Substrate Fillers? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate Fillers?

Hey all! I am looking to set up my tank and have finished the stand and light setup and have my idea for a hard-scape. Now I am on the substrate issue. I have done some research for a couple of days and decided on Eco-Complete (Unless someone changes my mind). It seems aqua soil grows plants better but needs a few extra water changes and may leave a tint in the water for a month or 2, so I decided against that. I also got some sand I'm going to use in the tank so my bottom feeders can play in.

About 6-months ago I did some research on the topic as well and recall that you could use a clay kitty litter in addition to you substrate as a "Filler". I hear since its clay and porous that it holds minerals and is not harmful to the plants or the appearance of the water. Can anyone back up that info first hand? I also have just got word that the make-up of the litter varies and may have additives that will harm the ecosystem

Questions:

-Would it be alright to use aquarium sand as the top layer of substrate or will this not allow any air to get into the substrate? I will prob mess with it to airate the Ss. Also I have been told that MTSnails will burrow and help prevent compaction

-Is clay kitty litter alright to bulk up your substrate?

-Any tips on setting it all up, planting, etc...?


Thanks in advance!
Mike_E_P
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:06 PM
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I've never personally used kitty litter, but if you run a search I'm sure you'll pull up all kinds of info about it. Some ppl love it. I do know you have to be careful what kind you buy, to make sure there are no harmful additives.

If you haven't checked out Mineralized Soil, I highly recommend you read through that thread currently going here in this same forum before you make your final decision. I've seen some absolutely amazing tanks that were set up using this method, and it requires very little dosing afterwards.





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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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I was reading that but it seams to take a long time for the wash/dry cycle and seems like it could be messy.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:51 PM
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From my own experience with dry kitty litter, I can't imagine using that dusty, messy stuff in a fish tank, personally- the truth is, there's going to be positives and negatives with every single substrate. Most of them work well, it's just a matter of what "benefits" you want versus the "negative" aspects of each.





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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-20-2008, 11:55 PM
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I just set up a tank and am using Schultz Aquatic pond soil to fill up space. It only cost $7 for a bag at Lowes.

I haven't used it long term yet so I cant tell you for sure how good it is but I think it will be fine as a filler.

You can see a picture of what it looks like in my 75g thread (post #39, 2nd pic)


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 12:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeP_123 View Post
I was reading that but it seams to take a long time for the wash/dry cycle and seems like it could be messy.
if you keep up with it.. it doesn't take a long time. maybe 2 weeks tops. I am lazy so it took me longer.



I have read where having a substrate heater helps keep the substrate cleaner.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 01:01 AM
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schultz soil is on sale $5 a bag at home depot
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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thanks octopus44, I read you thread when you were building that stand and had been meaning to check up on it. I'm doing a similar slope but with some pvp tunnels, I cant wait to post some pics of it. maybe ill start a journal like you
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 03:33 AM
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You should start a journal!

I would love to see how you are going to build your slope.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-21-2008, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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alright uploading pics asap
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