Decent base soil and top sand to use???

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Mark Keetch, 10 Nov 2019 at 9:21 PM.

  1. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    Hey hey

    So at the moment I have granular substrate and granular gravel on top. I am having a real bad issue with HITH and ulcers in my discus tank. Just hope I cure it all before I lose them all.

    Someone has suggested getting rid of the substrate and gravel I got cause it'll be causing issues, and replace it with base soil and top sand.

    Any suggestions to what soil and what sand to use. Dont want black top sand though cause that will bring peppering out in the Discus. But not white either as it'll be harder to keep looking clean :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  2. alto

    alto Member

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    Not a substrate suggestion but I’d place the discus in a bare tank to sort out the health issues first

    Ulcers suggest poor water quality so focus in that first
    Do you have any nearby vets with fish experience/training - depending on severity, antibiotics may be needed to clear the ulcers

    Metronidazole has been helpful in some instances of HITH (some have reported positive response to levamisole~food)
     
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  3. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    I have a plan of action. Tomorrow I have Baktopur arriving so will do a big water change tomorrow and start dosing that into the tank.
    Tuesday I have Octocil arriving so will do a massive WC on the QT tank and then start dosing that in the QT tank.

    The QT tank is holding 2 discus with HITH and the main tank has the rest of the fish in, including the 1 with early signs of an ulcer.

    If they all survive, the plan is to rip out all the substrate and plants to bare bottom, then start from scratch with suggested base soil and top sand. Something that is going to be more healthy to keep discus in.
     
  4. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

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    Regarding sand, I have always found kiln dried sand from a certain orange diy store up very good indeed. Natural colour and no washing required.
     
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  5. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    Ah ok. Like paving block sand? And that can be used in an aquarium without being washed and rinsed first?
     
  6. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

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    Yes, I can only vouch for this specific product though which I have direct experience with!!
     
  7. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Global Moderator Staff Member

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    If you want to go soil substate take a look at The Soil Substrate Tank, it'll be a good option for growing plants.
    And pool filter sand is a good option for capping soil. It's cheap and composed of natural quartzite grains.
     
  8. alto

    alto Member

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    As this is discus and you’ve had some some issues, I’d be conservative in both soil and sand substrate components
    - I’d use an Aquarium Soil such as Tropica (manufactured to order product), choosing a product that releases none to minimal ammonia (if you go this route, contact manufacturers about product specifications)
    (unlike “natural” soil this will always cloud less and be less affected by substrate disturbances)
    - if using a standard “soil”, use a product that has possibly been sterilized and definitely go through the mineralization process (I believe Tim covers this in his “sticky”)
    - sand, again confirm product specifications with supplier, and thoroughly wash before use

    Non-aquarium products can be more or less livestock safe, contacting manufacturers/suppliers for specifications is always my (conservative) preference :) (and often requires some perseverance)
     
  9. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    So I will just have some substrate or soil underneath this to give the plants their nutrients
     
  10. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    Thanks tim. I will check out the link
     
  11. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    Thanks for the info. So do Tropica do soil substrate as well as granular?
     
  12. alto

    alto Member

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    Tropica does “Growth Substrate”
    Sera does Floredepot
    Several other name brands offer similar products
    Note that all of these will “cloud” and “mud” similar to whatever home version you make (most are a “mineralized” version) and should form the nutrient rich base layer beneath 8-10cm suitable fine gravel/coarse sand
    (Tropica has many “Inspiration” Layouts done in this style ... )
     
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  13. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    So for best results it needs to be 8-10cm of substrate as the bottom layer then top sand/gravel on top?
     
  14. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Global Moderator Staff Member

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    A couple of cms will do. You can bank it deeper toward the back if you like. Tights or filter bags packed with gravel can also be used if you want to create higher mounds. Take a look at the Soil Substrate tutorial I linked earlier for more details. Westlands Aquatic Compost is a cheaper, and probably equally as effective, alternative to Tropica's soil.

     
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  15. Mark Keetch

    Mark Keetch Newly Registered

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    Gotcha. So watching that video, only 1cm of substrate is needed then and then 3-4cm of gravel on top. The gravel can be replaced by sand cant it? Or does it need to be gravel on top of the substrate and then sand on top of the gravel?
     

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