Breeding tank setups - substrate

Discussion in 'General Freshwater Fish Discussion' started by julzhull, Jun 13, 2017.

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  1. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    What do you use for substrate in your breeding tanks, if any?

    I have plecos and guppies in a tank with some course sand and I'm finding that I hate the sand in there. Not fun to clean. I'm thinking of just doing some gravel like I have in some of my planted tanks. I do have plants in this tank, thinking of putting them in pots so it's easier to take them out and catch fish.
     
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  3. clownie
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    clownie Well-Known Member

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    I just run bare in most breeding tanks. Makes them easier to clean and if I have too remove fry/eggs. For looks you could put down a really thin layer of sand/gravel with the plants in pots.
     
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  4. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    A thin layer of gravel is an idea. Something easy to clean would be really really nice. The guppies/plecos are a messy bunch.
     
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  5. clownie
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    clownie Well-Known Member

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    Yeah plecos are...I have a really thin layer of blasting sand in my L129 tank but they poop it up so quick i am thinking of removing it this weekend.
     
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  6. L190
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    L190 Well-Known Member

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    i go with bare bottom with my set ups
     
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  7. Loren
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    Loren Well-Known Member

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    I hate bare bottom tanks but finally capitulated for breeding bristlenose plecos. I do have pieces of wood in there though with java fern and anubias attached. I breed my guppies though in heavily planted tanks.
     
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  8. Betty
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    Betty Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    I agree with @Loren -- I hate bare bottom, but my pleco tanks are impossible to get really clean with any kind of substrate. So much poop. :poo

    Also, if you are feeding fry, it's easy to overfeed and substrate would harbor that powdery food and before you know it -- worms! :eek:

    Because I hate the look of bare bottom, I used to keep a thin layer of sand and would siphon it out with the poop, rinse it and put it back in, but it was more trouble than it was worth.
     
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  9. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen worms but I've got loads of pond snails in there which I'm sure are cleaning them up. That's partially why I want to clean out the sand, get rid of the pond snails. They're havoc on my plants.

    I think I can try a thin layer of gravel. Should be easier to clean than sand at any rate.
     
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  10. Betty
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    Betty Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Let us know how it goes. I haven't used gravel in a long time, but if it's easy to clean a thin layer, might consider using some in one of the pleco tanks. I have millions of little shrimp in the other and don't think anything will work on the bottom of that tank. (I wish I could spray paint the inside of the glass.) :)
     
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  11. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    Wow. Now that's a bunch of work!
     
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  12. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    Of all the substrates I've ever used, I like the nice round gravel - like pebbles. It comes in a large size and a smaller size and I mix them together. When you're vacuuming the substrate, the dirt / goo / poo releases like a dream, right up that hose. I have coarse gravel in the 29 Gallon in the living room and it vacuums up OK, but not as cleanly as the round gravel. If I ever redo that tank - which will surely happen at some point - that sharp black gravel is GOING.

    And if I've not said it enough - don't buy that dang Seachem Flourish! GAWD what a mess that crap is! It's a clay sheet-show! I mixed some in with my gravel combo and I think I'm slowly sucking it all up when I'm vacuuming Tank's tank.
     
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  13. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind the flourish. I've had it in a couple tanks. It's in my shrimp tank. It's a planted tank though and I don't mess with the gravel too much. It must be working ok because the shrimp seem happy.
     
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  14. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    It's so messy to me.

    Yeah don't dig around in there or you've got clay clods on your hands - or tube. LOL
     
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  15. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    You mean Seachem Fluorite, right? That's not the one that's supposed to disintegrate so I'm not getting why yours gets clay like. That's strange.
     
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  16. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    I hate this stuff. HATE. IT. SO. MUCH.
     
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  17. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I spent 3+ hours removing plants/wood/sand from the tank. I didn't do a before photo because it hadn't been cleaned for the week and looked so bad. Most of the plecos stayed in during all of this. I did manage to catch most of the guppies and got them out of the way while cleaning.

    What a giant mess that was. Had some nice brown water for awhile which is really hard to deal with when you're trying to find the sand to scoop out. We put everything back in overnight for stuff to settle and I'll do a quick vacuum of the remaining debris tonight and put in the gravel. I'll put in one bag which should be a thin enough layer for me to try. I'm 95% certain this gravel will be easier for me to keep clean than the sand was. So much easier to vacuum. Also, having the rooted plants in pots should make it a lot easier for me to move things around and keep clean.
     
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  18. clownie
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    clownie Well-Known Member

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    WOW!! On a smoking hot day like yesterday and you did all that to your tank? Congrats!! you're a much better hobbyist then I am. Love to know how it all works out down the road.
     
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  19. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    The only reason why I was able to survive it was because most of our tanks are in our family room and that room tends to stay cooler (faces west but then has a huge cedar tree that shades it in the afternoon).
     
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  20. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    I find tank maintenance and rescaping a relaxing endeavor. Good for you, Julz! Pics or it didn't happen, girl!
     
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  21. julzhull
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    julzhull Well-Known Member

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    I need to pot a floating plant in there and then I'll take some pics.

    Overall for a breeding tank I might find it easier to not have gravel but I do like a bit of gravel so the tank looks nice. Since this is in our family room and not a dedicated fish room I like to have the tanks looks a little aesthetically pleasing.
     
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