Akadama versus Gravel+laterite...

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Piece-of-fish, 17 Oct 2009.

  1. Piece-of-fish

    Piece-of-fish Member

    East London
    Hello again :wave:
    A question to our pros.
    At the moment i have a gravel substrate + 550g of laterite in my 180l tank. What i was thinking is if akadama would be a better option. At the moment i have some black patches in gravel, mostly i believe due to feeding my cories with JMC catfish pellets which does not hold together for too long and tend to dissolve into many small particles and block the substrate thus promoting anaerobic conditions (correct me please if i am wrong).
    So dilema is basically this:
    Pluses to the gravel:
    1)want to rescape a tank a little (but taking out the fish is a huge problem (heh, otos, saes and cories are not the easiest fish to catch!!!)
    2)Leaving the existing gravel would be much easier plus i can squeze some akadama with tweezers here and there as i have some left if this would improve the overall appearance.
    3)Dont have enough akadama so would be cheaper with the gravel.
    4) Would take much less time and work.

    Pluses to the akadama:
    1)Might be a better choice for plants (advice needed here)
    2)Would solve black gravel patches (advice welcome as well)

    Heh really need your opinions on this one..
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    Well you can always regularly clean your gravel, which is always a good idea. Just make sure you do it just before a massive water change so to avoid algal blooms due to ammonia discharge into the water column.

    If you place a high value on ease, which it sounds like you do, then why not just forget about Akadama and continue to dose the water column? If you are getting anaerobic area in the gravel then the culprit can usually be traced to poor nutrition and poor CO2. When this happens then Oxygen production in the plant is low and the plant cannot send sufficient amounts of Oxygen to the roots. When nutrition and CO2 uptake are high then Oxygen production is also high and vast quantities can be sent to the roots which then oxygenates the substrate, and which then promotes aerobic activity while discouraging anaerobic activity.

  3. Piece-of-fish

    Piece-of-fish Member

    East London
    :thumbup: Ceg, thanks a lot. Your help is massive as always.
    Yes, i actually did leave it just gravel and laterite, just did some rescape and now doing lots of water changes.
    The tank actually was not recieving any co2 in 2 month, cause after the initial start at the end of july i got a massive staghorn algae bloom, was not able to fight that one because i had to leave for 5 weeks so just reduced the lighting period a bit and left everything to its own.
    When i came back the tank didnt look that bad though :clap:
    Now i am putting pressurized and some more light here and will start the journal soon.
    I think the anaerobic patch had dissapeared and was due to not so good sinking food which like i had mentioned used to clog the substrate, i have changed it now.
    Thanks again.

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