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Black vs White Quartz

Discussion in 'Planted Chit Chat' started by Hamsnacks, Nov 4, 2018.

  1. Hamsnacks

    Hamsnacks Fish Fanatic

    Dec 26, 2017
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    Currently running a natural quartz color sand and the top layer is now almost always a brownish, almost dirty color, more than I'd like it look. I do weekly vacuums but the only way to make it look good again is by flipping the sand over, I'm thinking of doing a change.

    For the owners who've had both black and white quartz substrate, what ended up looking a bit more sharper, I have large driftwood and a lot of green plants with community fish (tetras, Corys..)

    Other than droppings being more visible on the white sand, any other advantages/disadvantages of either?

    Just looking for personal opinions

  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

    Jan 26, 2008
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    Perth, WA
    If you use a gravel cleaner and push it into the gravel each week when doing water changes, it will remove the gunk and mix the gravel up so the dirty stuff doesn't stay on top.

    Try and avoid sharp/ pointy gravel if you have any bottom dwelling fishes.

    Get natural brown gravel :)
  3. Byron

    Byron Member

    Feb 25, 2009
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    Any substrate will over time become "darker" due to the biofilm which forms on each grain and attracts algae and microscopic stuff. I used "darker" but perhaps more dull would better describe it. When you dig down and bring some of the lower grains to the surface, they will appear noticeably "lighter" or brighter. I find that river rock does the same; if I turn over one of these after several months, one would think it was a totally different type of rock.

    As for detritus, this can be visible on any solid-colour substrate. This is why I prefer the mix tone substrates, such as dark grey play sand which has black/grey/white/brown grains. I never see stuff on this.

    Now to your question of any difference between white sand and dark. Fish do not appreciate white sand. It is totally unnatural, and some will be stressed by it. They will never be as colourful because of this. None of the aquarium fish we keep occurs over a white substrate. Darker is always better, but this does not necessarily mean black. I use the dark grey play sand, or a similar fine gravel, and have found this to be better for the fish. When I moved a tank of characins and cories once I used a darker substrate than the buff/natural mix they had been over for a year, and the difference in their colouration was very noticeable. And I don't mean initially, I mean from then on as long as I had them. The panda cories went from a light buff colour to one that was quite dark and remained so.

    It is not surprising that all reliable sources will so often include "dark substrate" in the data for aquascaping. It really does matter to the fish.
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