Worth changing substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Worth changing substrate?

New guy here... I recently setup my 75g tank ahout a month ago, and it's pretty heavily planted. Only problem is that I used a fairly large gravel as the substrate. It's already fully stocked with fish so any substrate change would be a major pain. I guess I was just wondering if it would be worth the effort to do a substrate change? Guess I should've researched this thing first!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 04:20 AM
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I think it is worth it if you feel it is worth it.

Now, I know that might sound silly, but it is your aquarium. You need to make yourself happy, and if a change will do it, then do it.

I swapped out substrate in one aquarium and broke down and set up another aquarium all in the same week. It was a bit of work, but it was worth every second. The clean up afterward was the worst part! I now have one aquarium with the substrate I wanted, and another aquarium that used some of the old substrate with the addition of some more of the same type of substrate.

I am happy!

Mike
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 05:18 AM
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I have gravel too which I hate. I was thinking of ordering some Eco-Complete. If any of you out there don't like Eco-Complete, please tell me.

Thanks Joe

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29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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If I did switch would it be a noticable amount of better growth/plant health?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 05:15 PM
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What I have read, Gravel is not good for a nice plant setup. Your plants will grow but in a good substrate they should grow much better. Also there are some other pluses to useing a good substrate instead of gravel.

10 gallon hospital tank.
29 & 50 gallon - High Tech C02 enriched.
50 gallon Pond - Natural.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 09:12 PM
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yea, i would change it if i had gravel. i currently have kitty liter substrate and its not as good as i'd like it to be. i dont think the roots of my amazons and stuff are getting enough nutrients.

also, remodeling is fun make sure you take pictures before you tear it down for memories
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 09:21 PM
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The difference between plain gravel and a "good substrate", as far as plant growth is concerned, is too minor to even notice except for a few hard to grow plants. This is assuming that good fertilizing techniques are used with both substrates. Almost all aquatic plants do well with water column fertilizing, and some heavy rooted plants do well with fertilizer tabs in the substrate. The real secret to growing plants well is good fertilizing, CO2, cleanliness and good lighting, not substrates. (This is my opinion and not a scientifically determined result.)

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
The real secret to growing plants well is good fertilizing, CO2, cleanliness and good lighting, not substrates. (This is my opinion and not a scientifically determined result.)
I couldn't agree more.

There are some plants like Glosso and HC that will not do great in large size gravel. But for the overwhelming majority of plants, the differences between a cheaper and more expensive substrate are negligible. Pea gravel allows mulm to collect, and after a while, a nutritious substrate develops.

It comes down to personal choice... I saw a beautiful nano tank, 3 inches of Eco Complete, about 6 inches of water, and planted with Anubias, Ferns and Mosses. And a few stem plants.

All personal choice.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2006, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy
The real secret to growing plants well is good fertilizing, CO2, cleanliness and good lighting, not substrates. (This is my opinion and not a scientifically determined result.)
I couldn't agree more.

There are some plants like Glosso and HC that will not do great in large size gravel. But for the overwhelming majority of plants, the differences between a cheaper and more expensive substrate are negligible. Pea gravel allows mulm to collect, and after a while, a nutritious substrate develops.

It comes down to personal choice... I saw a beautiful nano tank, 3 inches of Eco Complete, about 6 inches of water, and planted with Anubias, Ferns and Mosses. And a few stem plants.

All personal choice.

There is a different school of thought where most of the plant nutrients are provided by the substrate. Low tech, low maintenance tanks are an example. Amanos tanks, and those that set up tanks following his recipe, are another one. Over here, water column fertilization pretty much offsets advantages of one over another substrate.


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