Recommend Substrate for Frequent Rescape - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Recommend Substrate for Frequent Rescape

I need some help as to what substrate I should get. I'm going to do a 2ft medium tech (med light, DIY CO2) as a practice tank, so I expect frequent rescaping, roughly once every 3-6 months. I'm not sure if the frequency will affect the substrate, so I'm looking for suggestions. Also, if substrate becomes mud-like, does that have any ill effect or bad? Thanks.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 04:32 AM
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Flourite will be your best friend if you rescape a lot.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 06:32 AM
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Akadama is something getting used a little more often in the Aquarium, it is a volcanic clay soil used in Bonsai but is a very high CEC soil and better than Flourite, but either would be fine. Aquarium Products .com also has some nice baked clay substrates in nice colors.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 05:21 PM
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Pool filter sand will be very easy to move about, reshape, partially siphon out, and partially replace with new if desired, whether you wish less quantity or more, and whenever you wish to rescape, and will result in an absolute minimum of cloudiness, messy upheaval or disruption in your tank while you're doing that.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. I've been looking at ADA AS and Akadama.

Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Pool filter sand will be very easy to move about, reshape, partially siphon out, and partially replace with new if desired, whether you wish less quantity or more, and whenever you wish to rescape, and will result in an absolute minimum of cloudiness, messy upheaval or disruption in your tank while you're doing that.
That's interesting since I'm under a small budget. Since sand would be entirely inert, do you think I can crush up root tabs and mix in with the PFS for the start and after a while simply insert root tabs? Would the root tabs nutrients just float in the water since PFS has a low CEC?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 06:33 PM
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Definitely use a single substrate (no capping). If you use root tabs, you'll probably end up with a lot of little fert balls hanging around from frequent rescaping. I would probably go with one of the baked clay (or volcanic clay) variants (Flourite, Eco Complete, Turface, Diamond Pro, the AP brand, etc.) because of the high CEC, knowing that they'd absorb nutrients from the water column and mulm that settles on them, and when you rescaped and mixed the substrate up, you'd end up with nutrients further down in the substrate ...sort of like root tabs.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-23-2011, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishball7 View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I've been looking at ADA AS and Akadama.



That's interesting since I'm under a small budget. Since sand would be entirely inert, do you think I can crush up root tabs and mix in with the PFS for the start and after a while simply insert root tabs? Would the root tabs nutrients just float in the water since PFS has a low CEC?
I wouldn't crush up the root tabs - would likely make quite a mess of/in the sand. Put them in whole, and if your sand is say 3" deep where your plantings are, push them right down to the bottom, and you should have no problem messing up or coloring up the sand when you do your re-scaping.
And no, the fert nutrients in the tabs would not float in the water. PFS sand is quite dense and will properly hold in the tabs until they disappear from being drawn up by the plants.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Definitely use a single substrate (no capping). If you use root tabs, you'll probably end up with a lot of little fert balls hanging around from frequent rescaping. I would probably go with one of the baked clay (or volcanic clay) variants (Flourite, Eco Complete, Turface, Diamond Pro, the AP brand, etc.) because of the high CEC, knowing that they'd absorb nutrients from the water column and mulm that settles on them, and when you rescaped and mixed the substrate up, you'd end up with nutrients further down in the substrate ...sort of like root tabs.
I'm very tempted by ADA New Amazonia or II because of its nutrients (not a fan of having to dose all the time) and being able to hold a slope well because I'd be doing a mountainscape at some point, but I've heard it breaks down easily, especially with frequent rescape. Just wondering ADA would be fine for me and if the mud-like AS later on would be fine for continuous use as well?

I don't see how the little fert balls would be a problem during rescape since I can buy a mesh or something and filter them out. Or not, and they can be mixed and just use the PFS again?

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Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
I wouldn't crush up the root tabs - would likely make quite a mess of/in the sand. Put them in whole, and if your sand is say 3" deep where your plantings are, push them right down to the bottom, and you should have no problem messing up or coloring up the sand when you do your re-scaping.
And no, the fert nutrients in the tabs would not float in the water. PFS sand is quite dense and will properly hold in the tabs until they disappear from being drawn up by the plants.
I'm a complete newbie to this: would carpet plants do well on PFS? Would I also need something under to help the sand hold its shape? ie gentle slope.

I'm tossing up between ADA and PFS. With ADA, the nutrients, probably easier to source and slope holding. With PFS, for the price, ease of rescape, and I will be using PFS for my main tank when I get to it.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-24-2011, 02:11 AM
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Carpet plants would be a touch more difficult in sand than some other substrates, but it can readily be done with the right fertilizing and a little TLC. And btw, PFS should hold it's gentle slope shape a-ok.
Perhaps it may help you to get some thoughts in your mind by having a peek at my planted, low-tech, discus tank:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...spaul/Sept2011
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