Changing Substrate From Gravel

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Feeshfeeshfeesh, May 30, 2019.

  1. Feeshfeeshfeesh

    FeeshfeeshfeeshNew MemberMember

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    I currently have gravel in the bottom of my tank, and I've noticed it's been scratching up my betta (as in I saw this happen, I originally thought a piece of driftwood was the issue) so I'm thinking of changing substrates. I already have a ton of java fern, brazilian pennywort and java moss in my tank, and I want to be able to expand into other plants so I'm thinking one of the substrates specifically designed for root feeders such as crypts etc. As a beginner, first and foremost I'd like to avoid any that have to replaced every couple of years or cause ammonia spikes, especially because my betta will still be in the tank.

    I have a tall tank with a 20x30 footprint, and even if I go the recommended 5cm depth (please correct me if it should be more or less) it should be more than one 7-9kg and I'm willing to splurge. Does anyone have any recommendations or dos and don'ts? If it gets too complicated I might just go for some cheap aquarium sand for now.

    Thanks in advance, I really appreciate how you more knowledgeable people are willing to give up your time to help beginners like me who get super confused by all the information available!
     
  2. richie.p

    richie.pFishlore VIPMember

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    All active soil needs to be replaced after a few years and you dont want to do that so why not go for children's play sand and use fertiliser tabs for the plants hopefully you'll get some more ideas come in from beta keepers
     
  3. OP
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    Feeshfeeshfeesh

    FeeshfeeshfeeshNew MemberMember

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    Thanks for the advice! My lfs has the amount of sand I'd need for like $12, so that's looking like a good option
     
  4. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

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    I disagree that aquasoils need replacing every few yrs. I had the same soil in my 15g for 6yrs before i tore it down and my 110g has had the same soil since i set it up i think 4 yrs ago.
     
  5. OP
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    Feeshfeeshfeesh

    FeeshfeeshfeeshNew MemberMember

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    What
    What kind of aquasoil are you using? Sounds like you might be onto something perfect for my situation!
     
  6. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

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    I used ada amazonia in my 15g and abusea in my 110g. Im not sure if you have abusea or if its a chinese only brand.
     
  7. -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

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    ADA needs to be replaced every couple years if you want it to continuously provide trapped ammonia, otherwise it can stay for quite a few more years. If money is not an issue ADA Amazonia is going to be the best, no question. However it releases ammonia for the first few weeks. You could perhaps find temporary housing for your fish as you wait for the plants to take off and ammonia to stop leaching?

    If ammonia is too big an issue, Tropica Soil and then Controsoil would be my next recommendations. Also where are you located? Europe has some great soil/aquascaping brands that are very difficult to find elsewhere.
     
  8. OP
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    Feeshfeeshfeesh

    FeeshfeeshfeeshNew MemberMember

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    Sadly I'm in Australia. We def get ADA here though, I've seen it at multiple lfs. Would it be possible to stick the ADA in a bucket with a heater and filter until the ammonia spike has passed?
     
  9. Gavius

    GaviusNew MemberMember

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    Get black sand if you can. Fish poops and white sand don't look nice together :/
     
  10. OP
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    Feeshfeeshfeesh

    FeeshfeeshfeeshNew MemberMember

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    Thanks for the warning, I was actually going to get white if I went with sand but I won't now!
     
  11. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

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    I agree the Ammonia disappears very quickly in about a year i think but other nutrients last much longer and it doesn't need to be replaced. Nitrates are cheaper easier to add in some form then to replace the substrate.

    I wouldn't be supprised if it was removed with water changes as it breaks down before it needs to be replaced.
     
  12. Wraithen

    WraithenFishlore VIPMember

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    I thought amazonia was gone. Ada had people finally catch on to what it was and production stopped.

    You dont really have to replace these things, you just end up using them like regular sand after a while with root tabs. I'm curious if my fluval stratum will just ebb and flow with ferts like dirt should.
     
  13. richie.p

    richie.pFishlore VIPMember

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    This is from ADA website question 3 on the bottom say different,
    http://www.adana.co.jp/en/aj_backnumber/archives/371
     
  14. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

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    I very rarely listen to how long companies claim there products last or how often they need to be changed. Look at filter media for example your supposed to change it every week and add new bacteria every water change when all it is is a way to get people to spend more money that they dont need too.

    Id much rather listen to people that have no connection to the conpany but have experience. It seems to me that most companys in the hobby are money grubbing cheats and arent interested in the truth. Theyre too interested in selling snake oil to care.



    https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/how-long-do-you-keep-usng-your-ada-aquasoil.11552/

    https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/ada-amazonia-how-long-will-it-last.16045/
     
  15. richie.p

    richie.pFishlore VIPMember

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    I suppose if you keep fish it's not to bad but when you rely on a substrait to keep your ph in check its a different story as ive found out, the properties In all these start to drop off it just depends when and what you rely on, I use Flora base pro and it's the best I've found it says it needs changing every two years but three years later my ph is still stable at 6.6 which I need for crystal shrimp, I now have a monitor in the tank waiting for something to happen and ready to change, if it's just for plants why not just use plane old sand and root tabs itll be much cheaper,
     
  16. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

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    Im have no idea how long they can buffer the water i havent needed to measure my ph for ages but i think it was around 6.5 last time i checked and was i think 6.2 when first added.
     
  17. -Mak-

    -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

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    Exactly, I was at a Tom Barr talk a couple months ago and he also said you could use it for almost a decade if you didn’t care about ammonia.
     
  18. smee82

    smee82Fishlore VIPMember

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    I wish i could get the chance to be at one of his talks but i cant see him coming to china anytime soon. And on a side note his website is blocked in china for some reason.
     
  19. OP
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    Feeshfeeshfeesh

    FeeshfeeshfeeshNew MemberMember

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    hmmmm well I just found out my lfs has a massive sale coming up very soon, so I might head down then and look at the ada! Thanks for the advice and interesting discussion everyone :)
     
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