New to planted- got a substrate question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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New to planted- got a substrate question

Hey guys.. I have some good substrate with a layer of sand on top..(I need to go find the bag and record the brand I used)..

Anyway.. my question is.. how long can the substrate be in the tank with out plants and stay viable? Does it have a shelf life once it's in the tank with water?

I only ask becuase I had some filter problems that caused me some delays in getting the tank ready for cycling.. and I just want to make sure Im not screwing my investment up as Im really only familar with normal gravel tanks with out plants..

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 04:05 AM
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I think most of the common substrates tend to be inert, and could sit in a tank indefinitely without it really making any difference.

I haven't used it, but I believe the ADA stuff (and a couple other similar ones that I can't remember the names to...) will get exhausted and/or fall apart after time, but I'm under the impression it's on the scale of years (as opposed to months/weeks).

Posting the name/brand would help.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 02:23 PM
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According to Diana Walstad, a soil substrate will just become more stable biologically with time. In her book, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, she mentions a number of studies involving plant nutrient extraction. The control tanks in these studies (the ones with no plants) almost always have the same nutrients that they had at the beginning of the study.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies that does make me feel more comfortable as I navigate the Planted world.. I can't recall the name/brand I have to figure that out because i want to log all this stuff anyway..

I was so excited to get everything started.. I tossed the bags with out writing it down
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