Tank ideas, switching substrate?

Rosenbaumn

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I have had this 29 gallon freshwater tank for a little over a year and I want to change it up, the blue substrate has spots on it and I frankly think it’s kinda ugly. I was thinking of doing black sand, but I’m now leaning towards white sand, would this look good? I also want to know if anyone has ideas on decorations or plants (Ones that snails, shrimp, and bristlenose pleco won’t eat) that could go with the sand to make my tank look a little better and more lively, maybe hide the filter a bit? Alighting change? I really want my fish and the tank to pop. I don’t have a high budget, so if anyone could point me in the direction of some low budget stuff, I was thinking $40 as a start and maybe adding more stuff later on. Looking forward to getting some ideas!!
 

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Lots of possibilities in a tank that size! Go with the black sand. It looks cool and fish seem to like it better. Couple questions to be able to give you good suggestions: How hard is your water? What kind of filter are you running? What kind of lights to you have? And do you plan to keep your current fish or replace them?

(I ask that last question because I see angels, a platy, some sort of tetras?, and a couple harlequin rasboras. Some of these aren't all that compatible with what they need)
 
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Rosenbaumn

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I don’t know about water hardness, but I believe it’s a bit on the hard side. I have I canister filter and I believe led light, but I’m not positive (it’s not super bright or dull, kind of in the middle) and I plan on keeping my current fish, one of the main reasons I want to switch is for the poor khuli loaches and my corydoras, I think they would be way happier with the sand. The reason I have random fish is because my mom sometimes buys them for me, but I think I convinced her to stop, hopefully
 

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One thing to be careful of, is a couple of people have had trouble with Plecos being switched from gravel to sand. It may be completely unrelated but it is a possibility.
 
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Rosenbaumn

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One thing to be careful of, is a couple of people have had trouble with Plecos being switched from gravel to sand. It may be completely unrelated but it is a possibility.
I will definitely do some research on that
 
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Rosenbaumn

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So I did some more research and learned that black sand makes fish colors brighter, which I definitely want! What kind decorations would look good with that? I’d love to aquascape, but it’s so expensive. Also, I want to know if anything can be done for my background, I don’t like it, but can’t think of any solutions that could completely get rid of it for a relatively low price
 

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Sorry, I disagree.
Black and white sand are the worst.

Black will make your tank looking too dark and dirty. It's an unnatural colour.
White will be too bright and bad for your fish.

If you look at the aquascapings done by the experts, almost none of them will use black.
They will use light colour sand such as light brown, yellow or grey.
Light colours will make your tank looks like a river/stream.

Some will use soil(black colour) but the soil are covered completely with plants.
Usually they will put a layer of light colour sand above the soil to cover the black colour soil.

The only people who used black are probably the shrimps breeders.
But they looked ugly to me.

For your background, usually black is the best.
If you can get those black adhesive sticker like Oyama brand will be good.
If not, just use a black trash bag(plastic bag) or black cardboard/paper to cover the back.
If you use paper/card board just make sure they don't get wet, else you may have to change again.


Here are some tips for aquascaping.





Focus on driftwoods or rocks.
Plants are hard to maintain unless you have a lot of free time.
Plants will be used to support the rocks and driftwoods formation (my opinion).
You can try the Iwagumi style (rocks formation) or Biotope, Jungle and Nature aquarium (use nice driftwoods but may not be cheap).

Probably getting some rocks will be cheaper than the driftwoods.

But if you can get a big nice driftwood at reasonable price, then go ahead to get it.
Big driftwood is better than small ones as it will greatly enhance your tank and easier to decorate your tank unless you can arrange them together nicely.
I attached some photos of one of my tank.
It's a very simple setup with only one big piece of driftwood.
The driftwood is the most costly in my tank with cheap sand and rocks.

Try create something that look like the nature will be nice....
Whenever I look at the nature, it really inspires me and makes me more relax...

