Substrates for goldfish tanks: Sand - The Goldfish Tank

Spent couple of hours on Saturday afternoon for replacing the substrate in my fish tank
Photo provided by Flickr
I’m rescuing some fish from someone at work that was terminated, and left their fish behind. The gravel is disgusting, so I’m thinking of just going bare bottom. However, there is a Pictus Cat, and a Pleco. I will have wood in there for the pleco, but I’m worried about the cat. Will the cat be fine for two weeks while I wait to put him in with my South American tank that does have substrate?
Unless you use a fish tank for auxiliary purposes like for quarantine or raising fry, you definitely need aquarium substrate.
Photo provided by Flickr
Can anyone recommend a good substrate? I like the texture and look of ADA Amazonia but being that my tank is fully stocked I would need a substrate that would be the least likely to mess with my water parameters, and the health of my fish. Or should i just sell my fish back to my LFS and go for the ADA Amazonia and heavy plant it for a few weeks til the ammonia dissipates? Any ideas? Black color is more important than granule size. Thanks for the help everyone. Substrates for goldfish tanks: Leaving the base bare - The Goldfish Tank
Photo provided by FlickrChoosing a Substrate for a Betta Tank | Fish Care
Photo provided by Flickr:animal0068:I have moved your thread from Freshwater Fish Forums to Freshwater Tank Equipment/ Freshwater Substrate/Gravel - Sand section of the forum.
Photo provided by Flickr
So with fish like catfish and spiny eels -- not tomention loaches, mormyrids, gobies, earth-eating cichlids, andfreshwater flatfish -- you really want to keep them in a tank with asofter substrate than gravel. Sand is an easy to use option, butaquarists do need to bear in mind that there are at least threedifferent types they are likely to encounter. Each has its uses, butbecause of their very different chemical properties they are not allequally suitable for any given aquarium. Peat is also a nice substrate for fish that liketo dig, and fish such as mormyrids and will not onlyhappily dig for food in a moderately deep layer of peat but they willalso keep it clean and constantly turned over, removing the risk ofuneaten food polluting the tank. While peat is unlikely to becomecompacted enough to produce pocket of anaerobic decay in the same wayas sand, uneaten food can still be a source of unwanted nitrates andphosphates that can promote the growth of algae. It is also possible touse peat with an undergravel filter by separating the peat from aregular gravel bed using a gravel tidy. On the other hand, river sand cannot be used withan undergravel filter; unlike coral sand the grains are so small andcompact so readily that it cannot be separated from a gravel filter bedwithout impeding the flow of water. River sand can only be used as adecorative medium for covering the bottom of the tank, and in anunplanted tank the depth should be no greater than that which the fishcan easily move around while they're digging. The danger comes fromfood or other pieces of organic matter getting buried in the sand andallowed to decay anaerobically. Anaerobic decay is bad because itproduces toxic gases that can leak into the aquarium stressing, andpotentially killing, the fish. It is usually recommended thatsubstrates that are not part of an undergravel filter should be nodeeper than around 1 to 2 cm. Planted tanks can get away with greaterdepths, because the roots themselves will oxygenate the substratepreventing the risk of anaerobic decay, and where you are keeping bigfish, such as violet gobies or flounders, that can and do shift largequantities of sand, you can increase the depth of sand used accordingto the size of the fish in question. Different fish require different water levels and temperatures. It is important to know that the substrate you add to your tank can lower or rise the pH levels of your tank. So before you make any decision, do some research about a particular substrate and read the label especially about its reaction with water.