Thickness of substrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thickness of substrates

Hi, I'm a newbee. I have a 55 gal tank that I'm going to set up as a planted tank (It's sitting empty right now). I have picked up 2-15lb bags of Flourite that I was going to place on the bottom of the tank and then put black sand on top of it. My question is this... How thick should my layer of Flourite be and how thick should my black sand be?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:01 PM
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I just re-setup my 55g with black flourite. What I did was--from the top down:

Flourite-2bags
Flourite sand-1bag
peat
Flourite-2bags
peat


Its ~2.5" thick average with about 3/8" layer of sand in the middle.


HTH


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, that helps.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:24 PM
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What kind of black sand and where'd ya get it? (If you mean something other than Fluorite black sand, that is...)





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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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I had picked up 2 bags of "Carib Sea - Super Naturals - Tahitian Moon"
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry, I forgott to say that I got it at a lfs. Right now I have 2 20lb bags - That was all that they had at the time.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 07:56 PM
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Is it normal (red) flourite? See if the LFS will get you black flourite.

I highly recommend NOT mixing the TMS with flourite, unless you eventually want hidden black sand and red flourite on top.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 08:08 PM
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i like having a thick substrate, mine is about 2 inches deep.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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It's the Normal Flourite (it is a brown color). What if I went 1 inch with the Flourite and 3 inches with the sand. Would I still have the sand falling to the bottom and the Flourite coming to the top? Also, If I have the Flourite on the bottom, Do I still have to rinse it first?

P.S. I did the "kid in the candy store" thing and already ripped open both bags of Flourite and dumped it in to see if maybe I have enough of it.

I found this site after everything was done. If I had known about the Black Flourite ahead of time, I would have gone that route.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwilfinger View Post
It's the Normal Flourite (it is a brown color). What if I went 1 inch with the Flourite and 3 inches with the sand. Would I still have the sand falling to the bottom and the Flourite coming to the top? Also, If I have the Flourite on the bottom, Do I still have to rinse it first?

P.S. I did the "kid in the candy store" thing and already ripped open both bags of Flourite and dumped it in to see if maybe I have enough of it.

I found this site after everything was done. If I had known about the Black Flourite ahead of time, I would have gone that route.
You should have looked here in the S&S. I have about 75lbs of planted substrate for $40. This should do your 55 real well with about 3" of substrate all the way across your tank.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 08:54 PM
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I STRONGLY recommend you wash the fluorite first- and wash it REALLY well. If you have the normal stuff that will cloud your tank like nobody's business, and it will stay cloudy for a LONG time. I even recommend letting it dry out completely afterwards.

The way substrates work is over time the largest grains will migrate to the top and the smaller grains will work their way to the bottom. As long as you're OK with the looks of the two mixed together than you shouldn't have any real issues, though.





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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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lol (as I bang my head on the table). It does not pay to be impatient.
Well, I have the brown Flourite dumped into my tank. I will have to deal with that color. What I was looking for is a dark (black preferred) bottom to my tank because I read that it really accents the plants well. Where as the lighter colors will wash out the color of the plants.
I really did not realize that the sand would eventually migrate to the bottom of the tank. Now I have to re-think on whether or not I like the look of the two of them mixed together. On the average, How long do you think that that will take to happen? I plan on aquascaping the tank with the plants first and then in about 3-6 months, Very slowly adding community fish to the tank.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 09:24 PM
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Depends on how much/how often you move your plants around, and how careful you are during the initial planting. Why don't you try mixing just a handful of the Fluorite with the black sand and see what you think? I've seen some mixed together that I thought looks pretty decent.

Or you could always box it up in a big flat rate box, sell it in the S&S, and go back and get the Fluorite black if that's what you think will make you happiest in the long run. It's your tank- you're the one that will have to look at it the most and the longest LOL





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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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That is a great idea - to sell them on S&S That might be an option. I'll have to first check out how I like the look of both Flourite and Black sand looks together first.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 11:40 PM
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There's a thread of mine in this same forum section with pictures of both. I think they work just fine mixed together, I've got them both mixed with black Colorquartz in my 90gal and I think it works well.





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