A few questions about Substrates

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Neo_ad, 20 Jan 2009.

  1. Neo_ad

    Neo_ad Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, England
    Hi Great forum you have here!

    After being a lurker for a few weeks reading the mass of topics on the planted subject I am starting to get more of an idea how this all works.

    This will be my first time I have aimed for a high-tech planted tank!

    I have worked around what fish I wanted to stock eventually, and then worked backwards to get my design, plants and equipment. I haven't got all this design down on paper yet but I am working on it :) I have just purchased a 2nd hand Vison 450 tank so I have a lot of work to do.

    Now to my questions:

    • 1, If using 1-2cm of EC, ADA Amazon, etc as my base topped off with Argos play sand around 4cm or so is this going to work ok? (I plan to have lots of corys and judging by how much they destroy my current sand scape in my other tank I am afraid if I don't have it deep enough they will get to the planting layer) :p

      2, Is it a good idea to use planting tabs as well or is this not needed? (I do intend to dose ferts etc, and use Co2) still reading up on this as we speak.

      3, I would also like to plant some sort of grass to form a carpet, in these areas (near front) should I use less sand?

      4, Is there anything else I need to know about using sand? apart from its harder to keep clean, releasing gases (I will have corys and lots of grass so this should be less of a problem for me I think)

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Mixing sand with other substrates normally creates a messy look because the smaller sand grains tend to settle below the larger particles after a while. If you want a sand area then just cordon off the area using some form of gates to keep them separate. AS is a clay based product, is probably the best of the available commercial products in terms of nutrient delivery and is very soft and velvety to the touch so I see no reason apart from possible aesthetics or cost to use sand.

    There are no special gasses excreted by sand so this is not an issue. if you use AS and if you dose the water column then tabs are not really necessary. Even if you were to use sand exclusively, as long as you dose the water column sufficiently root tabs are redundant.

    If you have the means to use 100% AS then I'd suggest you just use it alone and forget about sand. Both fish and plants will appreciate it.

    Cheers,
     
  3. Neo_ad

    Neo_ad Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, England
    Hi thanks again for answering another of my topics :)

    I have purchased my sand already but not to worry I only spent 20 squid on 8 bags not the end of the world, I really would like some sand in the scape so I think I will make an area for the sand instead.

    Got a couple of aquascape books on loan soon so I will see what I can come up with that isnt going to merge.

    I am going to have a think about using 100% AS it is certainly with in my means just its just a fair outlay, I have a rim around my tank a good 4cm ish deep and I would of liked to have it above that.

    I will have a play and see how it goes, cheers for the advice again.
     
  4. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    No worries. you can simply use pieces of stiff plastic, stone or organic material to form a dam in the shape of the area you want and simply silicon then in place at the bottom glass. This forms a barrier to prevent mixing. you can get quite creative with this and depending on the height of the dam or dams you can control slopes or even make mounds. Have a play before siliconing them in place. :idea:

    Cheers,
     
  5. Neo_ad

    Neo_ad Member

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, England
    Thanks

    I have seen a really cool mound style which looked sort of like a hill with rocks and grass that looked cool so I might do something like that, I played with a few other ideas about having a sort of canyon too. Getting some bits a bobs over this weekend so I will start making some design drawings and see what I can come up with.
     

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