Replacing substrate

Nikao

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As I read and study, I’ve realized I probably have made mistakes with my two planted 20Ls. They both have gravel substrate. And, the one with my Cories, I have added a bunch of sand so they can have a beach. My 30G downstairs is all gravel, which I vacuum completely everything couple weeks. I think that one will healthy. My 20 G where the Cories’ babies will be is all sand.

I’m concerned that the tanks besides the 30G will kill the plants and fish after becoming toxic and maybe should have used aqua soil. I know I’m still ignorant. Any help is appreciated. I want my plants and fish to be thriving.

I am willing to buy more substrate and completely redo the aquariums. I might like that better anyways. The sponge filters would instantly cycle them.

It seems like the best way to go for planted aquariums is to use something like aquasoil with a small layer of quartz gravel. Why do people use so much sand? I could put sand on top of the aquasoil. The cories need sand to forage, right?

Thanks.

Nick
 

Chanyi

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997
You do not need aqua soil, any substrate will work well for a planted tank.

So many people use sand because:
It's cheap
It comes in any colour you want
It's easy to keep clean
It's easy to plant into
Fish like corys like it
It's good for the life of the aquarium


I would strongly not recommend layering aquasoil, you are setting yourself up for frustration by doing that. Also note that aquasoil is a buffering substrate, it will strip the water of all KH and lower pH into the low 6's. That means every water change you will be causing a KH swing and pH swing. This is why aqua soil is recommended for use in either soft tapwater or RO water tanks only (low KH source water).

I do not know what a toxic substrate is?
 
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Nikao

Nikao

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587
Chanyi said:
You do not need aqua soil, any substrate will work well for a planted tank.

So many people use sand because:
It's cheap
It comes in any colour you want
It's easy to keep clean
It's easy to plant into
Fish like corys like it
It's good for the life of the aquarium


I would strongly not recommend layering aquasoil, you are setting yourself up for frustration by doing that. Also note that aquasoil is a buffering substrate, it will strip the water of all KH and lower pH into the low 6's. That means every water change you will be causing a KH swing and pH swing. This is why aqua soil is recommended for use in either soft tapwater or RO water tanks only (low KH source water).

I do not know what a toxic substrate is?
If substrate is compacted like sand, it can cause hydrogen sulfide to accumulate and other toxins from anaerobic bacteria. This can kill the roots of plants and even harm fish. It can also make an aquarium stink. That is why it is important to stir up the deep part of sand once in awhile. And, this is one reason why I have chosen to use PFS since it does not get so easily compacted.

I just want my plants to get the nutrients they need and the roots to have a nice foundation. Some of my plants in the gravel have been so easily uprooted and the DHG has not spread :(

I know root tabs and Thrive are probably the way to continue with. I’m still learning.
 

Chanyi

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Member
Messages
997
Nikao said:
If substrate is compacted like sand, it can cause hydrogen sulfide to accumulate and other toxins from anaerobic bacteria. This can kill the roots of plants and even harm fish. It can also make an aquarium stink. That is why it is important to stir up the deep part of sand once in awhile. And, this is one reason why I have chosen to use PFS since it does not get so easily compacted.

I just want my plants to get the nutrients they need and the roots to have a nice foundation. Some of my plants in the gravel have been so easily uprooted and the DHG has not spread :(

I know root tabs and Thrive are probably the way to continue with. I’m still learning.
That doesn't happen in fresh water really. Sand is the least likely substrate to compact, it it small dense granules that are relatively smooth, they will not form nasty pocket unless you are stacking it up 8" deep and have poor water circulation. Compaction of aquarium sand should be of no concern.

Plants uptake most of their nutrient when they uptake water. So having water that is full of nutrients is the best way to supply most aquarium plants with nutrients. Thrive is a good option.

As for hairgrass in gravel, it can be done, it's just easier in a substrate with a finer texture like sand.
 

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