Soil Planted 10 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Soil Planted 10 gallon

I am doing a organic top soil (cheaper) planted tank, been running or cycling for about 2 weeks now with a couple big water changes. The water does keep getting discolored from the soil under the gravel, has slowed down since the first 2 big water changes, but does keep getting discolored. I did do a water test with it being slightly discolored, and the only thing according to the test is the nitrites are in the "stress" level for fish. Everything else is fine, so I am basically concerned about this tank as it is my first soil tank. I am about to overhaul the tank, spend the extra money, and get the Flourite substrate. If anyone is experienced with soil tanks, and is thinking I'm just being to concerned or have some pro tips or what not would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Dahistorynerd View Post
I am doing a organic top soil (cheaper) planted tank, been running or cycling for about 2 weeks now with a couple big water changes. The water does keep getting discolored from the soil under the gravel, has slowed down since the first 2 big water changes, but does keep getting discolored. I did do a water test with it being slightly discolored, and the only thing according to the test is the nitrites are in the "stress" level for fish. Everything else is fine, so I am basically concerned about this tank as it is my first soil tank. I am about to overhaul the tank, spend the extra money, and get the Flourite substrate. If anyone is experienced with soil tanks, and is thinking I'm just being to concerned or have some pro tips or what not would be greatly appreciated.
What did you cap the soil with and how thick is the cap? Don't waste money on "planted" substrates unless you pony up the cash for aquasoil.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just a natural colored gravel, and 2" to 3".
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 01:18 AM
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Just a natural colored gravel, and 2" to 3".
That's most likely why you're getting so much leeching into the water column. IMO you'd been better served using a sand cap.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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I was guessing that. In your opinion should i change it to sand or should be fine with it is.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 01:35 AM
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I was guessing that. In your opinion should i change it to sand or should be fine with it is.
Personally, I'd change it. I've done a couple dieted tanks and the first one I did, I used gravel. It was a disaster. I wouldn't break down the tank though. Pull the water out, scrape off a healthy amount of the gravel and cap it with sand. Save yourself some money and buy pool filter sand or black diamond blasting grit. They'll both work well and are cheap.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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You're awesome! Thanks.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 01:49 AM
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Yep i would do the same. Silt can form between the bigger stones and is a nightmare to clean. Not good

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-06-2017, 06:23 AM
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Gravel is a crime to tank substrates. Since gravel doesnt make a perfect cap that probably explains why you are seeing discoloring in the water. I have done 2 dirted tanks, one with a decent 2 inch cap and one with a risky 1 inch cap. None of them have leaked anything. I like Nlewis´ solution.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2018, 08:37 AM
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Hi, I signed up to ask this question, but I like the site so I will stay, also I hope this thread isn't too old to reply to.
You mentioned black diamond blasting grit, but https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...ting-abrasives lists it as
a "Coal slag abrasive", and to keep it dry.
I'm confused, I don't know what coal slag is, but it sounds like it would leach coal or other chemicals into the water.
Any help would be appreciated, as I am starting my first 10 gallon planted soil aquarium on a budget, and really want to get everything right.
I'm willing to wait and save up for a while and get something more expensive if I need to, but I am on a fixed budget, so it will take a while.
Thank you, and sorry again for reviving an old thread, I'm still really new to the whole forum thing.
This is a forum right? Lol, I seriously have no idea what I'm doing.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-05-2018, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Joshua Swenson View Post
Hi, I signed up to ask this question, but I like the site so I will stay, also I hope this thread isn't too old to reply to.
You mentioned black diamond blasting grit, but https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...ting-abrasives lists it as
a "Coal slag abrasive", and to keep it dry.
I'm confused, I don't know what coal slag is, but it sounds like it would leach coal or other chemicals into the water.
Any help would be appreciated, as I am starting my first 10 gallon planted soil aquarium on a budget, and really want to get everything right.
I'm willing to wait and save up for a while and get something more expensive if I need to, but I am on a fixed budget, so it will take a while.
Thank you, and sorry again for reviving an old thread, I'm still really new to the whole forum thing.
This is a forum right? Lol, I seriously have no idea what I'm doing.
That looks to be the blasting sand. I haven't tried this yet, I have been using PFS.


I am wanting to try play sand next and see how I like it, PFS is really light. The blasting sand looks a bit heavier.


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