What kind of substrate for 7+ inches deep? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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What kind of substrate for 7+ inches deep?

I am considering a pretty dramatic slope in my tank - something like 7 inches in the back to maybe 2 in the front.

I had been looking at a dirt tank but as I understand it something like 5" of soil with a 2" cap of pool filter sand in the back would be a problem with the depth of the soil. Should I instead be doing like 3" of sand, 2" of soil and another 2" of sand ?

I've been reading everything i can find, and most seem to suggest 1-2" of soil as a max.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 11:14 PM
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What kind of substrate for 7+ inches deep?

Maybe use egg crate or lava rocks or other rocks to help build the slope so it's not all substrate and they may help the slope retain it's shape.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 11:16 PM
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Using lava rocks is a pretty common practice to build a slope.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 12:35 AM
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I carved my scape from layers of Styrofoam. I got the 1 inch think pieces from Hobby Lobby. I did 3 layers on the left side, 2 layers on the right side, a valley in the middle and it all slopes to the front. Then I did 1.5 inches of dirt and 1.5 inches of gravel.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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The Styrofoam seems like a pretty convenient way to do this - do I need to treat the Styrofoam before putting in the tank, or do anything special to it?

I do have some rocks of course, but I was worried about the substrate filling in around the rocks and maybe having a spot where the sand is 6" or something and getting a scary DSB that I don't pretend to fully understand yet. Some people say they will kill all your fish and others say if used correctly they are good.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kseanm247 View Post
I carved my scape from layers of Styrofoam. I got the 1 inch think pieces from Hobby Lobby. I did 3 layers on the left side, 2 layers on the right side, a valley in the middle and it all slopes to the front. Then I did 1.5 inches of dirt and 1.5 inches of gravel.
By the way, gorgeous tank. What is the red plant in the foreground?
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 12:06 PM
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I would go sand all the way.

About your fear of DSB, maybe this wil help you
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume...e_7_1/dsb.html

Jnad
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Really might just do this 150 lbs or this or so... I plan to EI dose anyway, and the more I read the more I discover that I could just use some root tabs and save some serious cash on the substrate.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/webapp/...=&cm_vc=-10005
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Or not. Seems blasting sand is sharp edged, and not a good choice for my loaches :/

Guess that puts be back to just pool filter sand or paying for flourite if I want black...
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 03:49 PM
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If you want to try out the dsb methode pool filter sand is a good choise. The more round and even particle size the sand have is better.

I have not tried DSB myself, but it would be interesting to try that approach.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:42 PM
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Or not. Seems blasting sand is sharp edged, and not a good choice for my loaches :/
Do you have solid evidence of this? I've feared it but it seems the only people who talk about this being a problem are either suffering from other obvious problems (water quality) or have no direct experience and are playing the internet game of parroting something they heard because they think it makes sense.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:06 PM
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I have used pool filter sand. It looked pretty nasty after a few months. Many whom use it vacuum some of the sand up regularly and replace it with more sand. I used river sand from a landscaper and it stayed brown for a year. Then started getting some black substance on the top. There is also paver's sand that is available.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Do you have solid evidence of this? I've feared it but it seems the only people who talk about this being a problem are either suffering from other obvious problems (water quality) or have no direct experience and are playing the internet game of parroting something they heard because they think it makes sense.
No, all I have are a few threads on loaches.com and people saying they didn't like it - have you tried it by chance? I thought about driving up and feeling it myself as I would prefer a black substrate to normal sand color.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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I have to admit though, once the carpet grows in (hairgrass in my case) I really can't see the substrate anyway!
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 08:04 AM
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I love the black diamond blasting sand for substrate. I have flourite in a 10g planted community. I have black diamond in a 75g planted community and in a 55g cichlid tank. I find the black diamond to be much easier to plant in. I've dug into it quite a bit with my hands and it does not feel sharp to me in the least. I have corys that have great barbells that love to pick around in it and are very happy and healthy.
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