Substrate advice/suggestions

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Vase, 15 Jan 2009.

  1. Vase

    Vase Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    Right, as some of you probably know I'm gradually planning my main tank, so when I get things sorted (in the next 10,000 years) I can actually set it up and it should run smoothly. The thing thats getting me at the moment is substrate. I just cant choose, but I hoped if I posted some things that I need out of it, you guys would be able to help.

    The only things I'm not doing is using 'normal' sand, like playpit etc, or spending 20 gazilion pounds on an ADA substrate. Fair enough ADA stuff might be great but I'm not into the whole get it just because its ADA!

    Not sure on the depth to go for but the tank measures 79"x24".

    Requirements:
    I really like black substrates but this often causes some strains of Discus to 'pepper'. I need to research that a bit more but as far as asthetics go I really like it. It could be a winner!
    I'd like it to be fine-ish but not sand, as its a pain to keep clean.
    If its cheap that will be a bonus. If I have to pay out £250 for eco-complete then I do, but the tank wont be broken down often for obvious reasons. If the substrate looses its 'fertility' or whatever you want to call it after so long then thats tough...lol
    I dont have any problems using a 'plain' substrate but I'd really like some suggestions for something underneath that will help the plants, if thats going to be the way to go.

    Sorry for all my random posts and questions :?
     
  2. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Joined:
    6 Jul 2007
    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    To be honest, if you are happy to spend the money on eco-complete, you might just as well get ADA AS! They cost much the same and the plant growth from AS is far better by all accounts.

    Thats not to say EC isn't good, Ive used it with great effect, but its not as good as AS. If it were me and I had the money I'd get AS. You can use it long term so you wouldn't need to worry about replacing it anytime soon.

    Being a new tank you also have the opportunity to get over the NH3 spike without have to store the fish somewhere in the mean time.

    Sam
     
  3. Vase

    Vase Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    Is there a way to calculate how many litres of an ADA substrate I'd need? Or any other for that matter? I need to do some more reasearch on Discus and substrate. But there is always the lighter coloured ADA stuff and Akadama, which is growing on me :D
     
  4. Simon D

    Simon D Member

    Joined:
    22 Sep 2008
    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Hi Vase,

    I'm glad you asked the question, I'm intending to up grade my tank, (but this may not happen for six months or a year) so I want to know the same things and have already started planning.

    Maybe, by the time of my new tank ,there will be a diffinitive answer. I'm sure new substrates will be available in the next year that are cleaner and absorb (or hold) more nutrients so I'll have to play it by ear.

    Sorry, just realised this doesn't help you at all... lol

    Keep us posted! Hope you get an answer! ;)
     
  5. Vase

    Vase Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    No worries mate. If my questions (and their answers) help others then thats great. I've got this thing that when I think about something I need to get it sorted. And substrate always bugs me! :lol:
     
  6. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Jun 2007
    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Hi mate, if you like a black substrate then you may like the ADA Amazonia and if you like really fine substrate the theres ADA Amazonia Powder here It may be pricey but it'll be better than Eco Complete and the cost won't be too much different, plus, it's re-usable AND it just rocks mate :D
     
  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    10,317
    Location:
    London
    Just out of curiosity, can you use Powder on its own or you need to use AquaSoil underneath? cheers
     
  8. beeky

    beeky Member

    Joined:
    21 Aug 2007
    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    One of the good things about AS is that they give the bag sizes in litres, rather than Kg, so it's easy to work out how much you need.

    Your tank is 79"x24" (lovely!), so in new money roughly 200cmx61cm. A substrate depth of 5cm, give a volume of

    (200x61x5)/1000 = 61l.

    AS bags come in 9l sizes, so that's 61/9 = 7 bags (rounding up).

    You may want more if you want slopes, hills etc.

    Hope that makes sense. You can use the same calculation for eco-complete, although I don't know if they give bag sizes in litres or Kg.
     
