Ideal Substrate for my 90gallon? - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison,WI
Posts: 23
I am looking to set up a planted tank in my 90 gallon tank. I currently have just the cheap gravel. I want to upgrade to either flourite or perhaps eco-complete. Are there any endoresments or recomendations out there for either. I have noticed there seems to be some debate on which is better. Also the eco-complete comes in 20lb bags and the Flourite comes in I think a 17lb bag? How many bags would I need to get a deep enough layer for good root growth? Do most people mix with gravel or use is by itself? Thanks for the info. This is my first post but all the information on this forum has already been greatly beneficial to me.

Rasconza
rasconza is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 12:53 AM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 205
I recently started up my 72g with 140#s of eco-complete. I must say that I have been very impressed with this product. As a matter of fact I have used laterite in a few tanks now and the eco complete seems to do a much better job. An extra bonus is that eco-complete comes with bacteria already in the bag-thereby cycling your tank that much faster. One other cool thing is that eco-complete has an ability to "settle" itself. By that I mean that there are different granule sizes in each bag. The larger granules stay on top while the finer granules shift to the bottom-which is much preferred by your plants sensitive roots. Im sure 180-200#s would be plenty for your 90g. As stated before I have 140#s and have about a 6-7in. rear depth with about 4-5in. of foreground depth.....yeah its expensive but worth it
Verminaard is offline  
post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison,WI
Posts: 23
Thanks for the reply Verminaard. The eco-complete does seem nice and it is considearbly cheaper than the flourite as well. You say you have anywhere between 4-7in depth of substrate? Is that much neccesary? I always thought recomended was around 3ish. One other question~the eco-complete looks very dark? How does it look in the tank? Black? Just curious on that one. Thanks

Rasconza
rasconza is offline  
post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 01:10 AM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 205
Yes I have about 4-5in . in the foreground and slightly deeper in the rear. I have a very heavily planted rear of the tank(ludwigia, cabomba, wisteria,rotala,lloydia,etc....)and feel that with the extra depth the root systems can go pretty deep and have a great supply of nutrients. I have had tanks with a 50/50 mix of laterite/gravel and only 3 in depth with varying success. Case in point-I have a 55g with this mix (the 50/50 and only 3 in deep)with a large patch of echinodorus tennelus dying off -I believe the reason is the plant has absorbed every last bit of nutrients from the substrate and it grew so thick that the roots are probably choking each other out......I would have been better off with a much deeper substrate. Im sure there are other sources of info on this forum elsewhere on ideal substrate depth........
Verminaard is offline  
post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison,WI
Posts: 23
Thanks for the info. I may go a bit deeper then. I did not realize that the plants would completely use up the nutrients from the substrate. I assumed over a long period of time the nutrients would become depleted. Good info tho. Not sure if you saw because I edited my last post. What do you think of the color of the eco-complete in your tank? Does it look good? Seems very dark in the bag. Thanks again.

Rasconza
rasconza is offline  
post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 01:49 AM
Planted Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 205
I really like the dark look of the eco-comp. I have always read that a dark substrate is usually preferred by most fish. Check out my tank in the photo album section under 72g planted bowfront and you can see that the dark color of the substrate (with the black background) gives a very nice contrast to the colors of the plants. good luck with your tank
Verminaard is offline  
post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-02-2004, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Madison,WI
Posts: 23
Wow~very nice. I like the look of your tank alot. You have so much green that you don't even notice the black substrate. Nice work man!
rasconza is offline  
post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 12:56 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Raul-7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Lomita, CA
Posts: 1,812
You won't need that much substrate, 3-4" is the maximum; I mean with 4" of substrate how much depth will be left for your fish?! The dark substrate is great for bringing out the best colors in your fish, and it's good that it won't reflect light off causing stress to your fish. If you can't find Eco-Complete locally, go to Drs.Foster&Smith...they have the best prices around including shipping...
Raul-7 is offline  
post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 02:28 PM
PT Biologist
 
SCMurphy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 3,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raul-7
You won't need that much substrate, 3-4" is the maximum; I mean with 4" of substrate how much depth will be left for your fish?! The dark substrate is great for bringing out the best colors in your fish, and it's good that it won't reflect light off causing stress to your fish. If you can't find Eco-Complete locally, go to Drs.Foster&Smith...they have the best prices around including shipping...
He's setting up a 90 gallon tank so he should have plenty of room left for the plants and fish. Lots of people (think Amano) aquascape their tank with very radical changes in substrate depth, it gives an undulating (rolling hills) feel to the 'scape. Disclaimer: this is coming from a guy who has substrates that are less than 3 inches deep.

The only thing I would caution against is using a lot of shallow rooting plants over the deepest substrate. You want you deep rooters there so that the plants do what they do best and keep the substrate oxygenated. While I can demonstrate that plants can overcome an anoxic substrate, one that has decomposed to the point of being toxic is dangerous to your plants.

This is coming from an aquatic ecologist.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
SCMurphy is offline  
post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 05:52 PM
Planted Member
 
hypsophrys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by SCMurphy
While I can demonstrate that plants can overcome an anoxic substrate, one that has decomposed to the point of being toxic is dangerous to your plants.
Are you talking about sulfur compounds? I'm just thinking you'd need a lot of organic material there in the first place to create toxic levels of these. 3" of sand and laterite, for example, without any nitrogen or carbon compounds, wouldn't be an issue, even if it was densely packed with no roots, right?

Ian
hypsophrys is offline  
post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 07:37 PM
PT Biologist
 
SCMurphy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 3,220
To start, but how long does it take for mulm to work it's way though a substrate?

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
SCMurphy is offline  
post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 08:00 PM
Planted Member
 
hypsophrys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 251
Well... I'd hypothesize that if mulm can go somewhere, so can water w/dissolved O.
hypsophrys is offline  
post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 08:07 PM
PT Biologist
 
SCMurphy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 3,220
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypsophrys
Well... I'd hypothesize that if mulm can go somewhere, so can water w/dissolved O.
:roll:

Except that the DO would be used up before the water carried it down through 4 inches of gravel. Where as Mulm wouldn't be used up, and would just accumulate. Without any plant roots penetrating down through the gravel there wouldn't be any DO delivery that way either, which was the original problem I was trying to help someone avoid.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
SCMurphy is offline  
post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 08:39 PM
Planted Member
 
hypsophrys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 251
Excellent condescention, thanks.

DO would be used by aerobic bacteria nitrifying/nitrafying the organics... Mostly nitrates being the result. Once the oxygen runs out, Anaerobic Nitrate Respiration then Anaerobic Denitrificaction (which I believe can occur via more than one pathway - one w/no sulfur) can reduce nitrate to gaseous N2.

My point is that there is a whole methodology of using Deep Sand Beds to detoxify aquariums, and I think the rumours of the release of toxic compounds are pretty exaggerated. That seems relevant.

Ian
hypsophrys is offline  
post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-03-2004, 09:21 PM
PT Biologist
 
SCMurphy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 3,220
It sure doesn't seem excellent....

Remember that this is a forum for helping people avoid problems in their tanks. If you don't like being redirected to the answer of the question, there's nothing I can do for you. If you have a point and try to disguise it, don't be surprised if you don't get a reply that matches what you are thinking of. Personally I'd just like to reiterate that all I want is to help the person who asked a question avoid a potential problem that we know about.

Denitrification is accomplished by anaerobic processes, yes, but not fast enough to rid the aquarium of all nitrogen compounds, so you still get the slow release of ammonium and methane from other anaerobic processes.

But in a planted tank those aren't the problem. The creation of the nasty sulfur compounds that you started to bring up earlier also occurs in the anoxic substrate, these ARE poisonous. Rumors? No, not rumors, ask the last person who got to smell rotten eggs when they stirred up a substrate and pulled up wilting crypts with blackened root tips. What a wonderful result of a deep sand bed.

The daily interplay between aerobic and anaerobic processes in a planted tank substrate is absolutely necessary for the rooted plants to obtain their nutrients and detoxify the area around their roots. The problems occur when a substrate goes completely anoxic and is never “switched” allowing the “rumors” to build up.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
SCMurphy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Soil Substrate review and coment request pastorww Substrate 5 05-06-2005 01:59 PM
Poop on substrate soil/rock/sand mitchell2345 Substrate 9 08-10-2004 02:29 AM
help - worms in substrate: 10mm rectanglar head transparent + 2mm white oldguy General Planted Tank Discussion 3 07-29-2004 07:25 PM
New Substrate Over Existing Substrate g8wayg8r Substrate 3 12-24-2003 08:44 PM
Nutrients in Substrate aquaphish General Planted Tank Discussion 6 03-10-2003 02:48 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome