View Full Version : Substrate Color

01-19-2005, 11:59 AM
Anyone ever experiment with substrate color in comparison with the color of their fish? I was thinking of this because I have a 5" GT that I was trying to decide what sex it was. Searching back through old posts, people mentioned that females are darker than males and my gt is very light colored. But I was assuming that was because I have very light colored gravel in my tank. In the wild, fish tend to take on the lightness/darkness of the bottom substrate and I would assume this would also happen in a tank. Another reason that I ask is that I was planning on getting another tank and using dark brown or black gravel/sand for substrate in hopes that my fish would look darker/more colorful. The local lfs uses only black gravel and I was assuming this is to make the fish look good. So if there are any of you with more than one tank (Im sure there are just a few, lol) do you notice your fish look better with a darker or lighter substrate on bottom?

fish speaker
01-19-2005, 12:46 PM
I use black "Tahitian Moon" sand as substrate in one of my tanks (and I mix it with pool filter sand for a grey speckled effect in a couple others). I have noticed that my chocolate cichlid tends to stay very dark brown when low in the tank, but is often lighter when up at the surface. I'm not positive (...a hydrogen atom walks into a bar and yells "Oh no, I've lost my electron!"...the barman says "How do you know? Are you sure?" , to which he replies "I'm positive!" :nana4: )...anyway, it has been suggested that the reason for her dark color most of the time has to do with the dark sand. I'm not sure it makes much difference for most of my fish (especially the albinos), but for this one, she would probably look better with lighter sand.

01-19-2005, 02:39 PM
I'm trialing some Dupont Starblast- its a dark brown - black color. I got 50 lbs for $5. My initial impression is the particles are too small- it compacts some compared to Tahitian moon. It also seems to raise the pH- but that would not be a problem for CA or African cichlids.

My experience is black or dark substrates enhance coloration and lighter substrates make some fish look washed out. Also, some types are calmer over dark substrate. Just my 2 cents.

01-19-2005, 06:11 PM
my experience with dark substrate is that the fish seem calmer, but colors darken.

my tanks all have a medium brown color atm

fish speaker
01-19-2005, 07:09 PM
Originally posted by punkypuffer
my tanks all have a medium brown color atm

Is that were they get their spending money for the weekend? :D
(I actually know what you're saying, but couldn't resist):edance: