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Re: Onyx Sand
I posted on this a few months back. I put Onyx Sand in a 65 gallon as a stand
alone substrate. Rinsed it really well. I found that the dust was thrown up
by my cory cats and Botia striata when they rooted around, and had the
effect of getting all over my plant leaves, making them a dirty gray color.
The bed was also so compact that all detritus collected on the surface. None
seemed to go into the gravel, as it does with Fluorite. Made me wonder if the
substrate would stay mostly anaerobic seeing how tight it was at the top?
Everyone else seems to really like the stuff as a stand alone substrate.
Maybe what I bought had more fine particulates in it? I use Fluorite in all
my other tanks, and replaced the Onyx with regular Fluorite.
The buffering of the Onyx was a bit much for my taste. I like to keep my
GH/KH at 4, and this was impossible to do using Onyx.
What I just did recently was to use a combination of 4 parts Fluorite to 1
part Onyx sand in a new 30 gallon tank I just set up. My tap water has a
GH/KH < 1 out of the tap, so I thought I''d see if this bit of Onyx would
lessen the amount of SeaChem Equilibrium I use to manage GH and the amount of
SeaChem Alkaline Buffer I use to manage KH. It works very well. I haven't had
to add any Alkaline Buffer or Equilibrium to the tank so far, and the GH is 6
and the KH is 4, acceptable enough for me.
I haven't had any of the dust or detritus problems using a combo of Fluorite
Maybe SeaChem could find a market for a new product: Flourite + Onyx. It
would be nice to have a substrate that was as good as Fluorite but
eliminated/lessened the need to manage GH and KH. This would be particularly
helpful to people using R/O water or those like myself with soft water right
out of the tap.
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