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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. I didn't know where to post this. It's kind of fish and plant related. I'm looking to put gravel into a new 125 gallon being setup. Has anyone tried the "Rain Forest" gravel from Lowes? It says stones are sorted by color and then crushed to size. I assume that means no dye is used. TYIA https://www.lowes.com/pd/Rain-Forest-30-Pound-s/5000894579
  5. Hello, My name is Mike Gast. I currently have a 65 gallon Balloon Mollie, one dwarf bristlenose pleco, one longfin pleco tank setup and some cory cats. The tank has been going for over a year now and the livestock has been doing excellent. Along with the mollies and plecos I have mystery snails, nerite snails and some zebra thorn nerite snails. In the last month or so I have been adding live plants to the setup. I have three Anubias, three amazon swords and some Vallisneria. My current substrate is medium to coarse river rock. Doing some research, the river rock can be a challenge to handle plants. The plants I have in there besides the three Anubias are planted in the clay pots. I want to move to a better substrate so I can put the plants in the substrate instead of the clay pots. More background or information on my tank. When I started adding plants I removed the carbon from the filter and only run floss for polishing, I have a filter bag of crushed coral to help buffer the water for the livebearers. I have two large sponge filters operating in the tank as well. As of this message my tanks parameters are as follows 60-80 PPM NO3 5-6 dKH 7.8-8.0 PH 16-17 dGH - I know this measurement is a combination of magnesium and calcium moving forward would it be wise to check separate parameters? Tank temperature - I try and stay between 75 and 77 I upgraded to a 46 watts 6500K Fluval 3.0 light just this week. I have the planted tank program running for starters. This should give me good medium light. Watching some aquarium coop You Tube videos I am trying to determine the best substrate mixture. The last video I watched a seachem product came up called Grey Coast which I believe is more geared towards marine tanks but I liked the buffering aspect for calcium and alkalinity for the livebearers and snails. My first thought was a 50/50 mix between the grey coast and some Flourite or Flourite red. I was going to give 2 inches of depth in the substrate. My initial plan is to keep adding medium light plants both that feed from the water column and plants that feed from the substrate. I understand over time the nutrients will need replenished like with roots tabs and such. Also would this be a mix to move forward with eventually a more advanced lighted tank. Any feedback would be much appreciated! Thanks again, Mike Gast
  6. Im a new fish owner.. Did alot of study and all but overall should i get a sponge filter or hang on filter? Also how much substrate do i need for a 5.5 gallon fish tank? I was going to get 4.4 pounds of of fluval stratum substrate? Thats about all
  7. Does anyone on the forum have experience using Activ-Flora substrate on a large planted aquarium?
  8. I’ve noticed the substrate in my 20 long isn’t as deep as I thought it was/want it to be and it’s hard to keep rooted plants rooted and to insert root tabs. So I have three questions. 1. Should I add more black sand or add black gravel (I want to make it easy for the rooted plants to spread.) 2. Will the addition of new substrate cause any changes to the tanks parameter such as TDS, ph (it’s just normal black gravel or sand) or any other parameters I may over look? Since it’s my shrimp tank I don’t want to do anything that will cause a mass molting. (The most important question) 3. Will adding ~10 root tabs into the substrate mess with the water parameters or should I add them in slowly over time?
  9. Awhile ago Corey mentioned he likes cemex lapis lustre sand. He posted the link for Home Depot but they say they don’t carry it. Anyone know where to find it?
  10. Hey Aq-Co! I'm hoping someone there may have some input/perspective for me. What I am trying to do is use rubber lawn edging as a substrate stabilizer to build up a deeper tier in the back of my fresh water tank. I have plants I want to put in the back with out all the sand being as deep as I want to them. I found this really cool, very thick, self standing lawn edging at Wal-Mart. It says it's "100% made from recycled tires". Do you think its aquarium safe? I thought about just covering it with silicon completely, basically sealing it. Its a tougher more porous than slippery rubber. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ecoborder-Rubber-4-ft-x-3-in-No-Dig-Landscaping-Edging-Black/882390045 I am in mid project with 5 tanks and now I am second guessing this product. Any thoughts?
  11. As usual like others I bought the gravel from petco, and i bought the 20lb one. Which I cannot return now. I dont want to spend another 20$ on the dirt substrate so I am using the gravel. I ordered the bulb plant for now and waiting for it to get shipped. Could you suggest any plants that can grow in a 10 gallon tank in where I am planning to have few small guppies and platy around 5. Any suggestions are welcomed.
