Layering of Substrate! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Talking Layering of Substrate!

Hi all!

I've been reading the forums here for years and decided it's about time I signed up! As an intro I live in AUS and have a low-tech 50G (3ft deep) for about a year Pics and details of the tank to come soon!

I would like to try my hand at a small aquascape and need some help on the substrate. For some context the tank is ~10G (about 1.5ftx1ft*1ft) and I am aquascaping to show a valley. The only plant (so far envisaged) will be HC or something similar; ideally small and carpeting to give a sense of perspective with the rocks ('cliffs and mountains').

My questions are:
1. Can I use gravel as a base layer to get the basic contour and then add aquasoil on top?
2. If not gravel, would sand or any other base substrate be ok?
3. Would the suggested base layer and aquasoil mix over time, and would this matter once the HC has carpeted?

I know purely aquasoil is best but that is far too much money for me to spend, particularly for the landscape I have imagined. I have 10kg of 2mm black gravel, 20kg of white river sand and plenty of Peat Moss at my disposal (bought from bunnings, our hardware store in AUS). The aquasoil is 3L of powdered ADA Amazonia. The aquasoil should form enough of a layer for the little HC's to root into. What are your thoughts & advice!

Thanks for reading

Last edited by Meru; 03-02-2014 at 09:03 AM. Reason: Added more detail
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 01:47 PM
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you can certainly layer substrate. keep in mind that the smaller particulars will eventually end up under the larger. So you might be fine using sand as filler and placing aquasoil over top.

keep in mind that any movement of the substrate (planting and replanting) will cause the two to mix.

another option though, larger rocks, chunks of plastic, etc, to take up space.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks scapegoat,

Yea I was thinking that sand might be a better choice than gravel. Would the two mixing cause any problems after the plant has carpeted? I thought about other materials but it's tough to aquascape with them in the way (especially in a 1.5ft tank).

Anyone else got other ideas/comments on using sand?
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