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Old 01-06-2004, 03:26 AM   #1
Rolo
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I think its about time that someone post a clear solution to the needed amount of substrate. The past few days I’ve been pouring over the internet without any clear help. The most common answer is this very vague “I have X pounds of substrate in my X gallon tank,” or “this many bags for that many gallons.” They leave out many important factors such as dimension :shock: :x, the brand/type of substrate, the depth of the substrate, and many standards are just so loosely coordinated, i.e. I found one source to recommend 1kg fluorite for every 64 in. sq. and another 38 in sq. So keep these vital details in mind.

This post was originally specific too two tanks I’m planning to fill, but these kinds of post I have found unhelpful – hoping now that some universal guidelines will come up for different brands of substrates and prove beneificial to more than a handful of people. At least something like the popular 3 WPG, it is a nice starting point for many to get started and somewhat accurate.
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Old 01-06-2004, 12:17 PM   #2
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Go to http://www.brainyday.com/jared/aquarium/flourite.htm It will tell you how much Flourite based on tank dimensions and depth of substrate. Note that Eco-Complete is very close to the same volume as Flourite on a bag to bag basis.
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Old 01-06-2004, 12:54 PM   #3
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Rolo, the reason you're seeing such varying recommendations is because there are so many different types of substrate being used. A light weight substrate like Laterite / Kitty Litter will require less weight to achieve a certain depth. Flourite is a fairly light porous clay, compared to solid quartz gravel of the same granular size so it will require less weight to achieve a certain depth than regular gravel. Sand will obviously require the most weight to achieve depth.

As for depth - I shoot for 3" in the front and 4"-5" in the back.
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Old 01-06-2004, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
Rolo, the reason you're seeing such varying recommendations is because there are so many different types of substrate being used. A light weight substrate like Laterite / Kitty Litter will require less weight to achieve a certain depth. Flourite is a fairly light porous clay, compared to solid quartz gravel of the same granular size so it will require less weight to achieve a certain depth than regular gravel. Sand will obviously require the most weight to achieve depth.
I already know what you just said and thats exactly the problem I have. Look what I wrote - I'm hoping someone could comeup with more precise ways to the know the proper amounts of different brands of substrate. Rex knows what I meant by providing an equation for fluorite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo737
The most common answer is this very vague "I have X pounds of substrate in my X gallon tank,” or “this many bags for that many gallons."...hoping now that some universal guidelines will come up for different brands of substrates and prove beneificial to more than a handful of people. At least something like the popular 3 WPG, it is a nice starting point for many to get started and somewhat accurate.
It’s just like the 3WPG rule. Like substrate, not all light is created equal - they come in various lumens, pars, color temps, CRIs, sizes and efficiencies...meaning that between two different bulbs of the same watts, not both are equal in benefits to plants. These differences of lights are comparable to substrate size - which is the only substantial difference in this case - making various rule for different substrates a lot easier to come up with.
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:55 PM   #5
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Well then that's simply a matter of finding out the density of various types of popular substrates. Jared's site already mentions these two:
Flourite: ~60 lbs/cu ft.
Regular Gravel: ~90 lbs/cu ft.
Silica Sand: ~100 lbs/cu ft.

Then, once you have the density if your chosen substrate, plug it into this calculator to find out how much you need for your tank...
Sand Bed Calculator
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:01 PM   #6
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I guess thats what I was looking for all along, the lbs/cu ft. Does any know the lbs/cu ft. of eco-complete?
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:35 PM   #7
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Based on this thread...
http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plant.../msg00247.html
2 bags of Eco-Complete achieved 2.5" in a 20g tank. Assuming it is a standard 20g, with a base of 24" x 12", that makes for 360 cu in per bag, or 0.2 cu ft.
A bag is 20lbs (note that much of which is water) so

Eco-Complete: 96 lbs/cu ft.

It's really not that dense, but since much of the bag is filled with water, that is the number you'd use.
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:49 PM   #8
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I really appreciate your input Sam, this has helped me alot!
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:50 PM   #9
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Update the thread and let us know if the equations hold true in real life!
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:49 PM   #10
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Ok, I'm about to order 2 bags fluorite for my 20 gallon (24x12) which will give me about 3" (using 60 lbs/cu. ft. on the sand bed caculator) and 1 bag of eco-complete for my 10 gallon which yield about 2" - wow, alot of that is water!

Will I be fine with 2" in my 10 gal? 3" seems kind of overkill in a 12 tall inch tank, that a quarter of the height!

Plus when you say 3" minimum, do you mean 3" total substrate or of some real hardcore plant nutritious stuff? I was planning probabely on going for 1 bag fluroite on my 20 gallon, making about 1.5", then toping it off with 1.5" of sand, do you see any problems with this at all?

I just realized that Big Als is isn't selling fluorite! :shock: :x I swear I saw it last night for $10 a bag, am I crazy or what?
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Old 01-07-2004, 01:29 PM   #11
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2" in a 10g will probably be just fine. I don't like taking up 1/4 of my tank with just sand, either.
3" is the recommendation for total depth. So you can layer it (1" laterite, 1 1/2" Gravel, 1/2" sand).
The only problem with layering is that the sand will eventually sift its way to the bottom and intermix with the gravel or Flourite so you'll end up with slightly less depth but I still think you'll be just fine with 1 bag of Flourite and 1 1/2" of sand in your 20g.

Bigals is renovating their site, there are a few things I haven't been able to find.
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:54 AM   #12
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2 bags of eco complete gives 2-3" in my 20g long.
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Old 01-08-2004, 08:35 AM   #13
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Holy moly this stuff is freakin expensive. Here in Aus a 7kg bag is $80. The minimal substrate of 3 inches will take 3 bags, costing $240.
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Old 01-08-2004, 10:31 AM   #14
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Probably due to shipping costs to Aus. In the US, it's usually $20-$30.

And, Rolo - they still sell it - http://www.bigalsonline.com/search/?...ords1=flourite
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Old 01-09-2004, 02:10 AM   #15
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heh, yeah probably. Since Australia has no at all, anywhere.

Just for kicks I checked how much it would cost to ship a $1.99 bottle of fertilizer from America to my place, it was $98.90.
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