What gravel for malawi tank?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by kathie, Oct 7, 2009.

  1. kathie

    kathie

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    What gravel do you guys suggest for malawi tank? I want a natural look. I was thinking of the crushed stone at the nursery or pool filter sand. Cause if the gravel is too light I find that the mbuna's get a bit jittery.

    What option do I have? A.S.A.P
     
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  3. neilh

    neilh

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    River sand
     
  4. Carping

    Carping MTS Victim

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    Kathie, we have used pool filter sand
     
  5. OP
    kathie

    kathie

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    Where can I get it river or pool? Whats the price? Do you have a pic of tank with river or pool sand? Hows the maintance with river sand? I'm in Midrand & I work in woodmead.
    Does it come in bags?

    Sorry for asking so many ?
     
  6. Carping

    Carping MTS Victim

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    Kathie, you can get pool filter sand at any pool shop as well as your large hardware stores (Builders wharehouse). It comes in 40kg bags and costs anything from R65 per bag depending where you buy from
     
  7. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Most hardwares will carry pool filter sand. Search the forum on how to clean the sand, as it will generally need a very good rinse. (Expect about 4 hrs of rinsing--- hard intense work.. but definately worth the labour when you see the rewards)

    River sand I believe i harder to clean, but even more rewarding than Pool filter sand. (According to those members who use river sand.)
     
  8. Cool Blue

    Cool Blue

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    off to the river then ah ha!!!
     
  9. Asgar

    Asgar

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    You can go for Pool filter sand, however it requires hardwork to get it clean before adding to your tank. If you have the time, then go for it.

    You can also try pebbles or stones as substrate for a malawi setup.
     
  10. Wimpie

    Wimpie

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    Riversand will definitely give you that natural look :bigsmile: but like Zoom said, it does take alot of effort to clean
     
  11. OP
    kathie

    kathie

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    Whats the colour of pool sand?
     
  12. Wimpie

    Wimpie

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    brownish...same as riversand...except riversand is alot finer
     
  13. Reafer

    Reafer

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    If you going for a natural biotype look for lake malawi i found river sand isnt quite right for my tastes. What i noticed when i went diving there was the fact that is is a very large partical size for sand with lots of broken up bits of shell .So what i went for in my malawi tank was pool filter sand and crushed shells and a few handfulls of small pebbles thrown in. The crushed shells will help buffer the ph aswell for the malawi's. the end result I got was more natural i felt . River sand just didnt look right to me. PS my malawi's are digging machines so make sure everything is stable :)
     
  14. veegal

    veegal

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    Reafer's suggestion sounds about best IMO. You want the crushed shells in there to keep the pH levels correct.
     
  15. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    Agreed - the natural "sand in Lake Malawi is actually more of a Gravel (depends on the area), the shell will help get the pH up to the 7.5 - 7.8 range needed for Malawi's. Adding some river pebbles completes the Biotype. Remember lots of Rock with nooks and crannies for them to play around in...
     
  16. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    There's a shop in Pretoria that has awesome river-eroded gravel that they package and sell. They've got it in all their tanks and it looks great with the malawis. It's from Pet City on Zambezi drive, in the Montana Crossings centre. I've asked them before and they will be willing to sell you larger quantities than the normal 2kg and 5kg bags if you ask for it. I wish I had a photo to show you what I mean.

    Edit: I found two cellphone pics that feature the funniest fish I've ever seen, with the gravel in the background. It's colours are a bit richer in real life, but you get the idea.

    Photo0398.jpg

    Photo0400.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2009
  17. veegal

    veegal

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    That substrate looks like the little river pebbles you can pick up from your local nursery....cheap as well.
     
  18. Whipme

    Whipme Microsword

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    I've never seen anything like this in Gauteng nurseries, so maybe it's harvested off beaches and sold in the Cape?
     
  19. Bufamotis

    Bufamotis

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    nope, its nothing like what we keep on the floor at Safari either

    probably only get that at LFS's
     
  20. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

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    Yeap vegal - think it is called something like "diamond tumble pebbles" between R45 and R85 a bag depending on stock age and nursery snob value. I do find that stock from the LFS requires less washing than that from other sources. But LFS stock is at a premium price.
     
  21. Slojo

    Slojo

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    TIP!Also add lots of rocks and stack them so that it forms caves.
     

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