Adding Substrate To An Already Established/stocked/bare Bottom Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by vajaaason, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. vajaaasonNew MemberMember

    I want to add soil as my substrate to my tank that already has fish and plants.

    Is this safe?

    Are there any videos you could link me to help this process be easier?
  2. JenCWell Known MemberMember

    If you're adding soil you'll want to remove the fish and drain the tank during the process and it'll get messy and need to settle.

    Is there a particular reason you want to add soil? It's a more complicated substrate than others, needs a cap, and its nutrients don't last forever so you'd be looking at replacing or supplementing it down the road. You could add something inert like sand or gravel without disrupting the tank.
  3. vajaaasonNew MemberMember

    I was planning to use soil because my dad has a lot that he hasn't used. It's supposed to be a really good quality substrate made by the Japanese..
    Anyway, I don't think I would need a cap because the soil stays on the bottom of the tank and does not float up.
    I feel that if I were to get a long pvc pipe to carefully/slowly lay down the soil substrate (after rinsing a couple times til I get clear water), it would be fine for the fish.
  4. AquaPhilNJNew MemberMember

    Main issue when adding any substrate is the cloud of debris is produced. Then the question is how can a person add substrate without producing this harmful debris. I would try a large plastic cylinder where cylinder's bottom is touching aquarium floor , with tunnel on top of cylinder. Next can pour substrate into this cylinder and allow to enter aquarium slowly without debris. For materials perhaps an extra wide PVC tubing, then largest tunnel you can find.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  5. Annie59Well Known MemberMember

    You will have one big muddy tank if you try that. Also every time you plant any thing or move anything you will also have a muddy tank.
    And what do you mean as in good quality soil? A bunch of ferts or other additives? I just use plain dirt.
  6. vajaaasonNew MemberMember

    I'm considering getting some kind of gravel to cap the soil to prevent the muddy tank then.
    I wish I knew the brand and the nutrient value of the soil but my dad threw away the bags that came with it. He just knows that it's one of the more popular/expensive substrates that the LFS had.