  9. beeky

    beeky Member

    Joined:
    21 Aug 2007
    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Oh, and LD, I've heard people do use the powder on it's own or capping the 'normal', but at powder bags of 3l costing the same as 9l of normal it's alot more expensive.
     
  10. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    10,317
    Location:
    London
    1 liter = 1 kilo ;)


    I would be buying a couple of 9l bags so cost then is not a lot of difference, just prefer the fine granules of the Sand version thats all, if anyone knows for sure let me know, cheers ;)
     
  11. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    569
    One litre of water = 1 kilo (at 4 degrees celcius) - one litre of eco-complete? Wouldn't like to guess!

    The only 'featured scape' on this site uses Aquasoil powder over Tropica substrate, but it's tiny. If you're getting two bags anyway you could get one of each, and use the non-powder on the bottom. I've never used powder, but in a deep layer I'd worry about it squashing together and going a bit muddy - perhaps that's not a problem. In the ADA catalogues, etc., TA always uses normal and just uses powder as a cosmetic top layer, sometimes just at the front.

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  12. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    10,317
    Location:
    London
    My bad for getting it confused with water :bored: guess it doesn't work that way for soil hehe
     
  13. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Jun 2007
    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    Yeah man, i have it in little mountain and it rocks, so easy to plant in and it looks great!
     
  14. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    10,317
    Location:
    London
    Thanks Dan, as Mark suggested on large tank will I have problems in future of it becoming too compact? I would just prefer a finer grain substrate. I was thinking 2 9liter bags for my Rio 125.
     
  15. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    569
    Oh, I hope you don't think I was saying it would be a problem - I think I made clear in my post that I've never used it - just that it would be a concern of mine. Can't wait to see what you do with it. :D

    Mark
     
  16. Dan Crawford

    Dan Crawford Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Jun 2007
    Messages:
    3,268
    Location:
    Daventry, Northants
    It does become compact at the bottom, about halfway up actually but you still don't get any clouding or any problems. I'd pay the extra for a nano but i'm not sure if i had to pay out on a big setup, say over 80cm. It's nice in the nanos because it carries the scale of the tank.
     
  17. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    21 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    10,317
    Location:
    London
    Yeah my tank is 80cm I might just get started aquail soil and then if I want it finer in some areas buy a bag of Sand version to cover those areas, I am still keen to do a carpet od some sort so it will be hidden them, I just find Aquasoil not the easiest of soils to plant into.
     
  18. vauxhallmark

    vauxhallmark Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    569
    if I'm ever doing a foreground carpet of small plants I'm deffo using powder in that area of the tank - the big stuff isn't good for holding things down while they root. Especially with the number of shrimps you keep!! :lol: I had to put my glosso in a spare empty tank to get going before it was big enough to put in the main tank and not get 'gardened' up. The powder stuff also looks nicer there are any bare patches of substrate. I thought the last setup (Sep 08) of my 18"er would be the last for a long while, but there are STILL several things I would do differently - use powder on the front, and put in a much bigger slope than it currently has (I forgot what a massive distorting effect water has on a slope when I was trying it out empty!) You lives and learns!

    Mark
     
  19. Vase

    Vase Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    Thanks mate thats awesome ;) (and to everyone else obviously)

    Well I can get ADA soil for about £225 (Green Machine) The Eco complete has to be in flippin' kilos doesnt it! :rolleyes:
    I'm quite liking this stuff too.... http://www.thegreenmachineaquatics.com/ ... ingu%208kg but dont really know anything about it, or how much I'd need.

    The ADA soil is pretty much at the top of the list. Choice between 'Amazonia' and 'Malaya'. Got a little cube to set up first so I can try some in that and see whether I like it or not.
     
  20. Vase

    Vase Member

    Joined:
    12 Feb 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Location:
    Northants
    Does anyone have any info on this? I've been doing my research into substrates and its effects on Discus so I'm looking for potential alternatives to aquasoil that 'lift my skirt' :D and that are suitable for the plants and fish.
     

Share This Page

Facebook Page
Twitter Page
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice