Grass substrate in 40 gallon?

Zoomo
  • #1
I would like maybe a grass substrate in my 40 gallon breeder, rather than gravel or sand, is that possible? How do I grow grass, or is there a fake like silk grass I can buy for the whole bottom of the tank? If I grow grass, how do I clean it? Won't I ruin it with the vacuum? I am trying to figure out cheapest/most efficient way to decorate this thing. There is no substrate currently because I had my snails and cory's in a 5 gallon up till now and to keep the tank clean I took out the gravel. I have like 5 fake plants sitting in there, it looks so bare. I wish somebody sold like a combo pack of I don't know a bunch of decorations, logs, silk plants, etc., rather than having to buy 1 by 1 item.
 
Bryangar
  • #2
I don’t think you can have a grass substrate? You can have a carpet of grass-like plants. Maybe dwarf sag or dwarf hair grass. You would need a nutrient-rich substrate and high light. You’ll also need Co2 injection. You normally don’t need to gravel vacuum planted tanks as all the waste that’s collected goes towards the plants.

I know there’s an artificial grass mat for aquariums. I haven’t used it so I can’t tell you how good the quality is. Heres a link. UEETEK Fish Tank Square Artificial Grass Lawn Aquarium Fake Grass Mat for Decoration

You removed the gravel to make the tank look clean? So your tank bare bottom right now?
 
Crafty Cichlid
  • #3
Petco usually has combo packs.

I would use sand for corys, and it's good for growing plants in. If you're trying to go cheap, check out these videos.

 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
I don’t think you can have a grass substrate? You can have a carpet of grass-like plants. Maybe dwarf sag or dwarf hair grass. You would need a nutrient-rich substrate and high light. You’ll also need Co2 injection. You normally don’t need to gravel vacuum planted tanks as all the waste that’s collected goes towards the plants.

I know there’s an artificial grass mat for aquariums. I haven’t used it so I can’t tell you how good the quality is. Heres a link. UEETEK Fish Tank Square Artificial Grass Lawn Aquarium Fake Grass Mat for Decoration

You removed the gravel to make the tank look clean? So your tank bare bottom right now?

Yes, long story short, had way too many mystery snails and a few corys in a 5 gallon because bought them for my betta tanks but mystery snails have huge bioload, so took them out of betta tanks, then I found out I have been way overfeeding them, so the gravel was always disgusting, so took it out. So in the 5 gallon they had a bare bottom. Now, I have a 40-gallon breeder tank for them and I just got it yesterday, and it looks so bare, so trying to figure out what to do with it. I have like very few decorations or even plants in it, imagine putting what you have in a 5 gallon into a 40 gallon and how bare it would look. Just ordered a hood with light (it is uncovered right now) for it, and the python system, and trying to at least semidecorate it.

That grass, wonder how it is anchored in and what the maintenance would be like without gravel to dig it into?

Petco usually has combo packs.

I would use sand for corys, and it's good for growing plants in. If you're trying to go cheap, check out these videos.


I just spent 150 on a hood light and a python so I can do water changes and the tank was 50.00 so just trying to get something in there and I can work on adding more later. Sand, I don't know, it is so hard to wash and you have to wash it so many times and I have nowhere to wash it, and I had a bad experience with sand, but it was probably my fault. I am trying to get something quickly and as cheaply as possible and I have ZERO experience or confidence in myself to grow plants.
 
Bryangar
  • #5
Yes, long story short, had way too many mystery snails and a few corys in a 5 gallon because bought them for my betta tanks but mystery snails have huge bioload, so took them out of betta tanks, then I found out I have been way overfeeding them, so the gravel was always disgusting, so took it out. So in the 5 gallon they had a bare bottom. Now, I have a 40-gallon breeder tank for them and I just got it yesterday, and it looks so bare, so trying to figure out what to do with it. I have like very few decorations or even plants in it, imagine putting what you have in a 5 gallon into a 40 gallon and how bare it would look. Just ordered a hood with light (it is uncovered right now) for it, and the python system, and trying to at least semidecorate it.

That grass, wonder how it is anchored in and what the maintenance would be like without gravel to dig it into?
Have you tried the sand from petco? I got a bag from there and it barely had any dust. All I did was rinse it in my sink with a bucket. You can also always get free decorations. Go for a hike or to the lake and pick up some rocks to use. It makes it look natural and save a whole lot of money. IMO, better than having a small castle with some fake purple plants next to it.

