Adding Substrate/soil To Established Tank

Discussion in 'Plant Fertilizers' started by havemore1001, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. havemore1001New MemberMember

    I have a 45G Fluval Bow front aquarium. My aquarium is fully cycled and I am getting very interested in plants. The issue is:
    I have blue gravel and few established plants. I have around 18 small tropical fish. I use Flourish excel and will set up a CO2 DIY by next month (shipment still a month to receive). Do the experts recommend substrate like enriched soil (Seachem fluorite etc). If yes, How do I add to already established aquarium?
    I do not have a large bucket and wish not to discard my entire water from tank. I read online about freezing substrate in freezer and then adding cubes, so that it does not make water muddier.
    Any opinions will be highly appreciated regarding the choice of soil and ways to introduce in established tank.
  2. AmazonPassionModeratorModerator Member

    If you have "root" feeders (plants that get their nutrients through the roots) you can easily just add root tabs which are pill size fertilizers that you submerge under the substrate near your plants. Stem plants get their nutrients through the water column which you would use liquid ferts/dry ferts.

    It is not necessary to change your substrate, if you do change the substrate to enrich soil, you will eventually have to add root tabs once the nutrients are depleted.

    Some folks have mixed organic potting soil with water and freezing into ice cubes and submerging into the substrate. The only con I see using this method, if you are the type who likes to rearrange your plants then it will eventually come up. Also, you must have enough substrate so that they can be properly buried.
  3. KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember


    Although I am no expert, I am partial to seachem fluorite, I use it in my Betta tank (and soon my angel tank) and my plants grow really well. It's gravel-like and not like soil (which is temperamental and you can't really touch it without making it get everywhere). For the fluorite, you can just give it a good rinse in clean/dechloro water a few time so it doesn't muddy the tank. Or you can use root tabs if they are stem plants that use Roos for nutrients.
    Unfortunately, if you want to make a full substrate change, you will have to break the tank down. If your really desperate, you can get one of those basic kiddie pools (they have a 20g for $10 at target) to hold a majority of the water and a 5g for the fish and such. Use a #2 plastic, or #4 or #5 (second best)- those are safe for Aquariums.
    As for using non-aquarium soil, I don't really like them. They can come with chemicals or such that may or may not be good for the fish; better by safe than sorry.

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
  4. havemore1001New MemberMember

    Thank you.
    I have
    a. Rotala Rotundifolia (tissue culture)
    b. Anubia Gracilis (attached to driftwood)
    c. Crytpocoryne beckettii petchii
    d. Ludwigia Grandulosa
    e. Bacon australis (not growing too well: plates keep picking it)

  5. Gourami-28Valued MemberMember

    Hi, i have done it to my fully cycled tank a week ago and added 3 different soil to my tank without taking out the fish and it killed the benefitial bacteria because of ph collapsing i guess but the fish are ok now and the tank is cycling again here is some pics [​IMG][​IMG]
  6. Gourami-28Valued MemberMember

    It might shock the bacteria

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