Dirt is exposed through substrate - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Dirt is exposed through substrate

My tank has Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix covered with Seachem Flourite gravel and a thin layer of black sand. I noticed that there are a few areas where the dirt is showing through the gravel and sand. I can reach down and touch it and tell it's dirt. The tank is fully cycled (I am going to add a few fish tomorrow). Will having the dirt exposed cause any problems?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 03:09 PM
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It can theoretically contribute to ammonia leaching into the water column, at a level your beneficial bacteria can't cope with. It can also lead to cloudiness, just because it can get into the water column easier.

It's really easy to just add more sand over that spot. I just use a handful, but you can also put sand in a plastic soda bottle and invert it over the spot.

Make sure you figure out why it is exposed. You may need to move your filter output or something.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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I think it was caused by gas bubbles escaping through the substrate. The tank has only been setup for 3 weeks.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 05:12 PM
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Oh yeah, no biggie then. Best thing to do is poke the substrate with a chopstick or skewer all over, then repair the broken cap with more sand, and then just poke every day or every other day to keep the bubbles from "erupting" and messing up your cap.

If you can plant something like dwarf hairgrass or tons of stem plants, they will help a lot. If not, don't worry, it quits after awhile.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thank you. The tank is planted heavily (see my journal). I was going to get a few fish today but my car's transmission is stuck in park.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 07:12 PM
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The only problem you will have is dirty water caused by floaters coming up from the dirt. I deal with it on a daily basis with my peat moss substrate. Just gotta keep the cap over it as much as possible.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2013, 07:49 PM
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Cover it up & move on....NON-Issue.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2013, 05:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I added 6 swordtails and 3 Oto cats today and they are doing fine but there was an explosion of dirt through the sand. I am going to get more sand on Monday when my LFS is open.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2013, 06:39 PM
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What kind of sand are you using? Your LFS will probably charge a premium for something you could buy at most big box hardware stores for super cheap. I bought a 50lb bag the other day for $4.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-13-2013, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thelub View Post
What kind of sand are you using? Your LFS will probably charge a premium for something you could buy at most big box hardware stores for super cheap. I bought a 50lb bag the other day for $4.
It was black sand.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 02:05 PM
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Not sure if you have a tractor supply store or a harbor freight close by, but they both have 50 lbs of black sand(coal slag) for less than $10.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-14-2013, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
Cover it up & move on....NON-Issue.
Eggsactly

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
Quote me as saying I was misquoted.
Once you get rid of integrity the rest is a piece of cake.
Here's to our wives and sweethearts - may they never meet.
If you agreed with me we'd both be right.
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