You can probably glue it to the floor if you are looking for a permanent look.
 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Have you tried the sand from petco? I got a bag from there and it barely had any dust. All I did was rinse it in my sink with a bucket. You can also always get free decorations. Go for a hike or to the lake and pick up some rocks to use. It makes it look natural and save a whole lot of money. IMO, better than having a small castle with some fake purple plants next to it.

You can probably glue it to the floor if you are looking for a permanent look.

No. I am just a mess. The tank is up and filled and running and I do not know how to add sand w/o draining it, and right now it is a cloudy horrible mess because I way overfed them last night and I have to wait for my python to do a big water change, unless it clears up. I have spent 4 days moving/painting/putting flooring in my office from one room to another to have room for this tank and I am tired and the tank looks horrible and I guess I am just feeling that nothing works for me. I just do not know what to do. I have 2 filters running on it (75 G Seachem Tidal and 55 G Seachem Tidal) to try to clear up the mess, have Purigen in them, and it looks like it is getting worse rather than better. I had transferred over media from old tank. It has no cover, no light, my heaters are not heating it enough, so had to order a new heater too, ugh, just nothing is going right. Sorry for venting.
 
Bryangar
  • #7
No. I am just a mess. The tank is up and filled and running and I do not know how to add sand w/o draining it, and right now it is a cloudy horrible mess because I way overfed them last night and I have to wait for my python to do a big water change, unless it clears up. I have spent 4 days moving/painting/putting flooring in my office from one room to another to have room for this tank and I am tired and the tank looks horrible and I guess I am just feeling that nothing works for me. I just do not know what to do. I have 2 filters running on it (75 G Seachem Tidal and 55 G Seachem Tidal) to try to clear up the mess, have Purigen in them, and it looks like it is getting worse rather than better. I had transferred over media from old tank. It has no cover, no light, my heaters are not heating it enough, so had to order a new heater too, ugh, just nothing is going right. Sorry for venting.
Sand can be added with water in it. Like I said, it’s not that dusty so a quick rinse and you can add it with the water still in it. Just be careful to not bury the fish.
Those filters are really good, give them at least 24 hours to make the water clear. What do you feed them?
It sounds like you’re too worrying too much. The tank will eventually look better you just have to have patience. You can slowly add things into the tank. The fish can live without decorations or substrate. As long as the filters working and it’s cycled. Do you have mechanical filtration in your filters? or is it just purigen?
 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
I get so frustrated sometimes on this forum. They make you post all over the place. If you have a question on your filter, you have to post here; on your water, post here; on your fish, post here; stocking, post here; etc., so nobody ever gets the full story. I currently have probably 6 posts all over this forum and I do not feel anybody gets the full story. I used to post in the beginner forum but mods moved my posts to various sections, and they even combine posts, even if answering somebody from hours ago, so people missed the added on info I would add on later. Sometimes posts are not just about one thing, but a running story and have questions about a bunch of different things.

This snail tank and 6 Cory tank has been running for at least 6 months. I bought the snails (and Cory’s) to go with my bettas, thinking they were like nerites, but they are not. They are huge and have a huge bioload. So, I moved rooms so I could have more room to give these snails more room, hence the 40 gallon breeder. I have 10 mystery snails in there and 6 Cory’s. So, when I put them into the Breeder tank, I took media from the old too small tank to seed the new filter after rinsing it well in old tank water. I have the 75 g Tidal and 55 g Tidal on the new 40 gallon breeder right now. I moved the old media from the too small tank to this new filter so as to seed it. But, the old tank was cycled and up and running for 6 months. I did a 100% water change on the old too small tank every week and just rinsed out the media into old tank water. But, I was way overfeeding, as I found out yesterday. I was feeding 20ish either Brine shrimp logs or veggie logs per day for 6 Cory fish, and about 5 or 6 wafers for the snails per day, so an hour after feeding the water would become a mess in this too small tank. I found that the mystery snails loved the logs so I was adding more for them, thinking that the wafers were not enough. When I moved them over to the new tank, I fed even more, thinking the tank and filter could handle it. In the filter is the sponge that the filter came with, the bioballs the filter came with, and I added a bag of Chemipure and a packet of Purigen, so yes there is more media than just Purigen. Since feeding them Saturday night, way too much food, the tank water has turned a cloudy disgusting mess, so am trying to filter out the water, and am not feeding them for a few days. It was crystal clear until I fed them way too much food. I have no fish in this tank per se, just the 10 mystery snails and 6 Cory’s. I realize it will get a minbump changing filters and just seeding and what not, but there is no ammonia. I have a test kit, I have both strips and the API master test. I admit I hate using the API master test, so tend to use the strips more often to just check up on the various levels. I have 2 kinds. One tests ammonia, one tests, nitrites, nitrates, etc.

