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Silica Sand

David Glavin

21 Oct 2013
Hi everyone,

New to the forum and wondering if I have already made a mistake, last month I set up my RIO 240 with the intention of it being a planted discus tank, I bought a 1400l per hour external with a uv light from all pond and it's been cycling since. However the tank came with some silver silica sand and I opted to use this now I am wondering if I have messed up by not adding any inriched base substrate? I have a 48" discus collection of plants ordered from plants alive that should be here this week. Also I have jbl aquarium peat ordered to naturally lower ph, I hope it doesn't cloud up the water too much and I presume I should remove the carbon from my filter?

P.S. will cabomba grow without CO2?
I'm new at this as well, and finding mistakes to be costly (in time and money) 🙁

although recommended, you dont really need an inriched substrate. you can buy nutrient balls to place in your silica sand next to the roots of your plants. these will initially feed your plants roots, but later will absorb excess nutrients from the water and release them when needed (just like the substrate).

or, if you haven't added any fish yet, you could empty the tank and start again. so long as your filter stays moist and isn't left off for too long, it shouldn't effect the cycle too much.

or you can simply plant your tank without any inriched substrate. you'll just need to make sure your silica sand is deep enough, and you add nutrients regularly.

Hope this help. as I mentioned, I'm new at this too, so if some1 is reading and finds that I'm wrong at all, please be quick to correct me.
Go to the sponsor section of this forum and get yourself an EI starter kit No need to worry about root fertilisation, since it is considered mostly supplementary to water column dosing.