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Tips on Keeping Aquarium Visually Appealing


MaxM
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I have a tank with a Black background and black fine gravel. Between the two of them the vibrant colors of my fish and the plants are enhanced and it looks great!

However, the waste products that my fish create also are very noticeable and detract from the over all panorama of my aquarium.

Have any of your that use black gravel found a solution to  get around this problem?

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I watched a video several days ago where a guy talked about that. He uses a turkey baster to suck up the detritus at least once a day. He said some days he does it every time he walks by the tank. Personally, after hearing him talk about it, I decided I'd only ever use it in shrimp-only tanks. Daily detritus removal would drive me nuts! I don't like anything that high maintenance.

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When it comes to beauty in the eye of the beholder, all art is completely subjective. Here are my thoughts and opinions, please take with a grain of salt though as it is just that, an opinion. I like to keep a well rounded cleanup crew in my tank, composed of several types of invertebrates, catfish, and loaches. So I like to keep algae undisturbed yet also hidden with a dark background. Plus like you stated a dark background really helps    your plants, fish, and decorations POP so to speak. When dealing with substrate however I find that your general run of the mill nothing fancy mix of brown, white, black, grey, pea gravel looking substrate not only provides contrast to your background, but this blend of multicolor substrate hides detritus the best. 

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Alternative1: add a type of creature that will stir the sand for you. Depending on your stocking, I have had grand success with shrimp and guppies, and I strongly suspect corydoras are literally made for this. Likely most livebearers will stir substrate with their pecking.

Alternative2: (somewhat silly maybe, depending on your design) add a layer of larger pebbles or carpeting plants to your tank, and give the waste somehwere to go.

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6 minutes ago, Brandy said:

carpeting plants

That's actually a good way to hide unsightly detritus. The only problem is that I have a common Pleco and several corys that scavenge the substrate and I think that too much carpet will frustrate them. I'm wondering if they will tear up the carpet. I bought Java Fern and glued it to my Lava rocks and my Pleco has torn up most of it.

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22 minutes ago, Dawn T said:

I watched a video several days ago where a guy talked about that. He uses a turkey baster to suck up the detritus at least once a day. He said some days he does it every time he walks by the tank. Personally, after hearing him talk about it, I decided I'd only ever use it in shrimp-only tanks. Daily detritus removal would drive me nuts! I don't like anything that high maintenance.

That's what I did for my quarantine tank when I was worried it wasn't cycled enough / that the biofilter would get knocked down by Maracyn. Worked pretty well in a bare tank and was a nice way to spend a couple minutes checking in on my new fish.

If you go that route, I recommend getting a drip-free baster with a valve at the tip. I just have a regular, cheap baster that's like a giant eyedropper and it would almost always spill out like half of its contents back into the water when I'd lift it out. Ugh!

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