It can often leave the beginner confused as to which is better to go with, gravel or sand when thinking about what to put in the bottom of their show tank for their discus fish.
The reason for using gravel or sand in your show tank, or any other tank for that matter, is that if you don’t, your discus could become disoriented, and well that wouldn’t be a good thing for you as a discus keeper, or the discus.
The first thing to consider is that you should only use aquarium sand or gravel mixes, as if you get the sand or gravel from other locations, it could be potentially harmful for your discus, and mess up the water chemistry in the aquarium.
You want to be particularly sure that any gravel or sand mixture you put into your aquarium is not going to be leeching calcium into the water.
Crushed gravel is recommended by many a discus keeper, as the discus love it, and it helps to bring up the pH level of the aquarium.
If you are new to aquariums and fish keeping, and have decided on a discus fish, then you will probably want to go with a form of silica sand.
Silica sand doesn’t pose the problems in an aquarium that normal sand does. Normal sand over time can become compacted, and this is a perfect place for anaerobic bacteria to breed in your discus aquarium.
Silica sand is also a good choice, as the particles are small enough that any food that the discus doesn’t eat, won’t get trapped between it and cause degradation of water quality.
A good way to test the gravel to see if it is suitable for you to use In the discus’ show tank is to pour some vinegar on it. If the vinegar causes any kind of reaction then you will not want to use it in the tank.
So, the two best choices are crushed gravel and silica sand, each have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you are unsure of what to use, ask your local pet store or the dealer where you bought the discus what is best to go in show tank for your discus.