substrate for 180 gallon
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
maxxximus
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substrate for 180 gallon


Hi everyone, I've been lurking this site for quite awhile. I was a member years ago when I was trying to figure out how to successfully keep a planted tank. Thanks to people on here I was able to maintain many smaller planted tanks in the 30-55 gallon range. Meanwhile I have been keeping large cichlids and other large fish in a bare 180 gallon. I was on the verge of selling it when someone suggested I turn it into a high tech planted tank. I did my reasearch and sold off my big fish to get started.
At the moment I'm struggling to find a substrate that suits my needs. It needs to be affordable and I would like a small grain size. I'm keeping some clown loaches and I would like for them to forage naturally. I've considered capping potting soil with Eco complete but I'm concerned about gas pockets forming. I've seen some people using turface and I don't know much about it other than it has a high Cec. If anyone has any suggestions for a decent substrate ideas that's affordable and will have a good Cec for a tank this size please, I'm all ears. Sorry for being long-winded, and thanks in advance.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:54 PM   #2
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Gas bubbles in MGO aren't an issue if you either heavily plant with plants that develop decent root networks or if you just poke the substrate with a stick once a month
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:46 AM   #3
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put some Green Brochis in there at least 7 they pick at the bottom and release food stuck.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:48 AM   #4
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Gas bubbles in MGO aren't an issue if you either heavily plant with plants that develop decent root networks or if you just poke the substrate with a stick once a month
In a healthy soil substrate this shouldn't even really be necessary.

Check your local hardware stores, tractor supply, etc.. they'll have plenty of colors and grain sizes of sand and sts.

Fishy poo in the substrate adds some cec as well.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #5
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Check your local hardware stores, tractor supply, etc.. they'll have plenty of colors and grain sizes of sand and sts.
Agreed, I am switching out my gravel for STS this weekend. Although I don't have any prior experience with it a lot of people on here say it works great. I have been precycling/ prefertilizing it in a tank and I have to say I really like the look of it. $4.99 at Tractor Supply for 40lbs is awesome!
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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Honestly... if you're going high tech with a tank that size. I would do it right the first time and spend the money! It is a PITA to break down a 180g tank. Trust me, I know!

If I had to redo my 180g, I would go with ADA aquasoil. You'll love how your plants will grow.

Eco complete will work fine, it is a little more affordable.

Nothing is "cheap" when you have a tank that size.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n00dl3 View Post
Honestly... if you're going high tech with a tank that size. I would do it right the first time and spend the money! It is a PITA to break down a 180g tank. Trust me, I know!

If I had to redo my 180g, I would go with ADA aquasoil. You'll love how your plants will grow.

Eco complete will work fine, it is a little more affordable.

Nothing is "cheap" when you have a tank that size.
Yeah I did the math on the aquasoil and its over $ 400. I agree doing it right the first time but that's a tough one.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
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I use Black Diamond blasting media found at "Tractor supply" $8.00 U.S. dollar's for 50 lbs.
Cory's,pleco's, have been fine with this substrate for a couple year's now.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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Yeah I did the math on the aquasoil and its over $ 400. I agree doing it right the first time but that's a tough one.
It really depends on your goal at the end of the day with the question being- will the focus on fish or plants. Sure it is costly, but you'll appreciate the end results with regards to plant health.

Growing plants anyone can do, but growing healthy plants in regular substrate isn't easy, especially with some of the more difficult plants. It is doable with some know how and many are doing it, but not everyone has the knack to make that happen. Having a good base will make it a lot easier.
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