So, I just ordered the Python, so I can do a big water change. It will be here on the 5th I think Amazon said, I ordered a new heater because my 50 watt heater I had extra is not keeping up and this tank is only at 75 degrees, I ordered a hood with a light for it, and some more Purigen as I am out. When I do my water change, I will only rinse out the media from the filters into old tank water. I have not fed this tank since Saturday night so that all the mess I created from the too much food can clear out hopefully.

I hope this makes sense and yes I am getting very upset because my brand new 40-gallon breeder I bought to give my snails more room looks like a disgusting mess right now and I cannot do anything about it until the stuff I bought comes. I just filled it Saturday (or my son did using a 5 gallon bucket), and I physically cannot do a partial water change with buckets as I have a really bad back and my children are not here to help me, so I have to wait for the Python and hope it attaches to my sink.

So, for the time being until I can get the water clear, I just bought the necessities, like hood, new heater, Python, etc., and am trying to figure out cheaper options for decorating it and adding more fish much later on. Remember this tank is only running since Saturday night but the old tank was running for 6 months.

So, this is a running story, not just a question on one issue, and so not sure where to post because it combined multiple issues.
 
wodesorel
  • #9
The algae wafers alone can dissolve and cloud a tank up in no time! If you watch how much food is going in it will help with the instant cloudiness.

There is also a decent chance that the excess food in the water caused a different type of bacteria to 'bloom' (ie grow to the point where it became visible) and that may take several days to calm down again as the food source gets used up. No amount of filtration will make it disappear any faster. It also happens with new tanks in general, and yours is playing catchup even after transferring everything. If it is a bacterial cloud, it takes patience! But once it is gone it should not come back.

Keep an eye on your water parameters daily for a few weeks, with that much excess food and the tank upgrade your ammonia or nitrite might start swinging again. If it does, water changes will be your best friend!
 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
The algae wafers alone can dissolve and cloud a tank up in no time! If you watch how much food is going in it will help with the instant cloudiness.

There is also a decent chance that the excess food in the water caused a different type of bacteria to 'bloom' (ie grow to the point where it became visible) and that may take several days to calm down again as the food source gets used up. No amount of filtration will make it disappear any faster. It also happens with new tanks in general, and yours is playing catchup even after transferring everything. If it is a bacterial cloud, it takes patience! But once it is gone it should not come back.

Keep an eye on your water parameters daily for a few weeks, with that much excess food and the tank upgrade your ammonia or nitrite might start swinging again. If it does, water changes will be your best friend!

I way overfed them Saturday night, have not fed them since, and it is finally starting to clear up, but will check the levels for a bit more, but my Syphon will be here Wednesday so I can do a pretty big water change. Then, maybe I can start looking for items to decorate the tank with, little bit here, little bit there. I need substrate, it looks ridiculous w/o it. Thanks so much for your help.
 
wodesorel
  • #11
It can be frustrating, I know! I woke up last week to my 14-year-old tank completely cloudy white. I had added new driftwood and the bacteria had fun overnight. Took a few days to clear up, and I was bummed because I really enjoy having a pretty tank to watch before bed.

I also wanted to comment that you can add or change substrate without tearing the tank apart. I have done it three times with mine, the last was gravel to sand. Make sure the filters are off while working so the impeller doesn't get damaged by debris. Be mindful of where the fish are because they may panic and get in the way. If you do go with sand, make sure to clean it well (fill a bucket with water, swirl the sand, pour off anything that is floating) in small batches and add dechlor to it before pouring it in the tank. It shouldn't take too long and it'll look great when it's done.

