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Planted substrate necessary?

J.D.

New Member
Joined
22 Jan 2009
Messages
7
Hi, this is my first post here. Have only been reading the forum for about a week but found lots of useful info already.

I'm setting up a new planted tank (15" cube ~60litres) and plan on using silica sand as a substrate and dosing EI. Lighting is somewhere between low-moderate, and I'll be using DIY CO2.

The plants will be Java Fern, Dwarf Anubias and moss (probably taiwan moss). As none of these obtain a great deal of nutrients through their roots is it worth using a planted substrate under the sand? I'm trying to keep the cost of this tank down so if its not necessary the cost of the substrate could be spent on something more important.

If a planted substrate would be beneficial, I'd probably use JBL AquaBasis Plus or TetraPlant substrate as I can get them locally. Also Akadama is an option, although postage costs make it a bit more expensive than the other two. Which of these would be the best to use under the sand?

Thanks,
James
 

JamesC

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2007
Messages
1,273
Location
Bexley, Kent
Hi James and welcome to UKAPS.

Silica sand is fine for what you want and I actually used it for years with great success when dosing EI. If though in the future you plan to grow some different plants then it might be useful to get a proper planted substrate from the beginning.

I don't like mixing substrates, especially sand, as it will always sink down to the bottom if you place it on top of a larger grained substrate.

James
 

J.D.

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Thread starter
Joined
22 Jan 2009
Messages
7
Thanks, James. I'm not planning on keeping any other plants in this tank so I'll save the money. The sand mixing with substrate was another reason I wasn't sure about using a plant substrate.
 

san-ho-zay

Member
Joined
18 Jun 2008
Messages
98
Location
Otley, UK
I had big problems with sand over Tetra Complete. The substrate went aneorobic very quickly and the tank became riddled with BGA. I know residual BGA is still in the tank but switching substrate (to Eco Complete in this case) has knocked it back to a point where it's not an issue.

I think the peaty nature of Tetra Complete, coupled with a sand cap that doesn't allow it to breathe is a bad idea.
 

J.D.

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
22 Jan 2009
Messages
7
san-ho-zay said:
I had big problems with sand over Tetra Complete. The substrate went aneorobic very quickly and the tank became riddled with BGA. I know residual BGA is still in the tank but switching substrate (to Eco Complete in this case) has knocked it back to a point where it's not an issue.

I think the peaty nature of Tetra Complete, coupled with a sand cap that doesn't allow it to breathe is a bad idea.

Thanks, thats good to know
 

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