Sand Substrate Questions

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Stick Fish

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Feb 23, 2021
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I am starting a 20 gallon long tank for leopard danios and some corydoras catfish. In my extensive research, I've decided to go with sand as my substrate for the catfish, but deciding on the sand proves to be a herculean task. Long story short, I have a ten gallon bag of CaribSea Super Naturals sand and a ten gallon bag of CaribSea Aragonite (which I have my doubts about whether it is true aragonite). I realize that the latter is supposed to raise the pH, but I wasn't sure if that would affect the fish too much.

What I'm wondering is if I can or should mix the two sands since the aragonite is coarser than the other sand. Or should I just go with one type of sand? I read that finer sand can clump up a lot or remain suspended in the water, making it cloudy.

Also, I have a sponge filter, so will that move the sand too much? In addition, I plan to plant some cryptcorynes at some point, and I heard sand is not the best substrate for plants.

If anyone has any ideas or advice for me, I would really appreciate it.
I would not risk it with the aragonite sand as if it does raise the pH above 7.5 the leopard danios will suffer and it will be a difficult task removing it from the tank.

Sand isn’t the best substrate for plants. You would need 4-5cm thickness of sand to create sufficient anchorage for the cryptocoryne which is an unhealthy level of sand; it will trap too much dirt and gases If you didn’t gravel vac often.

I would stick to one sand if you opt for it. I’ve not experienced fine sand clumping or suspending in the water.
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