Any Opinions/Ideas on Rescape Substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Any Opinions/Ideas on Rescape Substrate?

Hi there;

I am looking for some advice prior to a long awaited rescape. I currently have MGOPS capped with blasting sand. I started my tank on this approximately two years ago and since I have lost slope and there has been mixing of the white sand path and black sand I put in incorrectly (live and learn). I am also getting some dirt coming up when removing rooted plants. I have also gotten past the sulphur bubbling up from the anaerobic areas which is nice.

My question is what do you think would be my best bet to do with this new substrate, or what would you put in if you were doing a rescape? I would like a larger grain for ease of syphoning along the bottom but don't want to lose out on the benefit dirt will provide my rooted plants. I am also concerned about losing my beneficial bacteria although I am running two multistage canister filters.

I am currently selecting plants for the scape which will require a higher demand, my CO2 is back up and running with EI dosing and I am adding a second two bulb T5H0 fixture. This is all on a 75G with a moderate stock of fauna.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jay
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 10:58 PM
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You said it all in your 1st paragraph. Dirt is difficult if you like to scape a tank and move things around. I'm not sure why you even using dirt if your EI Dosing and providing I think pressurized co2. If your going that route you could use Aquasoil or go with just inert sand and the plants will do fine dosing the water column and providing the right light and co2.

The tank will be much easier to work with if you want to adjust things.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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The reason I have dirt now because I dove into it without knowing what I was doing or that in the future I would be dosing and running CO2. CO2 was out of reach for me at first and way over my head, now I am looking for suggested alternatives. If I do go inert is there anything to stay away from? Will carpeting plants or heavy rooted plants do alright in a larger sized substrate? What am I looking at in the way of root tabs or supplementation with inert?

Thanks.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 12:00 AM
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2 year old dirt may still have something in it, but if you are doing a massive rescape I would go to the bottom of it and pull everything out.

Black blasting sand seems to be a favorite at the moment. Sand works as well. I would say stay away from branded expensive gravel ( some of the brands that offer elemental composition of their rocks as if it would ever become available to the plants in our aquarium, friends know the brands ). Also larger grain means debris will fall in between and clog-> anaerobic areas. I guess HC will or hair grass will be more difficult to keep down immediately after planting if gravel is larger. Also if you think about having catfish, you might want to research their needs first.

Root tabs not needed with EI but also won't hurt ( except your pocket)

On hiatus till later this year
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 07:10 PM
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Removing plants from dirt is not as big a deal as people make it out to be, as long as you do it the right way. Slip some scissors under the substrate just below the plant and cut the roots away while they are underground. Very easy, results in zero cap breach.

I've been having fun mixing different sizes of gravel into sand of matching color, for a more natural transition between the substrate and hardscape. There are many easily available gravels that color match well with pool filter sand (a nice, larger grain sand).
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