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Hi, I'm new to the hobby. I have a 55-gal tank that I'm in the process of fishless cycling. I don't know if it's best to ask a question here or elsewhere. Anyhow, my better half and I are having a discussion about the type of aquarium to set up. She's talking about the peacefulness of angels and I was thinking more on the line of more active fish like tigers. (Actually the aquarium is in the room that I tend to be in a lot more than she is, but she seems to win a lot of our discussions. :D

I do know I'd like to get some dwarf neon rainbowfish and probably some corries. My questions are mostly about substrate. I'm thinking about having live plants, so with live plants and corries what would be the best substrate to use? I went with the suggestion of the LFS and have smooth, smaller gravel in it right now. I'd be more than happy to change, particularly as I'm just beginning. I also read an article that was talking about loachs and they suggested using sand in the front and gravel in the back so encourage the loaches to be more visible. Is this possible? Would plants stay anchored better in gravel than in sand?

Sorry about all of the questions, and thanks for having this site and the warm welcome I already got from the email when I registered.

PKSD
 

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Well first welcome to the forum, you might want to start a new thread about your question, just to get more answers, as many members may not welcome new members.

Anyway, to answer your question. you can use sand in the front and gravel in to back for plants. Plants don't grow as will in sand as in gravel around 3mm size. When palnted in sand the roots can't anchor as will, but IMO it also they don't get enought water flow around them. To use sand in a planted you need to make planting areas, by using rocks to form a sort of retaining walls so that they don't mix so much and also for easy gravel vacing. Sand is very difficult to vac and you will need to alter a gravel vac tube for it by attaching a dole that will keep the tube about 3 inchs from top of the sand and to kind of stir the sand to get the stuff to get sucked up the tube but leave the sand.

As far as seeing my fish I personally have found have the correct number of a group in a tank will make them come out and act naturally, more often than just sand. Also having good planted areas and places for the fish to hide will make them act more naturally .
 

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Welcome to the forum. It is nice having you here with us all. Lots of cool people on the forum. Have fun posting.
 
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