Sand or slate?

joxters

New member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
5
Points
3
Location
Indiana
Country
United States
Hello!

I ordered a 55-gallon tank for my axolotl. I hope to fill the bottom with slate, however my dad keeps arguing with me that it’s dangerous for the axolotl because of stuff getting under it. I tried to tell him that I’ll clean it, but he’s insistent on sand.

So, sand or slate? My axolotl is used to sand, but will she be okay with slate? Is slate better, or worse?
 

Dragonfire

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
136
Reaction score
4
Points
18
Country
United States
Display Name
Connor
I'd prefer slate, since I like bare bottom setups. Just seal them to the bottom of the aquarium so no waste can get trapped under them, then you can just siphon up any waste you see.
 

joxters

New member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
20
Reaction score
5
Points
3
Location
Indiana
Country
United States
I'd prefer slate, since I like bare bottom setups. Just seal them to the bottom of the aquarium so no waste can get trapped under them, then you can just siphon up any waste you see.
Okay, thank you!

Is there any kind of slate you recommend? I’m nervous about picking out one that can leech chemicals into the tank
 

AMurry24537

Active member
Joined
Nov 24, 2019
Messages
356
Reaction score
123
Points
43
Location
Minnesota
Country
United States
Speaking from my own experiences, I would recommend against sealing anything to the bottom unless you are an expert. Let me explain:

When I was setting up my first tank, I decided to use ceramic tiles, sealed with a silicone sealant (same stuff as what's used to seal the glass panels of the tank together) after a lot of research which indicated that these were the safest and most secure option (in this direction). I rinsed, soaked, and baked the tiles to remove any extra chemicals and to then get rid of the moisture. I watched all sorts of videos on how to apply th sealant properly and when I was done, I was really happy with it, perfectionist though I am.


About 9 months after setting everything up, I was moving and completely cleared out the tank, and was looking at the bottom. There was no water underneath the tiles, which was exactly as expected, but there was something much worse. I had used light-colored tiles, so I could clearly see tiny black dots of mildew. It wasn't much, but though everything was very well sealed, moisture had still infiltrated, and if it can get in, it can get out. You don't want those spores in your tank, no matter what.

Basically, I'm with your dad on this. I firmly believe I did everything I could have to avoid this situation and it happened anyway and I had to start all over. It was not fun.

You could try just not sealing it down, but you'll want to make sure that the pieces are too big/heavy to move in any current that might be generated (especially while cleaning/trying to catch your axolotl) because you don't want them to pinch together on his toes or anything. You'll also have to make sure that ammonia-filled air/water doesn't get trapped underneath and then cause problems if accidentally released/disturbed. Frankly, I would just go with sand, but it's up to you to weigh the pros and cons.
 

JM29

Active member
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
401
Reaction score
53
Points
28
Location
Brittany
Country
France
Hello,
I once had a tank filled with natural slate, with some very coarse gravels to break some strait lines (see picture).
It had a good look and I kept it like that for months.
Unfortunately, dirt and poop accumulated under the slates and were impossible to reach and clean (my slates were not sealed).

I finally decided to change for sand but the main reason was I wanted to keep my axies in a heavily planted tank.

Also be aware that whatever the color of the slate, it will be covered by micro-algae which will give it a brownish colour.
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • blubford:
    so that dumb salamander state to state import bill didnt pass i take it right
    +1
    Unlike
  • blubford:
    havent heard news about it in a good while
    +1
    Unlike
  • wnorman293:
    Hi, how do you delete a post?
    +1
    Unlike
  • blubford:
    you dont
    +1
    Unlike
  • blubford:
    just kidding but i think there should be an option for it on your profile mabye
    +1
    Unlike
  • ipsoslolly:
    Hi guys my axolotl has not used his back legs since late Tuesday night,is this normal . He back half keeps floating up the way
    +1
    Unlike
  • blubford:
    that doesnt sound good
    +1
    Unlike
  • bearbear_13:
    Is it normal for my axie to eat every day? He’s overly hungry 😛
    +1
    Unlike
  • Dr. Phil:
    I'm new here but do I detect a bit of sarcasm in these comments? Ya'll sound like a fine bunch to me!
    +1
    Unlike
  • axolotl nerd:
    oh yes we’re all very sarcastic
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jokerjay:
    My son and I have been looking for a water dog/tiger salamander for quite some time now with no luck has anybody know how or where to find any
    +1
    Unlike
  • Jokerjay:
    @axolotl nerd, where can I find waterdogs or tiger salamanders my son has wanted one for a long time and I've been searching high and low with no luck
    +1
    Unlike
  • xxianxx:
    @Jokerjay, its a good idea to tell people where you are from. This is an international group. I have eastern tigers, im in the uk.
    +1
    Unlike
  • axolotl nerd:
    @Jokerjay, as in water dogs do you mean axolotls? i suggest very heavy research and a fully cycled tank before even considering purchasing one
    +1
    Unlike
  • bearbear_13:
    Axolotls are amazing until they get sick and then they’re a pain in the backside to treat - I recently lost two axolotls due to unknown causes
    +1
    Unlike
  • KonaGoldAquatics:
    Anyone from the us? Looking for at least one or two axolotls for me and my son to have our own at-home project together.
    +1
    Unlike
  • axolotl nerd:
    i highly recommend “buyanaxolotl.com”- ive purchased from them and received a beautiful animal for relatively cheap, in great condition, and excellent shipping precautions. the breeders are a couple living in georgia (i believe, don’t quite remember) and they’re fantastic. sometimes their website contact page doesn’t work, so i’d probably try just emailing them. good luck and happy hunting!
    +1
    Unlike
  • blubford:
    do those aquarium fans work well for axolotls
    +1
    Unlike
  • Sheryl Fraser:
    My little guy got stuck in the filter yesterday. His back leg is red. Will this heal
    +1
    Unlike
  • Chat Bot:
    Z-One has left the room.
    +1
    Unlike
  • KonaGoldAquatics:
    Any recommendations on a water chiller for a 10gallon but will work for a 20gal when I decide to upgrade?
    +1
    Unlike
  • Tinc Tank:
    Anybody working with and breeding Salamandra salamandra salamandra?
    +2
    Unlike
  • blubford:
    heh
    +1
    Unlike
  • Alexmcc:
    Hi all I'm new here I'm just looking some advise on cycle witch is currently driving me insane . So we are week 8 I'm dosing daily with 4pp of amonia and for the last week has been dropping to zero witch I no is good. But my question is my nitrites are sitting at between 0.50 and 1.0 PM and nitrates are between 10 and 20 and neither of these seem to be dropping. I have done 2 40% water changes a few days ago and no change the only thing I can think of is I didnt use the seachem stability stuff which I have now ordered but surely that shouldn't have much difference this far into cycling
    +1
    Unlike
  • ytz13513:
    Dropping ammonia with rising nitrate and nitrite is good. It means the nitrifying bacteria is working. You just have to remove the nitrate from the water doing water changes. The level of nitrates is high and the nitrate is also high. The nitrite will be converted to nitrate using the beneficial bacteria and you can add them using quick start or allowing them to naturally grow in the tank. The latter option will take longer. The nitrate can be used by plants, so live plants can decrease the levels, but I would do a water change to get the nitrate at a level that is lower than 5 ppm. 5ppm of nitrate is natural and a good place.
    +1
    Unlike
    ytz13513: Dropping ammonia with rising nitrate and nitrite is good. It means the nitrifying bacteria is... +1
    Top