Capping regular aquarium gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 151
Capping regular aquarium gravel?

Would this be wise? Maybe with Eco complete. My gravel is well established and I'd hate to lose all that good fertilizer my fish have been adding to it. I just switched to pressurized CO2 and my new 3x54w T5 light should be here next week. My goal is to try to grow a carpet of some kind and feel that reg gravel is too coarse for this. Are there any disadvantages to capping my gravel? I know eventually it will all mix together but that's a while off. I guess my main concern would be the thickness after capping - 3" front to 4-5" rear.
kroner19 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 06:10 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
rainbuilder's Avatar
 
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
Personally, I would remove all of the gravel and then re add the new substrate. I do not use gravel for any of my planted tanks because it is too coarse in my opinion for plants to grow in. I use sand, which works great, and recently I set up an aquarium with dirt capped with sand. Sand really helps carpeting plants grow densely and the roots of your other plants are also allowed to grow more.

RAOK Club #38
Fraternity of Dirt #91

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
rainbuilder is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2012, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 151
Would the removal of all of my old substrate cause a new cycle in my tank? or is my established filter (Rena XP3) enough to keep it going?
kroner19 is offline  
 
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 12:57 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: louisville, ky
Posts: 171
I would test and prepare for a sweet and short mini cycle but you should be ok.

Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
mrduna01 is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 04:02 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Kathyy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (35/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Newbury Park, CA
Posts: 4,182
I would replace the gravel or take out part of it and mix with the size substrate you like. I like a mix of particle sizes, looks natural to me and the size of the pore will be that of the smallest particles. My green pea sized substrate is kind of large and heavy even mixed with split pea sized natural gravel and the raw rice grain sized stuff.

If you save some of the mulm, the brown gunk, that is in the substrate you are saving a lot of good stuff. Gravel has low CEC, right? That also means it doesn't have much room for bacteria to colonize, the bacteria are colonizing the mulm which is basically aquatic compost. Take the plants and hardscape out of the tank and about 1/2-2/3s the water. Now scoop out the old gravel. This rinses some of the mulm out so it stays in the tank. Now let the tank sit for a bit until some of the mulm settles down and siphon out most of the water. Place your new rinsed substrate in the tank and place your hardscape.

Agree, expect a bit of ammonia from the disturbance but last time I completely emptied the tank and redid the hardscape there was ammonia present for all of a day.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

River Bank

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

MOP* Nano
Kathyy is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 151
Very cool. Thanks for the help.
kroner19 is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-25-2012, 04:19 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
You could do that in stages, perhaps 1/4 of the tank each week or every other week.
The materials will blend anyway, most finer material will sink through the gravel, not make a cap. You could add some of the new material and take out some of the gravel. You might not ever get all the gravel out, so if that would be a problem, then just go ahead and do the project all at once.

3" is enough, 4-5" is a lot. If you want that much slope I would start with less in front (perhaps just 1" to 1.5")
Diana 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