Mixing substrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Mixing substrates

No, this is not the same thread you always see. I am not interested in mixing gravel with anything. What happens when you combine two substrates of similar grain sizes, but different weights? Does the lighter substrate come to the top? Does layering make a difference? I would like to cap my SMS with a layer of eco-complete. They are roughly the same size, but SMS is infuriatingly light. If the two layers will, indeed, separate, could I just dig further down when I am replanting and grab some of the heavy stuff?

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 10:49 AM
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I havent used eco so I can't really say, but I mixed black sand with my SMS and it's made things a little easier.

The sand does work its way to the bottom, but similar to what you've described, I just remix it somewhat when planting and it seems to work long enough for roots to take hold.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 01:53 PM
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My guess would be that the heavier and more compact substrate would go to the bottom. It's a good idea to mix in the new substrate rather than cap it. If you cap it it will kill most of the beneficial bacteria where as mixing will preserve more of it. If you mix it just be careful not to disturb your root system too much. You can do it in sections over time or all at once. Over time will be less stressful on the ecosystem but all at once will get it done quicker. Your choice.

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