Need help with my substrate... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
Need help with my substrate...

Hi! So I'm setting up my very first planted tank. I have a little 20 gallon high tank. I put my egg crate in and got red lava rock to raise my decorative stones up a bit. I don't know which substrate should go next. I want to put something in there to kind of fill in the gaps in my lava rock. Can I use play sand for that? Should I put organic potting soil in there? The final layer is going to be CaribSea EcoComplete substrate in a light color. I was thinking I would just do play sand then top it off with the CaribSea. Or, should I do potting soil, light gravel to hold the potting soil down and then the CaribSea? Here is a picture of my options and my tank:




Thanks for any help or advice you can give me!

Catherine
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0647.jpg
Views:	196
Size:	138.0 KB
ID:	849217  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0648.jpg
Views:	186
Size:	93.2 KB
ID:	849225  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0649.jpg
Views:	187
Size:	92.2 KB
ID:	849233  

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 3.06.34 PM.jpg
Views:	188
Size:	30.6 KB
ID:	849241  

Oboegirl is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 08:13 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
mgeorges's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 1,311
Play sand is not suitable for aquarium use. Too much variability in grain size, it'll pack down very hard, and smaller particles can enter your filter and wreak havoc on impellers. Last point is probably less of a concern with a cap. You should go with either black diamond blasting sand(BDBS) or pool filter sand. If you want to cap that with Eco-Complete, that's fine, but I'd just leave BDBS uncapped. Easier to plant in than Eco-Complete due to grain size.

I, personally, would skip potting soil. Water column fertilization will take care of everything. Plus, if you're like me and are constantly moving things around because you're never totally satisfied and can't leave well enough alone...potting soil isn't for you unless you like a big ol mess

Last edited by mgeorges; 04-23-2018 at 08:31 PM. Reason: .
mgeorges is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
thank you for helping! you just saved me a problem with the play sand! When you talk about using a "cap" what are you meaning? are you saying I should just get the BDBS and let that fill the gaps in my lava rock and also use that as the top layer of my substrate? I'm happy to skip the potting soil it seems like just a bunch of mud.

Thank you so much for your help!

C
Oboegirl is offline  
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 08:35 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
mgeorges's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 1,311
A "cap" refers to the top most layer. So if you use potting soil, you then "cap" it with a finer substrate like pool filter sand (PFS) or BDBS.

If you're wanting the darker color, then you could use just BDBS to fill in the lava rocks and for planting. It's a very popular inert substrate. If you're wanting a lighter color, then you could do the same thing with PFS. Just pour it in, add some water to get it to really settle in, and you're good to go.

With Eco-Complete - I'm not a fan. Overpriced inert gravel basically. It's still in my 29 gallon tank, but I'm planning a rescape where the substrate will be PFS. Most things do just fine, but the larger grain size caused problems for me with dwarf hair grass. It did not want to spread through the EC, but it has done great in my other tank with PFS.
mgeorges is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 8
Thank you!!!!!


C
Oboegirl is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 09:14 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
mgeorges's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Shawnee, KS
Posts: 1,311
Always happy to offer my experience and two cents. Good luck with the new setup! Looks promising.
mgeorges is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may 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
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome