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Help please,worried about substrate.

Goodygumdrops

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27 Oct 2008
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278
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Falkirk,Scotland
Hi all,slowly gathering stuff together to set up my tank.I've got a bag of laterite on the way which I'm happy with.But...was at Dobbies at the weekend,and after looking at the price of aquarium gravel,wow,well I went to the garden centre and bought a 25kg bag of grit.
Now on the bag it says it is suitable for ponds and pools,but,it also says it is suitable for 'marine' fish.This is what is worrying me,is it going to alter my water chemistry?Ie,salty?Am I worrying over nothing?Part of me thinks that when they say marine fish,they just mean fish in general,but I don't want to add it and lose any fish.
If it makes any difference,I've washed a bowlful,loads of orangey coloured muck came off but once cleaned there was no cloudiness.
Surely if it says suitable for ponds it's going to be ok?
 

Goodygumdrops

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Falkirk,Scotland
Uggh,don't know if I'm prepared to take a chance on that then.I'm going for angels so I guess I'll need soft water 9water up here is naturally soft anyway but I don't want to add something that's going to adversely affect it).
Oh well,back to the drawing board,any suggestions?Cheap suggestions?Tank base is 31" x 14".
 

vauxhallmark

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29 Jan 2008
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Well, it's not a huge area to cover - if you're gradually building up the kit for this tank it's probably worth either finding somewhere else to economise, or allowing a bit more time to save up and get the substrate you really want for it - it's the hardest thing to change once the tank is set up, and if you're unhappy with what you get then you'll really have no alternative than to start again - which will then cost you more in temporary accommodation for fish, plants, filters etc., and make your startup generally more miserable than it should be.

I know how hard it is to have to wait to get going on a project you're really keen to get your teeth into, but I have to do the same thing, save up and buy stuff gradually - the planning and buying bit can be fun too!

Research different gravels and substrates, choose the one that's going to fit your plans, and then adjust your budget/saving time to fit it in. Ideally do that for every bit of kit you're going to use - but as I said, replacing the gravel in your tank is a horrible job - and you might lose your laterite in the process - another expense. Everything else can be upgraded later, and more easily at the time you wish/can afford.

Good luck with the new setup!

Mark
 

Ed Seeley

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If you've already bought the grit then test it with some acid. If it fizzes then it contain calcerous material and will harden the water. Use a strong enough acid like brick cleaner and you should see the little bubbles clearly enough.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Thanks for the replies guys.I'm really not going to even take a chance with this stuff now.At this rate it's going to be 09 before there's any fish in there :( Might as well do it right from the start though eh?
 

Ed Seeley

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Goodygumdrops said:
Thanks for the replies guys.I'm really not going to even take a chance with this stuff now.At this rate it's going to be 09 before there's any fish in there :( Might as well do it right from the start though eh?

Totally. Aquasoil it is then!!!! :twisted: :lol: :twisted:
 

Goodygumdrops

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Vauxhall,thanks for that.I need to slow down,and you're bang on.I'll just need to put the gas at a peep.
Ed,I am seiously considering aquasoil,as Vauxhall said,even if I just buy a bag every couple of weeks.So,my laterite should be on it's way,so it's going in regardless,ok to put aquasoil on top of this?
And is the aquasoil the final layer?Or does gravel go on top of this?It's the colour that bothers me slightly,is it just black?(I have some nice lumps of slate to go in and I'm concerned that a dark base won't show them off).
 

Steve Smith

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Due to the cost of aquasoil, it's usually a good idea to have it where you're planting lots of stems. You can then partition off areas where there will be no plants, say a nice open front area or sand or something.
 

Goodygumdrops

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Thanks Steve,it's really good to get this basic advice as you don't get it off the sites before you actually buy the products.
That's good to know,as I guess the majority of my planting will be to the rear coming round a bit at the front in a sort of horseshoe shape.From your last post,are you saying a layer of gravel then goes over this?
 

Steve Smith

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Sorry, wasn't that specific :)

Basically Aquasoil is an "all in one" which doesn't need capping off with anything. Personally I'd have the Aquasoil in the rear, where your plants will be, and something like sand or gravel at the front where it will be open or covered with hardscape (and therefore no benefit to having Aquasoil in these areas). Because the Aquasoil is covered by plants, there is no need to cap it with gravel, unless you want too, it's up to you and how you think it will look aesthetically :)

I've been trying to find a good setup guide. I've seen one somewhere which illustrates what I'm harping on about :lol: I think it's in the ADA catalogue though. Have a read of this though, for more info on Aquasoil and other interesting things:

http://www.adana-usa.com/includes/templ ... Manual.pdf (6.5mb)
 

Goodygumdrops

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Aaahaa!!!Totally gotcha!!Thanks for that.In my case,my laterite will replace the power sand,then add the aquasoil,then like you say,your choice of finish at the foreground.
Thanks so much for that.Numpty point one sorted.Now I just have to buy the stuff :lol: See yous for planting questions in a couple of months :lol:
 

Ed Seeley

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If you don't like the colour then look at the other types. Amazonia is the 'black' one (actually a dark matt grey and very nice IMHO) and Africa and Malaya are different colours. You might prefer those? I think your plan is a sound one and you might want to look at my article where I did the same thing and used cobbles to keep the two areas seperate. It's worked well for me.
 
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