View Full Version : Acrylic coated gravel question?

01-16-2013, 07:40 PM
I was looking for some feedback on acrylic coated gravel VS non coated gravel. I'm going to need about 200lbs for the 135 after I put in the fluorite. The plan is 75lbs of fluorite and then place the gravel on top. The acrylic coated gravel would be $17.00 per 25lbs for a total of $136.00 including the shipping. I can get a scoop of river gravel 1/4"-1/2" for $62.00 + time and fuel and it weighs around 1600lbs. (If I decide to set the 200G up I can use some of the remaining gravel).

I know both types acrylic or non needs a good cleaning, but is there any advantage to buying acrylic coated gravel?

Thanks in advance.

01-16-2013, 08:38 PM
I personally prefer the acrylic coated gravel. It seems easier to keep clean to me, and I believe it doesn't compact as much over time. It is also easier for plants roots systems to grow in. And if it is worth anything I personally can't stand the coloration of river rocks. You could also look into alternative substrates to use as a cap. I personally use Black Diamond Blasting Media. I saw this in caricell's tanks and it looks great and the price is right. It is only 8.50 with tax at the Tractor Supply, and you get it in 50 lbs. bags. It does take a bit of rinsing though. That is the only downfall that I can think of atm.

01-16-2013, 10:30 PM
This is gravel I purchased at HD years ago. I guess it is some sort of river gravel can't remember what the bag said, but after 10 years it still looks pretty good. I had to slow the shutter speed way down to get the look of the gravel like it appears in person. This is not coated with acrylic and I don't use a gravel cleaner / Python to clean it. I have a little giant pump which I put a hose on and pressure wash the gravel (so to speak) and between the overflow filter pads, the Eheim 1060 and the Magnum 350 all filtering it does a pretty good job. I only do this once a year or so and never had any problems with the plants or fish after the cleaning. Of course the tank is kept to a bare minimum with fish so there is not that much waste and with the three filters going 24/7 there is just not that much that hits the bottom anyway. Under this gravel is nothing but glass and I never used any fluorite substrate, no C02, but do use fluorite liquid once every two weeks or so. I figured with the new 135 I would try some fluorite just to see if it works out any better then just plain old gravel.

I did look at some pictures of the black diamond media and read many people use this in planted tanks with a lot of success. For 50lbs at $8.50 that is pretty hard to beat and well understood about the washing. These plants have been in here since I rejuvenated this project about a month or so back and the Java Fern has grown about 25% since then. The other plants are new to the tank and some are just here awaiting their new home in the other tank I'm setting up.




01-16-2013, 10:41 PM
That tank is pretty awesome if I may say so myself. But as far as fluorite goes its a good substrate but it is very expensive. I have only ever used it in my gf's tank. I use dirt for my other tanks, and as far as I can tell they do about the same. In price comparison I can spend the the 20 bucks a bag on fluorite or just go to walmart and find soil that doesn't have ferts or manure in it for around 5 bucks. But if you already have it then I would use it no point in letting it go to waste. I am just on a super tight budget most of the time so I try to find a cheaper and just as effective way in doing things.