Capping gravel? Indecision killing me!
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Substrate


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-19-2009, 08:28 PM   #1
DrinkTheYeastMix
Planted Member
 
DrinkTheYeastMix's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 273
Default

Capping gravel? Indecision killing me!


So I am on the track to a fully scaped and stem-heavy tank and need to make a decision about..you guessed it..capping my gravel. I have been using inert substrate since the tank was set up about 2 months ago. I am planning a big rescape and would like to go ahead and solve this issue while I've got my hands in there anyway. Either picking up simple black gravel to cover the ugly green peas on top, or considering something nutrient rich eco, flourite etc.SO...

-If I start dosing EI should I be alright with inert substrate as far as nutrients go..(I know I will end up answering parameter q's but lets see what comes up) Mostly stems so they can rely on the nutrient rich water column yah?
-If I do go nutrient rich do I need to stop using my ph neutralizer/buffer as a water treatment (was told at the LFS they arent compatible). If so, any quick suggestions to keeping ph stable.

I know the big potential of KH/GH questions coming up so I'll tell you right now I don't have the tests for these at the moment and It's not something I want taking over this thread.

THANKS for input,
Jake
DrinkTheYeastMix is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-19-2009, 08:57 PM   #2
bradac56
Wannabe Guru
 
bradac56's Avatar
 
PTrader: (8/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Blue Springs, MO
Posts: 1,093
Send a message via AIM to bradac56 Send a message via MSN to bradac56 Send a message via Yahoo to bradac56 Send a message via Skype™ to bradac56
Default

Yes adding water column ferts is the way to go and as long as your gravel is in the 1mm to 3mm size range your fine with it.

I'd recommend not using a chemical buffer not because there 'in-compatible' but because jacking with your water parameters every WC is going to lead to allot of work and tears. Pick fish that can live in your tap water instead and most fish will acclimate to anything withen 6pH to 8pH just fine.

- Brad
__________________
Proud member of the Heart of America Aquarium Society and the International Betta Congress

VICTOR PIMP #58 -
VTS-253A-320 x2, VTS-253D-320, VTS-253A-1993-320.
bradac56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2009, 11:42 PM   #3
DrinkTheYeastMix
Planted Member
 
DrinkTheYeastMix's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 273
Default

Thank you Brad.

A more appropriate question.... would the normal benefits of such substrates still be seen if the substrate was laid on top of my gravel, basically should i spend the money on quality shiz if its just on the top layer.
DrinkTheYeastMix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
lauraleellbp
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,326
Default

Over time larger grains will work their way to the surface- so don't do it unless you're OK with the look of the 2 mixed together.

My personal preference is always for substrates that contain or will hold nutrients (have a good CEC). Even if you cap/mix it in, the plants will grow roots to reach into the nutrient-containing bits.
__________________
Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, Sept 8, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!
TBAS Annual Fish Auction - November 1st!!

lauraleellbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 02:31 AM   #5
DrinkTheYeastMix
Planted Member
 
DrinkTheYeastMix's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 273
Default

Okay so I am diving head first into pretty shallow water with this rescape. Im getting ready to do it RIGHT NOW so, going off of the comment about larger grains finding their way to the surface, which I expected to happen, I am unsure which of these two options would be wiser to keep as much of the pre-existing gravel out of sight. I picked up two bags of substrate, same brand but one is very fine and one is larger.
so should I layer the finer on the old gravel with the larger new on top, or should i layer the new larger substrate on the old gravel with the fine on top. Any insights as to which would better prevent my old stuff from making its way up?
DrinkTheYeastMix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2009, 05:12 PM   #6
lauraleellbp
Fresh Fish Freak
 
lauraleellbp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (70/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 24,326
Default

LOL

They're going to get mixed over time, no matter what. Each time you move a plant or decoration the gravel will get exposed.

If you don't want the gravel to show up, remove it all.
__________________
Tampa Bay Aquarium Society - Next meeting Monday, Sept 8, 2014 @ 7:15pm- See ya there!
TBAS Annual Fish Auction - November 1st!!

lauraleellbp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
anastasisariel
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
anastasisariel's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Saint Louis, MO
Posts: 726
Default

Yeah, the finer will always go to the bottom naturally unfortunately. I would love to have eco complete on bottom and black sand on top but know from experience that it doesn't work.
anastasisariel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2009, 09:29 PM   #8
Zapins
Wannabe Guru
 
Zapins's Avatar
 
PTrader: (19/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Harrogate, TN
Posts: 1,611
Default

Fluorite and eco-complete don't really contribute nutrients to plants in any large amount. I consider them both inert.

I wouldn't use pH buffers at all unless your pH is something crazy (above 8 or below 5). Messing with pH buffers all the time is asking for trouble, especially when 99% of the fish and plants hobbyists are likely to encounter aren't extremely picky about pH. The whole pH-has-to-be-perfect fad is really just there to get you to buy more products.

You mentioned "capping gravel" but then didn't say anything about soil. Are you planning on using soil under the gravel cap? If so, then you won't need to dose EI unless you get nutrient deficiencies. With soil in the tank I'd play it by ear and see what deficiency shows up if one shows up at all. If you are planning on just using fluorite/eco/etc... then start EI dosing from the beginning.
Zapins is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
capping, eco-complete, flourite black, gravel, substrate

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not 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

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 11:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012