Best substrate for a community tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 3Likes
  • 1 Post By DaveKS
  • 1 Post By EdSheldon
  • 1 Post By TheDukeAnumber1
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
Best substrate for a community tank

I currently have a fully cycled, large planted tank with a large adult male betta, black neon tetras, and a a juvenile Bristlenose Pleco. I have had the community together since January and it has been rewardingly and surprisingly successful in my opinion. I had always wanted to try my hand at shrimp as I had only had planted tanks with an assortment of plants, fish and snails throughout my life, and so two weeks ago I finished off the tank by adding four Amano shrimp.
(I know this is not a conventional aquarium community, but I have provided a wide variety of hiding places, adapting to each individuals desires and was worried it wouldn’t worked, and had two extra tanks ready for two months in case, but I have seen no aggressive behaviors at all, they really all ignore each other, with the betta watching and swimming around like a yard monitor. It’s fabulous)
I now have floating plants, as well as Anubias nana petite planted on gravel and on driftwood, as well as column plants creating a forested section planted into gravel at one end of the tank over a cave with a large java fern planted into the gravel at the other end of the tank.
My substrate is natural stones ranging in size from about .5 cm to 2cm, and has been doing a good job rooting and growing the plants I have selected, although planting them initially can be tricky with smaller plants when propagating, as they can float out of the larger gaps between pebbles. I have seen the Amano shrimp crawl into the top layer of substrate to eat algae and seem happy to do so.
I have never used sand, or dirt, only medium to large stones as my parents never allowed me to for fear they would end up in their plumbing and I now have just been using stones for years. Now, I’m wondering what you would suggest as the best substrate or layers of substrates for this type of tank. My plants have been growing well and propagating like crazy, however I have this constant desire to try sand or smaller gravel to make planting easier. I’m curious as to what is the best balance for the Pleco and shrimp as bottom feeders, and for the plants that are root feeders or like to be heavily rooted. I have done oodles of research and am a biology major so am well informed about basics but am open to any advice, especially for shrimp and substrate! Thank you!
EdSheldon is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 10:54 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Streetwise's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,041
If you want to try organic potting soil, I would be happy to share advice.

Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Nano Plant Spectrum LED, Top Fin MF10, Neptune Systems Apex EL
Tanks:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Streetwise is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 11:12 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 1,849
How deep is current gravel?

You might consider doing something like this. Pull the bigger pieces of current gravel up in higher piles in places and around wood and rocks. Then come back with a sandy gravel about 1-3mm in size and work it into gravel piles and fill in low areas with a more sandy area. Looks very natural done this way.

Streetwise likes this.
DaveKS is online now  
 
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
I’m worried about soil as in May I graduate college, and so I need something that is easy to move. I’ve moved tanks back and forth all four years so I’ve got used to moving stones, I have to move it at Christmas for a month which will be rough but I have no choice as I’m going to see family in Europe. I currently put all the rocks in plastic containers to move, Would I be able to leave the tank planted in dirt, with very minimal water while in transit for a short ways or is that stupid?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
If you want to try organic potting soil, I would be happy to share advice.
Streetwise likes this.
EdSheldon is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 02:26 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Streetwise's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,041
I am going to think about a proper answer, but in the short term, regardless of substate, maybe you should make sure that everything is in a sub-six-gallon tank so you can move your livestock safely. Six is a guess, but I live in a rental and I dread moving my 20G, even with water almost cleared.

Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Nano Plant Spectrum LED, Top Fin MF10, Neptune Systems Apex EL
Tanks:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Streetwise is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 02:59 AM
Algae Grower
 
TheDukeAnumber1's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: On a well in Illinois
Posts: 87
Wow now that's dedication. In my college days I kept a 2.5g and wouldn't go higher. There is great value in being able to pick up a tank full for moving/maintence when you have to move often.

Do you dose ferts and what is your tap water like?
Streetwise likes this.
TheDukeAnumber1 is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 03:16 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Streetwise's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,041
I try to focus on tactical solutions, but in this case...

Do you have a planted tank friend in your town so your could get foster-care for your tanks?

Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Nano Plant Spectrum LED, Top Fin MF10, Neptune Systems Apex EL
Tanks:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Streetwise is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 04:30 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
DaveKS's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: 67212
Posts: 1,849
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdSheldon View Post
Im worried about soil as in May I graduate college, and so I need something that is easy to move. Ive moved tanks back and forth all four years so Ive got used to moving stones, I have to move it at Christmas for a month which will be rough but I have no choice as Im going to see family in Europe. I currently put all the rocks in plastic containers to move, Would I be able to leave the tank planted in dirt, with very minimal water while in transit for a short ways or is that stupid?
Soil will stay waterlogged so to heavy to leave in plus without circulation (oxygenation) it would probably start going putrid in about 24hrs.
DaveKS is online now  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 01:48 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
Streetwise's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,041
Where are you? Maybe there is a forum member in your radius who can be a hero.

Style: Organic potting soil, gravel, sand, wood, plants, algae, biofilm, snails, shrimp, fish, dual siestas
Tech : Small tanks, Fluval Nano Plant Spectrum LED, Top Fin MF10, Neptune Systems Apex EL
Tanks:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Streetwise is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 02:13 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 9
Love it!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
duzzy73 is offline  
post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
Newbie
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 3
No, not really. Some of my friends in college have smaller very simple 2-5 gallon betta or guppy tanks but nothing planted or mixed species.
When I am not around at college my boyfriend takes care of the tank, and although hes very capable and follows instructions and wont complain, hes not interested in fish. When Im home for summers and leave for short periods my parents take care of it and my mom loves it. She has kept a betta I had in an ecocolumn in highshool alive for 4 years after the experiment!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
I try to focus on tactical solutions, but in this case...

Do you have a planted tank friend in your town so your could get foster-care for your tanks?
My dorm is quite old, so I dont use the tap water as I worry it would carry trace metals or something I wouldnt catch. We have purified water refil stations that filter out everything, and I then add cleaning bacteria / ph balance solution.
I only recently have started using fertilizers, as everythings been growing to my satisfaction without, but I added a flourish root tab under my Anubias about two months ago to test it out and the things grown like crazy so I may add them under the other plants if replace the substrate at some point. As Ive never used them I was worried about adding them and causing algae or other problems but the one hasnt affected anything other than the growth is insane and Ive been able to propagate two plants from it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDukeAnumber1 View Post
Wow now that's dedication. In my college days I kept a 2.5g and wouldn't go higher. There is great value in being able to pick up a tank full for moving/maintence when you have to move often.

Do you dose ferts and what is your tap water like?
Thousand Oaks! Id love planted friends in my area to share plants or tips with 🙂

Quote:
Originally Posted by Streetwise View Post
Where are you? Maybe there is a forum member in your radius who can be a hero.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-28-2019 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
EdSheldon 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