Personally, I liked taking my time decorating. It can be a challenge to find the right items to match your ideas. Plus, the cost adds up, so spreading it out is always a bonus!
 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
It can be frustrating, I know! I woke up last week to my 14-year-old tank completely cloudy white. I had added new driftwood and the bacteria had fun overnight. Took a few days to clear up, and I was bummed because I really enjoy having a pretty tank to watch before bed.

I also wanted to comment that you can add or change substrate without tearing the tank apart. I have done it three times with mine, the last was gravel to sand. Make sure the filters are off while working so the impeller doesn't get damaged by debris. Be mindful of where the fish are because they may panic and get in the way. If you do go with sand, make sure to clean it well (fill a bucket with water, swirl the sand, pour off anything that is floating) in small batches and add dechlor to it before pouring it in the tank. It shouldn't take too long and it'll look great when it's done.

Personally, I liked taking my time decorating. It can be a challenge to find the right items to match your ideas. Plus, the cost adds up, so spreading it out is always a bonus!

Yeah, I don't know what to get, sand or gravel. I had that horrible experience with sand, but I think it was related to overfeeding these snails and corys. I have no idea what to get, so many choices, but I think I need at least 15 pounds, probably more, and I wish somebody would post a link and say go buy this, lol. I want to look at some logs and what not so maybe can have a pleco at some point (if they are compatible, have not looked yet), but they cause their own issues. I have no confidence in plants so I am steering away from real ones for now, and also because of my overfeeding, my experience has been every ornament gets filthy with food/poop all stuck in it, so I am a bit concerned how I will clean plants.

Again, thanks. It is extremely frustrating, and I spend so much money and try to do the right thing, but I always have to buy yet one more thing. It will get beautiful soon, I am sure.
 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Yeah, I don't know what to get, sand or gravel. I had that horrible experience with sand, but I think it was related to overfeeding these snails and corys. I have no idea what to get, so many choices, but I think I need at least 15 pounds, probably more, and I wish somebody would post a link and say go buy this, lol. I want to look at some logs and what not so maybe can have a pleco at some point (if they are compatible, have not looked yet), but they cause their own issues. I have no confidence in plants so I am steering away from real ones for now, and also because of my overfeeding, my experience has been every ornament gets filthy with food/poop all stuck in it, so I am a bit concerned how I will clean plants.

Again, thanks. It is extremely frustrating, and I spend so much money and try to do the right thing, but I always have to buy yet one more thing. It will get beautiful soon, I am sure.

I decided on river rock. A few reasons. I am petrified of sand, honestly and I did not want white or black, and I do not want to destroy my filters with it. Ordered 10 of these, probably too much but will keep some to the side. Alos, the room I just moved into to make this all possible with a 40-gallon I painted Warm Caramel, and my bedding is brown, and the flooring is brown, etc., so think it will go great.



Also ordered 2 of these, are they okay?

Zoo Med MopanI Wood
 
Zoomo
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I decided on river rock. A few reasons. I am petrified of sand, honestly and I did not want white or black, and I do not want to destroy my filters with it. Ordered 10 of these, probably too much but will keep some to the side. Alos, the room I just moved into to make this all possible with a 40-gallon I painted Warm Caramel, and my bedding is brown, and the flooring is brown, etc., so think it will go great.



Also ordered 2 of these, are they okay?

Zoo Med MopanI Wood

I am going to send the boys around to look for some rocks and wash them really well if I find any.
 
Bryangar
  • #15
I decided on river rock. A few reasons. I am petrified of sand, honestly and I did not want white or black, and I do not want to destroy my filters with it. Ordered 10 of these, probably too much but will keep some to the side. Alos, the room I just moved into to make this all possible with a 40-gallon I painted Warm Caramel, and my bedding is brown, and the flooring is brown, etc., so think it will go great.



Also ordered 2 of these, are they okay?

Zoo Med MopanI Wood
You’ll probably need around 40 pounds of gravel to have a nice layer in your tank. That’s a good substrate, I have something similar in one of my tanks. The mopanI wood is okay too but expect your water to be brown for a while. MopanI wood has a lot of tannins. It’s not harmful to your fish. It’s also great that you’ll have your kids get some free decor Save some money.
 

Similar Aquarium Threads

Replies
16
Views
6K
MD_Plants
  • Locked
Replies
20
Views
4K
Machine11
Top Bottom