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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.



P.as. Here’s a picture Mr. of Gucci Mane himself. 


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I think they're usually kept with minimal substrate. George who runs the YouTube channel CoralFish12g filmed the tanks of a Flowerhorn breeder and posted last August. If you look at the tank, many are bare. Some have a small smattering of large pebbles. 


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I keep mine with Black Diamond Blast Media and have never had any issues with it. I use Tidal HOBs on his tank and they have pretty short intakes, so he's never kicked up enough to get picked up by the filter. He does love to dig around in it. I have also kept him with pool filter sand and had the same experience with that. Lots of playing in the sand, no issues. It's pretty easy to to vacuum everything off of the surface of sand. As much as mine loves to play and dig around in the sand, I can't imagine keeping him in a bare bottom.

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