyone aware of a natural (no dyes) black sand for aquariums?
  15. Hi all! I'm getting ready to replant my planted tank into a larger 40g breeder. My old tank has a mix of natural gold colored gravel. I used caribsea red under the gravel for the plants & it worked fine when i gravel vacuumed if some of it got pulled to the surface because it blended with the gravel. My new tank will have light colored gravel (peisces silver pearl from amazon). Does anyone know of a light(er/ish) colored plant substrate that I can use under the gravel? I don't plan on using carpeting plants so I will definitely need to be able to gravel vac & I don't want to have a dark substrate get pulled up & mixed in.
  16. After years of cleaning my tank my sand substrate is getting thin. I have recently added plants to my tank and would like deeper substrate for planting. Which is better pool filter sand that is silica or play sand? What sand is more coarse?
  17. Hi! I'm in the process of setting up a 150 gallon tank for a fahaka puffer. I would love to do a planted tank. I have struggled with plants in the past so I thought doing a plant substrate would be a good idea to help. I know fahakas need sand substrate but I was wondering if seachem flourite black sand would be okay? Any guidance is appreciated!
  18. Hi everyone! First time posting here, long time Aquarium Co-op follower. I recently made a rookie mistake while upgrading my 3 small fancy gold fish from their 100 litre tall tank (I am from Australia) to their new 300 litre long tank. I have set the scape as a kind of freshwater river scape with 1/3 of the substrate covered in large river stones, split by some wood then the other 2/3 is small river stones from their original tank. (Stupid mistake I know) as tonight I noticed my largest goldfish (perhaps 2 inches) had a stone stuck inside her mouth. As it is 10pm I couldn't exactly call a vet for advise so I jumped online and was able to remove the stone with a pair of tweezers and gently holding the fish just below the water line... Obviously I never want this to happen again, but without completely removing the substrate and replacing with large river stones I am not sure of any other option. Does anyone have any ideas to perhaps cover the smaller substrate to not add much more weight to the tank, or should I bite the bullet and tear it all out? I am still semi new to the hobby so I would appreciate genuine help and if I am not doing something right I am open to learning the right way 🙂
  19. Hey you wonderful folks, If you were going to scape a 5g aquarium for a betta and were to pick plants from Aquarium Co Op. What plants would you choose? I am working on setting up a new tank for a dear friend to have her first fish buddy. I do have about 8.8 lbs of fluval shrimp stratum on hand I was thinking of using. Not only because our water tends to be hard here, but because I just want to get rid of it as it has been under my bed for about two years. The color is brown. I also have quiet a bit of dragon stone available to be used also, mostly brown in color. So that should make up the hardscape. I will be getting her a co op sponge filter. So with all that being said how would you imagine an aquarium with fluval stratum and dragon stone? What plants would you go with for a complete noob that are available on the Co Op website 🙂 I know its not the biggest selection but I like spending my money with them. I am hoping to keep plant cost under $150. Plants that I have readily on hand that I am overflowing with and can use include: water lettuce, red floaters, frog bit, dwarf sagitteria, and pogo. oct. And I am sort of leaning towards crypts to be perfectly honest too. Just fyi.
  20. Hello Everyone, was wondering if anyone has tried LECA? (Lightweight expanded clay aggregate) as their substrate in their aquarium? Setting up a 100 gallon tank and want to it to be heavily planted. Im wondering if LECA will work or if theirs any benefits 🤔 TIA
  21. We have a 5 gallon with green neon tetras and one mystery snail. The current substrate is river rocks, but we are running into a problem with keeping the tank clean. Food and poop falls down between the stones, and when we vac, we have to stir up all the stones to get to the nasty, which really fouls up the water. We would like to replace the substrate, but are not sure what would be good. We want something that would be good for (or at least not detrimental to) our snail, Fred. We want small size particles. We also have a anubias coffefolia, a windelov java fern, and some java moss growing on some chollo wood Anyone have any suggestions?
  22. Need some Advise on Changing My Sand Substrate To The Black Sand Substrate How should I Change That out Without Over working the Process?
  23. My soon-to-be aquarium is going to have a lot of snails and shrimp in it. It is also going to have cpds, otocinclus, and Corys. I want to use alder cones to add some cool blackwater to the aquarium and the thing with that is that i'm afraid it will lower my pH too much for the snails. So, with this stocking in mind, should I just use Aragonite Sand for them?
  24. HI All, When I set up my tank I originally put in pebbles, in varying sizing from tiny to nickle size from the pet store. When I was there I could not find any sand to put in the tank. Turned out it was in the next aisle over. Oops. When I look at beautiful aquariums they usually either have sand OR rocks as the substrate and not a mixture of both. Is it possible to add sand into the substrate of a tank that has pebbles to make it look good? I did add sand by hand into my 5 gallon tank, and I'm not really sure if it looks good or not. It's my grow out tank, so I just slowly brought in handfuls. My 29 gallon tank has a ton of fish in it though so if I want to add sand it will be kind of hard with all the fish in it. I do think the plants are doing better in my 5 gallon tank now that I have added some sand.
  25. Hello, To my fellow aquarists I have come to the forum to ask for assisting find my own Aquarium Co-op super sand. To the best of my knowledge Corey uses Cemex Lapis Lustre either .8mm or #8 sand, I'm not totally sure. I have attempted to check the places around me and can only find fine sands. Does anyone have any tips on how I may be able to find something comparable? I've checked lowe's, home depot and local landscape businesses. Thanks
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