substrate for jack dempseys

huntery18

Candiru
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Nov 12, 2018
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hey guys so my jack dempseys are not very colorful and someone pointed out that since my gravel is brown it wont have there color pop so i went and picked up some black gravel, but is gravel better or should i go with sand, currently i have a aqueon water changer with a 25 foot hose that i use to clean my gravel, i was worried this would suck up the sand. also im not sure which one is ideal for JD thanks.
 

HybridFinatic

Dovii
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From my experience my cichlids enjoy sand alot more and spend all day moving it around. For JDs black is the way to go but sand sadly requires a bit more maintenance. You have to turn it over each week to prevent air bubbles from turning into toxic gas that could kill your fish. You cant put the aqueon water changer into the sand because it will suck it up so you have to hover it over the sand to collect the waste. It is very aesthetically pleasing though and like i said the fish love it.
 

duanes

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If you get "pool filter sand" which is heavy and graded to be back washed, it will not be sucked up as easily as something like "play sand".
I have not found PFS to need to be purged of hydrogen sulfide gas any more than any other substrates, because it is dense, and debris doesn't easily work its way in, and rot.
And more than just substrate, I have found having the back and two side walls of my tanks covered with black, will keep all cichlids colors from washing out, I spray paint styrofoam panels black, because these panels also help stabilize temps. and hold in heat during power outages.

same species of cichlid without black panels

JDs colors reflect all the topography where they live in nature, instinctively matching surroundings. You can see in the videos below, and compare colors change in the beginning where deeper water, with caves and dark areas provide cover, to the end where the JDs are in a kind of open grassy plain.
Eden2
027 zps4b102ffd
 

HybridFinatic

Dovii
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Oct 24, 2018
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If you get "pool filter sand" which is heavy and graded to be back washed, it will not be sucked up as easily as something like "play sand".
I have not found PFS to need to be purged of hydrogen sulfide gas any more than any other substrates, because it is dense, and debris doesn't easily work its way in, and rot.
And more than just substrate, I have found having the back and two side walls of my tanks covered with black, will keep all cichlids colors from washing out, I spray paint styrofoam panels black, because these panels also help stabilize temps. and hold in heat during power outages.

same species of cichlid without black panels

JDs colors reflect all the topography where they live in nature, instinctively matching surroundings. You can see in the videos below, and compare colors change in the beginning where deeper water, with caves and dark areas provide cover, to the end where the JDs are in a kind of open grassy plain.
Eden2
027 zps4b102ffd
Yep I have definitely used pool filter sand in the past and would not dare use playsand. It’s probably one of the worst sands to get. But I found the pool filter sand does get sucked up some too and I found the black sand at petco is almost identical in size to pool filter sand. When I add my fish on pfs their colors seemed to be washed out. And yeah I do plan on painting my tanks in the future. I am aware how much that helps.
 

huntery18

Candiru
MFK Member
Nov 12, 2018
256
141
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If you get "pool filter sand" which is heavy and graded to be back washed, it will not be sucked up as easily as something like "play sand".
I have not found PFS to need to be purged of hydrogen sulfide gas any more than any other substrates, because it is dense, and debris doesn't easily work its way in, and rot.
And more than just substrate, I have found having the back and two side walls of my tanks covered with black, will keep all cichlids colors from washing out, I spray paint styrofoam panels black, because these panels also help stabilize temps. and hold in heat during power outages.

same species of cichlid without black panels

JDs colors reflect all the topography where they live in nature, instinctively matching surroundings. You can see in the videos below, and compare colors change in the beginning where deeper water, with caves and dark areas provide cover, to the end where the JDs are in a kind of open grassy plain.
Eden2
027 zps4b102ffd
you make me want to take back my black rocks and buy black sand, can i still use my aqueon water changer to clean the bottom as well?
 

HybridFinatic

Dovii
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Oct 24, 2018
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you make me want to take back my black rocks and buy black sand, can i still use my aqueon water changer to clean the bottom as well?
For me yeah put I cant put it in the substrate for too long without it getting sucked up. I have to hover it over the sand to suck up debri and poop.
 

huntery18

Candiru
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Nov 12, 2018
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For me yeah put I cant put it in the substrate for too long without it getting sucked up. I have to hover it over the sand to suck up debri and poop.
alright i think im gonna try
Imagitarium Black Aquarium Sand, 20 LBS if you guys think sand is better then black gravel for jd
 

duanes

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The trick with not sucking up PFS is realizing most detritus sits on top of it, so there is no need to jam the siphon tube in, just hover an inch or two above, detritus will get sucked up, 98% of the sand stays where it belongs. And if you do the proper amount, and enough frequent water changes, there won't be time for gunk to work its way it.
 
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