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Anna1234

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I used dolomite substrate back in the 1980's but I do not think they still make these. Other members may have options, this is something I did back then and decided it was way too much work, so I have since then only maintained soft water fish.

When I said get rid of the livebearers, I meant maybe a store will take them, or another aquarist. There are lots of lovely soft water fish out there.
I will do some extra research and decide which substrate will suit me better, and when that is sorted I will give the swordtails back to the store i bought them from or put them up in one of the fish groups, there's quite a few swordtail keepers in my area and invest in some fish who are more suited to my water, it is a shame because I really like the swordtails and my fish store told me they would be OK in my water parameters, they've been with me almost 6 months now. I was researching flourite black clay gravel last night and seemed like a good choice, however I don't know how something clay based will go and I can't seem to find any reviews or information on it which makes it difficult to know for sure how it works.
Thank you very much for all your advice I really appreciate it and sorry for asking so many questions, even though I've been keeping fish for 3 years you learn something new everyday.
 

Byron

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I will do some extra research and decide which substrate will suit me better, and when that is sorted I will give the swordtails back to the store i bought them from or put them up in one of the fish groups, there's quite a few swordtail keepers in my area and invest in some fish who are more suited to my water, it is a shame because I really like the swordtails and my fish store told me they would be OK in my water parameters, they've been with me almost 6 months now. I was researching flourite black clay gravel last night and seemed like a good choice, however I don't know how something clay based will go and I can't seem to find any reviews or information on it which makes it difficult to know for sure how it works.
Thank you very much for all your advice I really appreciate it and sorry for asking so many questions, even though I've been keeping fish for 3 years you learn something new everyday.
Questions are never a problem for us, that is how we all learn.

On the flourite, don't waste your money. I used this in my 70g several years ago, and after two years I tore the tank down and dumped the Flourite in a hole in the back garden. It did not improve plant growth, but even more crucial, it nearly killed my cories. They lost their barbels within days, and one panda even had about 1/4 of its lower jaw sliced right off. All the cories recovered after I moved them to a tank with play sand, and I still have them today, some 8 years later. Flourite is too rough for substrate fish. And it is very expensive considering it was no real benefit plant-wise. Cost me $180 compared to $12 for play sand after I got rid of the Flourite.

Aquarium plants will grow much the same regardless of substrate, except when the grains are too large. Substrate tabs and/or liquid fertilizer supply all the necessary nutrients. Sand is your overall best substrate, for lants and fish, provided it is inert and not rough and angular.
 

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