Hello. I have a 35 or so gallon tank with Khulis and a vampire shrimp, as well as some Australian rainbowfish and a Gourami. The problem is that despite my efforts, I can't get the shrimp or kuhlis to go out of cover. I know the kuhlis are nocturnal but there are several videos of them out in the open while the lights on.
I know that this is partly lighting, and partly the amount of cover they have. My tank isn't particularly well-lit by overhead lights, but light comes in from the (glassed) window during some parts of the day (it's enough to grow algae on the sides of the tank, but the fish don't seem to be bothered by it. However, I have a decent amount of plant cover - there's a large madagascar lace plant
, as well as the gibs of a fairly well-recovered-from-being-torn-apart moss balls
. On their more uppity days, I can find the kuhlis lounging under these somewhat-floating bits of plant; usually, they hide under the rocks I've placed around the tank.
There is one thing I have been considering lately to help deal with the lighting issue, however - purchasing darker gravel. My current gravel is white
(occasionally encrusted with algae), and while this probably reflects a decent amount of light for the plants, it also bleaches out my fish (Or So I Heard) and probably makes my bottom feeders feel much more exposed than they really are.Questions:
-Will getting darker gravel help my bottom feeders feel safer coming out more often? And will it deprive my plants of too much light?
-Should I rinse out this gravel before I put it in the tank? I assume this is a matter of packaging/what kind of gravel I get. In that case, what are your recommendations and for what kind of packaging would I need to perform the most thorough rinsing?