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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55 gallon with 2 cichlids and 2 angels. recently i got rid of my gravel and replaced it with playground sand...which was washed till it ran clear. All was well, fish were unaffected i thought. We also found a home for our overgrown oscar two days later. Now the fish seem all sad...afraid of the light and hiding. Even the angels who usually are up at the top swimming gracefully back and forth, are huddled at the bottom. ideas?
 

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*reading

Says here they are freaked out from all the bright conditions. Used to have darker gravel, now we have, bright white playsand reflecting all that light everywhere, EEEEKKKK, who turned on the search lites. This is gonna take some gettin used to, more hiding places, and less light. It might help if you added a shoal of dither fish 6-8 maybe white cloud mountain minnows, to show the scared fish its ok.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
aww my hero!! thanks for the research jim!
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
one more thing...where might i find minnows? or do you have any other fish suggestions i might find at the lfs?
 

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Dither fish , as i call them are any seemingly no caring fish that swims in groups like neons, cardinals, etc. but stay small. If you can get by with just room, or indirect lighting for awhile it would also help. :), i pulled all that research out of 30 years of dealing with fish, Natives are really bad about being skittish.
 

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Keep in mind that if you buy small schooling fish, get ones that are big enough that the angels and cichlids don't think they are food. Neon tetras may be chased endlessly by full grown angels. Good luck! :)
 
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Nothing against neons, but the idea is to promote activity in the angels, or other desireable inhabitants. If they're out chasin neons, they're gaining confidence and not hiding all the time.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My tank has the option to have one or both lights on, so i just put one on. There are two large hiding spots for the my cichlids, Sammy and Betty :) As soon as the 6 neon tetras hit the water, the angels started chasing them about, but they won't fit in there mouth anyway. So if Sammy and Betty follow suit, all shall be well... Thanks Jim!
 

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haha Jim the presentation of that info was brilliant.
Let me know how the sand works out. I have found sand in freshwater systems to be a bit of a pain, but I really like the look when its clean and healthy.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yes it is a pain already, you can see everything on the bottom of the tank... but alittle skill with a vaccum and it's gone.. i like the look better than the gravel and the fish love rubbing against it. The funny thing is, we bought 6 bags of gravel at $5.00 each and now threw that all away for one 50 lbs bag of sand that cost $4.00... gesh. i liked the way he worded his reply too.
 

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I ditched the vacuum now for my sand and just use a long handled net.the sand fits thru the holes and the poo stays in.

You could always get two females and one male guppy and that will keep the angels out of hiding all the time.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
oh boy...i woke up this morning and all the neon tetras were gone. :( and everyone is still hiding out. at least they were 5 for 5 dollars lol. i am pretty sure sammy had a snack because he is pretty big and has ate feeders before. oh well.
 

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Sorry about the neons :( anyway, i still think the new substrate is the problem, only thing i know to do, is keep the lights down some til they get used to it. a buck each is too high for one meal. Truthfully i never liked white sand for a substrate, the fish ive tried it with always reacted like yours have, and they never showed the nice colors of fish on dark substrate. However after a while they did acclimate to the change. One other option you might try is buy a bag of Black sand, and put it over the top to try to tone down the brightness a little.
 

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how thick is the sand?

what fish are in there?

play sand isnt white its brownish tan, Pool filter sand is white and runs about what you paid, the HD orange store sells Play sand for less then 3 bucks per 50 pounds.

I have had white sand and the fish didnt care either way.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
how thick is the sand?

what fish are in there?

play sand isnt white its brownish tan, Pool filter sand is white and runs about what you paid, the HD orange store sells Play sand for less then 3 bucks per 50 pounds.

I have had white sand and the fish didnt care either way.
I have one butter kolfi cichlid, one festae cichlid and 2 angels.. they are all pretty large.

I had white gravel before and the sand is tan like the kinda in sand boxes... This is why i don't see why it would bother them so much.

50 lbs in a 55 gallon, it's only like an inch of sand.
 

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*blackback butterflyfish*
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think it might be something to do with the ph, is this possible.. i haven't checked yet. They were in the tank when i put the sand in and were fine, swimming all over.. fine the next day.. i didn't notice the change till the oscar and catfish were taken out of the tank honestly.
 

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Sorry i dont know why i pictured white sand, maybe because lots of people use pool sand which is white, but now its a different ballgame. one thing is the two cichlids you have, ive kept both and found them to be pretty aggressive, and also no wonder the neons are gone. i also didnt know you had those guys in there. I would at this point with this info recommend you check your water chemistry, the sand should not have affected that but it might have. Also when you went from gravel to sand you lost a lot of aged bio, and with those larger cichlids in there, you may find you have a high ammonia level as well.I would also do a large water change, do you have city water, dont forget to dechlorinate.
 
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