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New here and need advise on getting substrate

Discussion in 'Aquarium Hardware' started by Cookie_apisto, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Hi I am new here and new to Apisto also. I need some advise on getting substrate (except soil) for my dwarf cichlid tank. I going to stock two pair of apisto, a pair of checkerboard cichlids, a pair German blue rams and maybe a pair of dwarf pike cichlids in a 53 gallon tank. I am thinking of those pool filter sand in black color. Is that a good idea? Thank you
  2. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Pool filter sand is a good idea. Personally, your stocking idea is not.
  3. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Cant find any black pool filter sand. I am considering to get two large bag of caribsea tahitian moon sand. Did any of you guys have experience with this? Is a bit pricey too.
  4. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    The Amazon is covered by fine whitish sand. Most black sands are marine beach sands that will contain shell fragments that will harden the water.
  5. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Yaaa I have a concern of that also but it said that it wont buffer the water and wont effect the PH. Not sure if this true.
  6. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Such sand probably doesn't affect pH much in a tank with typical tap water that is moderately alkaline and moderately hard. But in a true softwater tank? Well ... .
  7. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Just bought some black sand today. Hope is gonna looks good in the tank. So you mean they only affect the ph and hardness when using in a soft water tank?
  8. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I use CaribSea Peace River gravel that is also not suppose to affect hardness and pH. My water is very soft 50-70 ppm and acidic 4.5-6.5. This gravel has not affected those parameters.
  9. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    How come your water is so acidic by the way?
  10. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I keep Apistos that need that acidic of water in order to breed.
  11. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    What you did to lower the ph and hardness?
  12. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I use RO water then adjust to the desired pH with Seachem Acid Buffer or Alkaline Buffer
  13. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Seem like everyone is using a ro unit.
  14. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Only those who are interested in breeding rarer blackwater species. If all you want is to maintain and possibly breed A. cacatuoides or similar tolerant species, then your tap water should work.
  15. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Is it possible that if i can just maintain the black water species but not to breed them?
  16. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    It really depends on the species. Species like A. elizabethae or A. sp. Miua will slowly waste away in anything but very soft water. Species like A. bitaeniata will do fine, but become more susceptible to parasites and diseases. You can keep them, just manage the water quality more carefully.
  17. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    bitaeniata are from blackwater also? What if they are tank captive breed?
  18. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Yes, A. bitaeniata occurs only in black- or mixed black/clearwater streams. I've never seen them in water with a pH >6.0 in the wild, but do OK in water that is pH<7.0°. At these higher values they tend to be more susceptible to parasites and diseases however. Tank raised fish usually tolerate less optimal conditions, but most captive bred blackwater species are bred in blackwater by hobbyist-breeders. That's why so many breeders use R/O units to soften water. Few blackwater species are bred in large commercial operations.
  19. Cookie_apisto

    Cookie_apisto Member

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    Ok i see. What about apisto iniridae? Are they from blackwater also?
  20. Mike Wise

    Mike Wise Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member

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    Not only are they a blackwater species, but IME females are very choosy about breeding partners. May I suggest buying a good book on dwarf cichlids? They will give you good information on breeding requirements.