How thick can I make a lava rock substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-04-2020, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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How thick can I make a lava rock substrate?

Iím planning out my new tank, and Iíll be using a pretty coarse layer of lava rock granules as the base layer in the substrate(.500-.750" pieces). The reasoning for this is to add more surface area for biological filtration, and to add height without having an anaerobic layer. My question is thisÖ How thick can I reasonably go before I risk anaerobic respiration at the bottom? In case itís important, this is going in a 125G tank, and I would really like places with the substrate 10-12Ē thick (7-9Ē of lava rock + 3Ē of BDBS). Will this work out fine, or am I asking for trouble here?

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-05-2020, 04:51 AM
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In my experience you should be fine. The deepest substrate in my tank is about 8" (6" of soil and 2" of gravel cap). It has been running for 5 years now and it has never been an issue. It did let off a lot of bubbles the first 6 months but careful monitoring (sniffing) revealed no detectable signs of rotten egg smell.

I will be using up to 8" of soil with a 2" gravel cap without any concern in our new 180g tank. I would have no worries going thicker if I cared to.
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