When is substrate depth an issue? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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When is substrate depth an issue?

The conventional wisdom has always been the you don't want your substrate too deep or you end up with the whole anaerobic thing going on which is supposed to be a big no-no.

But then I look at many of the ADA showpieces and that have such steep, dramatic slopes to the layout that at the back of some of them, the sub-strait has to be anywhere from 6" on the nanos, to over a foot on some of the big ones. How come it (apparently) is not an issue in such examples?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 04:50 PM
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From all the reading I have done, it is an issue when air can't get through the particles, so, finer particles will pack more.
The scenes I have seen done with steep slopes use large particles (read: ADA Power Sand) that do not get crushed/packed (e.g pumice, expanded volcanic rock, crushed lava rock- all with lots of air pockets and with substance). In these scenarios too the aquascapers use material to help bank the substrate so it doesn't just end up leveling out.
Other issues with steep slopes have to do with properly supporting any heavy or large prices of hardscape.

If you do a YouTube search using "James Findley Altitude" and watch the whole thing you will see exactly what I mean.

I do a lot of container gardening and the principle is similar, use coarse material to make sure there are micro air pockets which help keep the plant roots healthy. ADA's Power Sand looks a lot like the perlite commonly used by gardeners, except the power sand is darker and also feels more hard, it doesn't crush easily unlike perlite.

Hope it helps.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. Checked out the "altitude" layout. Holy poop that's high!

I see how the large, porous "power sand" makes for a good "filler" for extra deep areas (though why its called "sand" is beyond me). So as long as the space under the substrate proper is of a similar composition, depth shouldn't be an issue. I wonder while Findley felt the need to mix ASA AS with the PS even at the very bottom (helped to "lock" the PS in place maybe?).

I wonder if I can find something similar to PS locally....
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-31-2015, 10:07 PM
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I got horticultural pumice from the garden store. 7 bucks a bag for 15 litres. Take a look. Attachment 501938
Pumice left, power sand right.

If I had known beforehand, I would not have purchased the power sand. However, I had to mail order this stuff (power sand) so I had nothing to compare with initially. The pumice is a bit more irregular sized and particles are slightly more angular, huh, which means to me they won't slide around as much once packed in. I'll be using this once the power sand runs out.

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Last edited by Daisy Mae; 08-26-2015 at 01:22 AM.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisy Mae View Post
I got horticultural pumice from the garden store. 7 bucks a bag for 15 litres. Take a look. Attachment 501938
Pumice left, power sand right.
Total score!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 03:29 PM
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Yup, I had the pumice lying around, I use it to fluff up my worm bins. Might use it instead of perlite to fluff up soil mixes once my huge bag of perlite is gone. This planted tank business really is just an extension of the garden, he he, but year round and more fun because you can watch the critters.

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