  12. Established, 2 yr old planted 36 gal glass freshwater tank with EcoComplete substrate and Fluval plant light. Couple of large sword plants and several pogo octopus plants. Stocked with 1 large Angel, 6 Cories , 4 otocinclus. Bought same size acrylic tank and need to switch everything over, eventually. I have brand new EcoComplete but can I or should I still use some of the old substrate ? Should I put the old under or over the new ? My plan is to get the new tank going and get a bit of algae built up before moving the Otos over. They are thriving and I don’t want to lose them. Or would there be enough for them eat on the plants themselves to sustain them if I move them sooner? Any advice on making this type of switch would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all !
  13. Yet another question from yours truly. My new tank (33 gal) has 20 lbs of eco complete substrate, driftwood and rocks. The substrate is 2"+ deep, however I would like to build some more depth in some areas for a more natural underwater look. I'm considering these options: 1) Just add more eco-complete. The only reason I am not just doing this is because I find it a little "sharp" and may eventually want to add some corydoras or other bottom-dwellers. 2) Cap with sand. This would add some different texture but I'm not sure about vacuuming. I have heard it is easier to plant in sand and maybe easier for roots to grow through, but would it negatively affect the eco-complete? I'm sure the bottom dwellers would be more comfortable. 3) Add a mineral rich volcanic soil like Fluval's plant and shrimp stratum. It looks to be more rounded than the eco-complete. I would put this where I plan to plant Amazon swords which I understand are heavy root feeders. What would you do? I'm also open to other suggestions. ETA: My water is on the higher pH side (ranges from 7.8 - 8.0 so substrates that claim to lower pH wouldn't be a bad thing). .
  14. I'm looking at setting up my next 10 gallon aquarium using possibly fluorite but I've heard a lot of mixed reviews/opinions on how to initially deal with it (rinsing and what-not). What's the best way I should add it to my aquarium when setting it up without causing a disaster?
  15. Setting up 75g for african cichlids. How much weight can the tank actually take? Only supported on the 4 corners. Also, how long should rock be boiled for? Thanks for any advice. Regards, Larry
  16. Question on how to Hot Rod my HOB. I have seen a lot of videos on YouTube about optimizing the HOB filter. My filter came with the standard cartridge with activated carbon and a little blue plastic piece that is supposed to grow BB. I also added some seeded media from my LFS and a Bio Ball to help establish the BB colony with my fish in cycle(bad advice from big box fish store). My tank has been running with the original fish in there for about three weeks and I think based on what the cartridge says it needs to be replaced every month. I wanted to change everything out to use a coarse sponge for mechanical filtration(Aqua Clear), a pre filter sponge, fine filter floss for water polishing and add a bag of bio media(Aqua Clear). What I planned on doing was purchasing the new sponge and bio media and do my regular weekly water change. Rinse both the sponge and bio media in the tank water. Remove the existing cartridge and seeded filter and place the new sponge in the bottom and but as much of the old filter media on top, cutting the carbon filter media off the plastic holder and removing the carbon. Take the bag of bio media and place it in the bottom of the tank next to the filter intake for a week. This way I don't loose what BB I have but also give time for the new bio media to grow. I will also add some Aquavitro seed when I do this to help with any bacteria that was lost. Then after a week at my next water change remove the old used filter media from the LFS and the cartridge filter media place a new piece of filter floss on top of the sponge and place the bio media on top. Is there any risk in doing this or am I going about this the right way. Also with that plastic piece that is in there should I try and leave that in after all the modifications are done or once I have the new filter media and bio media will that not be needed. I can assume that more surface for BB to grow is better but is too much bad? Also what media is better Aqua Clear of the Seachem Matrix? Thanks In Advance
  17. Have a 10 gallon that is purely gravel and fake plants. I decided I wanted to get a bigger tank and found sales. I currently have a snail, a few male guppies, and some corys. I have looked into substrates somewhat, but still slightly overwhelmed on it all. As for plants I've read that Amazon sword, java fern, and anubias are great plants to start with. I would like to find plants that would pair with those fish and potentially a dwarf gourami, school of tetras, and maybe a very small pleco (like a clown.) As for the substrate, inert or not. Am I able to use a few inches of a substrate like eco complete and then a thin layer if gravel over for the corys to sift through? Also, what is a good beginner substrate to look into that won't overly complicate water parameters. I did watch co-ops video where he mentions recommending crushed coral, so I would use roughly 5lbs at his 1:10 ratio. Lastly, was reading about c02 injection and etc. If I used an oxygen stone with a outside filter would that provide enough natural flow to inhibit my need to go that route?
