Wet or dry?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by beeky, 19 Nov 2007.

  1. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    I've noticed a few photos of people setting up tanks where a substrate or substrates are added 'dry' to the tank and then the tank filled and planted. Others have an inch or two of water as they add the substrate. Does anyone know pros and cons for the different approaches? I imagine filling a tank on top of a dry substrate would lead to lots of trapped air bubbles.
     
  2. CJ Castle

    CJ Castle Newly Registered

    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Uk...
    Most people install substrates in an empty tank because it's easier to slope/shape it, people also try out different hardscape ideas (rock/wood placements) while the tank is empty. Air bubbles don't do anything...
     
  3. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Its also easier to plant the plants if the substrate is wet but the tank is not full :)

    Sam
     
  4. And if you rearrange substrates underwater you can end up with liquid mud!
     
  5. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

    Messages:
    7,089
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    I wet the substrate prior to adding to the tank, then plant into the wet substrate. No more water until finished - except a spray mister to stop the plants from drying out.

    Filling ultra-slowly will prevent any clouding, even if the substrate isn't too clean.

    ADA Aqua Soil will punish you if you add water too quickly.
     
  6. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    I wasn't sure if people put the substrate in dry (i.e. straight out of the bag into an empty tank) and then planted and then filled, or add an inch of water, add substrate, plant and fill.

    It seems like it's the latter. Cheers.
     
  7. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    I did the dry method. Used top soil and topped it up with dupla substrate. Didn't soak the soil for 2 weeks, didn't wash the dupla substra. Plonk it straight into the tank and fill it with water and start the filter running lol. The tank wasn't as cloudy as I thought in would be and it cleared up after 24 hours. Didn't have a test kit for ammonia but I'm pretty sure the ammonia level would have spike through the roof. I let the tank have 3wpg light T5HO 12 hour per day and it's been running for 1 week now and finger crossed that I still haven't seen sign of any algae. ONly plant in the tank so far is ludwigia repens on the corner and some mini pelia on the front. Still awaiting the rest of my plants from germany.

    Gosh I've broken so many traditional fish keeping rule in this attempt to set this tank up. I've even forgotten to put a styrofoam sheet under the tank!
    [/img]
     
  8. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    daniel, yo'u'll be needing a mop and a bucket shortly then, polystyrene is essential on everything over 5gallon.
     
  9. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Yeah I was quite wary about it. Got a piece of styrofoam in my room at the moment but will have to wait till the end of next week to get help to put it under the tank. Hopefully the tank will be fine till then.
     
  10. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Empty half the tank? That would take some of the weight off the tank. The fish would be fine for a few weeks in less water I would think.

    Sam
     
  11. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    Yeah I would empty of the tank water tomorrow. I was so tempted to fill the tank up when I got the filter and substrate that I totally got carried away with it. There is no fish in the tank at the moment besides some snails. ACtually I will just drag a friend from work and get him to lift the tank for me tomorrow.... I'm getting a little worried now.
     
  12. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    ahhhh I see your a stokie too, I live near to alton towers, where are you?

    If I where you I'd follow the rules, there's a reason for them and its called algae. :p
     
  13. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    haha I've never had people calling me a stokie before lol. I'm actually not from stoke. Originally from Malaysia have been living in cardiff for the last 5 years and now moved to stoke for my job in the hospital. I lived on the City General Hospital site. Hence the reason why I can only afford a small tank :p
     
  14. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    Ahhhhhhh makes sense.
    north staffs I'm guessing? have you found glovers and the aquatics warehouse? (the warehouse one is especially good for planted stuff does co2 and the entire seachem range and you can get good family favourites like java ferns and what not quiet good for fish too.
    whats your set up?


    (sorry for hijacking)
     
  15. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    don't know about glovers but I've found aquatic warehouse. They've got a good range of plant selection there and the quite a complete set of seachem substrate as far as I can see. But they haven't got a clue about the plants they take in (quite pricey too 2.50 for a bunch and they are not the best quality ones) The seachem substrate seemed to be reasonably price. Although they are 22-25 quid a bag you don't have to pay postage for them. It works out really good if you are local here. I decided to be cheap and get a 25kg bag of top soil for 3 quid though! lol.
     
  16. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    top soil you have to bake before its usable im lead to believe, glovers is in fenton near to the kfc.
    plants isn't either of their specialities but you have to make do.
    And anyway your close enough for me to give you some cuttings when ever "I'm up 'anly duck" skateboarding.
     
  17. daniel19831123

    daniel19831123 Member

    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Blackpool
    I don't baked the top soil cause the only reason why I'm using them is to preserve the bacteria. With regards to the ammonia that leeches from the soil, I would like it to leach as much as possible because I wanted a fishless cycling. I will post some picture up when the tank start running and the plants start growing. I've got everything on photo well except the bit where I was messing with the soil cause my hand was dirty and there is no one else there to take the photos. Advance apology for the quality of the picture though cause they are all taken with my camera phone and it's only 2 mega pixel.
     
  18. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    My Juwel tank didn't need polystyrene. In fact it explicitly states not to use it in the setup guide. My 3' tank has it though (it's a Rena I think).
     
  19. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Some tanks have a built in 'base' system. My small rena 60lt doesn't require anything as the tank rests on a base which raises it above up slightly. I have noticed however that the larger rena tanks have round disks of polyesterene underneath but also have a base as well, I guess this is to support the central areas of the glass bottom and stop it from bowing to much.

    Clearseal, ADA and other non-framed tanks require a base as far as I can tell.

    Sam
     
  20. beeky

    beeky Member

    Messages:
    879
    Location:
    Chippenham, Wiltshire
    Your small rena sounds like the same design as my juwel.
     

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