How to go about switching substrates? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-25-2009, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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How to go about switching substrates?

Edit: Well since it seems like there isn't a good way to cover my red fluorite, any suggestions on how to go about replacing my red flourite with black gravel or sand? Would doing a section at a time be alright? I don't want to harm my plants either... I have hygros, sags, anubias.


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I'm so annoyed with myself for using red fluorite in my new tank that has been set up for almost two months. I bought it used from someone since the price was cheaper than if I bought it new, so I thought it was a good deal and that I wouldn't mind the red. But I do! I really want black substrate. What can I put on top of it? It seems like all regular black gravels have issues with the black coming off and messing with the water.

I was planning on just.. scooping out 1/3-1/2 of the fluorite that is in there and then pouring in some black gravel on top of it and smoothing it out. Someone suggested 3M black colorquartz, but I imagine that will just end up on the bottom eventually and the red flourite will be on top. So should I just buy some black fluorite to put on top? Or does anyone have a cheaper alternative?

Also will scooping out some of the substrate/replacing some screw up my tank parameters/make a mess? Any suggestions appreciated. =)

Last edited by Starálfur; 04-18-2009 at 07:43 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 01:25 AM
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Big particles float on small particles, not the other way around.

If you put sand over gravel it will go in between. That's all I know about. I have been finding blue grains of gravel on top of my sand, i can prove they "float."

If you are sure you want black gravel then do it by all means.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seds View Post
Big particles float on small particles, not the other way around.
I never suggested the other way around heh. So yeah, I'm looking for a decent sized black gravel that I can put over my red fluorite.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 03:57 AM
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I have a ton of SMS if you are interested in it.. it is dark grayish black.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-26-2009, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I have a ton of SMS if you are interested in it.. it is dark grayish black.

Oh wow, I've never heard of this stuff and just looked it up and it looks promising! PMing you...
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 08:31 PM
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Keep in mind that no matter what, the substrates will get mixed up over time.

If you really dislike the red that much, I'd recommend going ahead now with a complete replacement.





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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 10:10 PM
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I have about an inch of red fluorite under 2-3 inches of black S grade CQ. The tank has only been up about 3 months but as of now I can say I have not seen a single red particle. But that said, I am extremely careful when I do water changes not to stir up the substrate much.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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I think eventually it would get mixed because I have trouble with new aquascaping - I always mix stuff up.

What if I added big black stones to cover the majority of the flourite? Would that work? Like black river rocks?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 09:30 PM
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have you ever thought of using a good foreground? i used to hate the red as well and i just planted some hairgrass and in a few months i didn't even see the substrate any more.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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have you ever thought of using a good foreground? i used to hate the red as well and i just planted some hairgrass and in a few months i didn't even see the substrate any more.
That would be perfect except I have a low tech tank, no co2 and low lighting, and I've heard that anything like hairgrass just doesn't do well. If anyone has any suggestions that'd be great. Hopefully I'm getting a bunch more anubias in soon and that will help hide some of it.

I just hate how washed out my fish look with that red, ugh. Especially since I have some rasboras, they just blend in, and the pandas blend in too.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 09:44 PM
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how bout a moss cover?
something like xmass moss will give you a darker ground cover and you wont need a high light set up in order to grow it. all you have to do is tie down the moss to some slate and you're good !

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-09-2009, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, sounds interesting but it sounds like it'd be difficult to keep it on the ground and work it in and among the plants, and then all the gravel is covered and would the cories be okay? I see some tutorials on how to make a moss wall using mesh but I'm not certain how to go about getting it over the substrate.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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There is some green algae growing on the substrate right now and it doesn't look half bad hahaha but it will get disturbed when I clean the tank.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 12:33 PM
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i used 1 bag of florite (red, regular stuff) on bottom and 1 bag a black florite sand on top and it mixed because i was not carefull adding watter, and eventually it workd its way to the top from the root system and my constantly digging around the tank. anyway i kind of like the look it gave me. its basically sand with some spots of gravel. i have not seen many people with this particular setup but i'm very pleased. i wish i would have gotem a 3rd bag of florite sand though. dark and somewhat natural looking.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2009, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much everyone... does anyone else have any ideas? I really, really want a black substrate so how should I go about replacing it if I can't cover it?

I was thinking of scooping a section of gravel off, replacing it with black sand (or black gravel), doing one section every day or two so the flourite can pass off some nutrients to the sand? This probably doesn't work at all but I was just checking.
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