Summary:
Get a bag of light colour sand + rocks + driftwoods.
Even one piece of big driftwood will be enough if it can cover 2/3 of your tank.

Here are some videos for ideas:




 

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Retired Viking

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I just switched from gravel to sand. Plan on a whole day if not more. Here is my tank before and after. You need to plan out what you want to do ahead of time. I just had a thread on changing from gravel to sand-check it out many forum members gave very helpful advice. It may help you with your change. :good:
 

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Deanasue

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Sorry, I disagree.
Black and white sand are the worst.

Black will make your tank looking too dark and dirty. It's an unnatural colour.
White will be too bright and bad for your fish.

If you look at the aquascapings done by the experts, almost none of them will use black.
They will use light colour sand such as light brown, yellow or grey.
Light colours will make your tank looks like a river/stream.

Some will use soil(black colour) but the soil are covered completely with plants.
Usually they will put a layer of light colour sand above the soil to cover the black colour soil.

The only people who used black are probably the shrimps breeders.
But they looked ugly to me.

For your background, usually black is the best.
If you can get those black adhesive sticker like Oyama brand will be good.
If not, just use a black trash bag(plastic bag) or black cardboard/paper to cover the back.
If you use paper/card board just make sure they don't get wet, else you may have to change again.


Here are some tips for aquascaping.





Focus on driftwoods or rocks.
Plants are hard to maintain unless you have a lot of free time.
Plants will be used to support the rocks and driftwoods formation (my opinion).
You can try the Iwagumi style (rocks formation) or Biotope, Jungle and Nature aquarium (use nice driftwoods but may not be cheap).

Probably getting some rocks will be cheaper than the driftwoods.

But if you can get a big nice driftwood at reasonable price, then go ahead to get it.
Big driftwood is better than small ones as it will greatly enhance your tank and easier to decorate your tank unless you can arrange them together nicely.
I attached some photos of one of my tank.
It's a very simple setup with only one big piece of driftwood.
The driftwood is the most costly in my tank with cheap sand and rocks.

Try create something that look like the nature will be nice....
Whenever I look at the nature, it really inspires me and makes me more relax...

Summary:
Get a bag of light colour sand + rocks + driftwoods.
Even one piece of big driftwood will be enough if it can cover 2/3 of your tank.

Here are some videos for ideas:




Actually a lot of people do use black sand because it does bring out the color in fish. I think black is nice! I agree that white is too harsh on the fish.
 
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I like black sand too. It actually looks quite natural in a well-set-up tank. Look at some different pictures and decide what looks best to you. It's a personal decision! One advantage of natural sand is it tends to be cheaper--you can get play sand from a hardware store for next to nothing.

I agree that black looks good for a background. A black trash bag or black fabric are inexpensive and work fine.

Rocks and wood can be found for free in a lot of places. That's a personal choice too, but both have some potential problems, so we can tell you more about that. I like a combination of rocks and wood.

Do you want to do live plants or fake?
 
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Rosenbaumn

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I like black sand too. It actually looks quite natural in a well-set-up tank. Look at some different pictures and decide what looks best to you. It's a personal decision! One advantage of natural sand is it tends to be cheaper--you can get play sand from a hardware store for next to nothing.

I agree that black looks good for a background. A black trash bag or black fabric are inexpensive and work fine.

Rocks and wood can be found for free in a lot of places. That's a personal choice too, but both have some potential problems, so we can tell you more about that. I like a combination of rocks and wood.

Do you want to do live plants or fake?
I definitely want to do live plants, I love the grass/moss on rocks, so maybe I’ll do that, where would be a good place to start? I also have no idea where to start when in comes to wood and rocks, where can I find them cheap? What’s safe? I really like those bridge type decorations that look like stacked rocks, but I think they’re really expensive
 
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Rosenbaumn

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Avoid white. Its too bright for the fish and that also means algae. My favourite is black limpopo sand. Its not actually black but shades of grey.
I couldn’t find any Limpopo sand available in the US , do you know of other good types?
 

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