  18. Im looking to get more plants into this 75 gallon again but want to get a better understanding on some things before I dive in again on grabbing more plants. There was some dwarf hairgrass and some C helferi in this tank that did really well for awhile(2 months) and then just started to die back until there was nothing left of them and had to take them out. I would like to get a carpet going but again that's why I would like to get a better idea about what I have/need here. Currently the tank has a Fluval Aquasky 2.0 on it. Is this light not suitable for a lot of these medium/high light plants at the 75 gallon depth? Should I replace the 2.0/add a 3.0 with it? These are the things I'm trying to understand. Interesting plant suggestions are also welcome.
  19. I’ve been keeping my flowerhorn, Gucci Mane, in a bare bottom tank, but since his waste is so big and I don’t have a bottom skimmer like Foo the Flowerhorn, I want to add some substrate. I originally ordered sand that that is marketed towards cichlid (I didn’t buy it for that reason, it was 50% off 😊) but it is really fine and read multiple sources that advise against it because he will kick it up and that will ruin a HOB filter. I also bought just natural river stone small substrate (for another tank) and thought maybe I could use it instead of sand if sand is in fact s no, no. However, I read multiple comments that stated FH could end up swallowing the gravel. I did a lot of research but the info out there is not consistent and frequently contradictory case in point, nobody can agree on what substrate is best. hopefully one of my fellow nerms can give me some clarity. Honestly I’ve got my fingers crossed that gravel would be safe because it’s easy to install in an already active aquarium and it’s much easy to vac IMHO. thanks! P.as. Here’s a picture Mr. of Gucci Mane himself.
  20. Hello everyone! This is my 10 gal tank. I wanted to change the substrate from this weird white imaginarium stuff to more natural colored sand but something that will still easily grow plants. Any suggestions? Also I have the fluval 3.0 15in lamp, would that be considered medium light or high light? Thanks!
  21. I am very novice, and picked up a 29 gal tank (30x12x18) to set up over the next few months. I've been researching and having trouble understanding anything/everything about the hobby, and have no mentor so I'm hoping I can ask things here. I want to start cycling my tank, but first I need to know the ideal filter. I want to keep Khuli Loaches, I love the look of the little guys and I'm obsessed so id like to keep at least 6, with maybe 6 or so Cherry barbs, Tetras, I'm open to other friends. I don't want to over stock but I do want a bit of a active tank. I definitely don't want them stuck in the filter. I also want to keep low tech plants, java moss, java ferns, maybe some floaty ones. again hardy. Is it recommended to cycle, plant, ensure parameters are good, then fish? Is fish order of putting in important, does it matter which species goes in first? The loaches are my priority. The internet is full of info but its so confusing, some say sponge filter which ive never worked with or seen. others say UGF is best for them, Others RUGF which i cant find any good explanation on how to set up or even a product for a 29gal but it was still the one i was leaning towards most. I get the UG is controversial, but I think I understand the biggest issue is care for the filter, and I don't see a difference between vacuuming the gravel for a weekly water change vs vacuuming the gravel for a waterchange AND to clean the filter. The other issue I have with the under filter, is I read the loaches need sand? is there a small gravel that wont pass into the filter if i use a screen? I've only used the normal gravel before. I'm open to any filter suggestion set ups, right now I'm completely lost on all the different options so the more info and the more specific the better. I really appreciate the help. I'm not in a rush on the tank, I want to do it right so no lives, plant or fish, are lost by my hand simply because I was negligent. Maybe im in over my head and should just do goldfish.
  22. Fish police like to say colored gravel will “leech toxins” into your tank, but I haven’t seen any actual evidence other than some anecdotes. Is there any truth to this?
  23. My LFS has had this kicking around for awhile--I can't find much about it. Normally I'd write something like this off, but it does remind me of the emerging trend in bioactive vivariums, where some hobbyists and vendors recommend adding mycorrhizal fungi to a setup to promote plant health and nutrient breakdown. If you haven't seen it, it comes in a dry mix that, once mixed with water, is injected into the substrate in a claylike paste (no idea if you can really do this on a tank full of water, though). Anyone tried it? Seen improved growth on root feeding plants? https://www.amazon.com/CaribSea-Aquatics-Floraspore-Mychorrizal-Symbionts/dp/B01N7K89PZ
  24. What do you think the best sand is to use for fish that burrow?
  25. I know this is something that people don’t normally do. But I have some extra media bags and bio rings that I want to put to use. I was thinking of putting one or more bags of rings inside the tank hidden in the gravel as much as possible. I was thinking of putting one under a sponge filter or under the spot where HOB filter flows into the back of the tank. I want to hide them as much as I can. Would this provide any benefit, or would it be a waste of time.
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