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bbroush 12-21-2012 08:03 PM

Sand capped with fluorite (plant mix)?
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Is this a really stupid idea? I know I'm new in the hobby, but I feel like it's worth asking. So I have some left over fluorite from another tank that I set up and I was thinking of adding some more depth to my substrate in my 20 gallon tall, low tech tank. It's heavily planted and growing very well and the substrate is a mix of a black and white sand from my lfs and Eco complete (leftover from a friend). the depth is about 1.5-2" in front and as deep as 2-3" in back. my only issue is that I really don't want to disturb my whole tank by removing all my plants and fish and redoing everything. So this may be a dumb question but can I cap my sand with the fluorite? Or is that a bad idea? I want to use the fluorite and it's not enough on it's own to be deep enough. I know this might be a dumb idea but I heard someone mention they'd capped sand in the low tech forum and was hoping for a response.

bbroush 12-22-2012 04:52 PM

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AirstoND 12-24-2012 03:30 AM

Post the best picture of your sand substrate and flourite next to each other.

I would use thin (<0.5in) substrate if sand is finer than flourite. Otherwise 1:1: proportion would be OK, to avoid anaerobic issues and gravel siphoning it up accidentally.

bbroush 12-24-2012 04:07 AM

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I'm actually away for the holidays this week. But the sand is definitely a larger grain, but not as large as the fluorite. So knowing about the potential of anaerobic pockets makes me glad I brought this up, so only a .5" layer? I definitely have a good population of Malaysian trumpet snails aerating the sand now. I don't see why that would change with a fluorite cap.

Diana 12-24-2012 04:50 PM

MTS will work through the flourite cap. I would add it in shallow layers, perhaps just in drifts or patches. See it you like the more natural look.

bbroush 12-24-2012 04:56 PM

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Great idea. Thanks everyone! If I add it like that would I have to take out all my plants?

Diana 12-24-2012 06:05 PM

No. Aquatic plants are not like land plants. They do not mind the substrate getting a little deeper around the stems. Do not bury the smallest plants, like ground cover plants, of course.

bbroush 12-24-2012 06:42 PM

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Okay, so my dwarf sag and small crypts I need to be careful of? That's good to know. Thanks for your help! And Merry Christmas!

FlyingHellFish 12-25-2012 12:25 AM

I would think the flourite on top of the sand will eventually go into the bottom. MTS? I don't think you can add that in a tank that is already done up. Wouldn't that just dissolve? You need to have the MTS on the bottom and then cap the flourite.

bbroush 12-25-2012 12:55 AM

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Sorry, the snail, not the soil :)

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