Should I add something to my gravel? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Should I add something to my gravel?

I'm starting up a 105 gallon discus tank and have decided to buy Caribsea 'Peace River' substrate. This is my first time using a completely inert substrate (I've previously used Eco-complete, which doesn't have much in the way of nutrients but initially had something) and I was wondering if I should mix something into it or layer something underneath it.

Also...I have some leftover Aquasoil Amazonia from another tank which I thought of using just in the center of the tank (where my driftwood centerpiece and plants will be) but won't have time to cycle it because my fish will be in a Rubbermaid container while I switch over their current tank to the larger one. If I were to add that, it would only be about 4 liters...is that likely to produce the same degree of cycle that only using Aquasoil would? I'm going to be using the same filter for the new tank and seeded filter media in the new filter so, I'm hoping to add Bio-Spira and get the fish into their new tank as quickly as possible.

Sorry for the long post, I hope what I'm asking makes some sense.


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 12:59 AM
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I'd add a light dusting of peat on the very bottom and then cover it with your substrate but other than that it's fine (that's what I do).

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 11:31 AM
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Put the aquasoil in a 2 gallon bucket and fill it with water...dump out the water everyday and refill it until it stops leaching ammonia.


Why do you want the caribsea sand? Just an aesthetic choice? Pool filter sand costs about 1/3 as much, but it is lighter in color.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 12:46 PM
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From what I can see it is a fine gravel, not a sand.

In some of my tanks with inert gravel, I mixed it with Seachem flourite.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 04:15 PM
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You should probably use a few bunches of stem plants when you first start the tank, and that should eliminate the cycling problem entirely. The plants could just float in the tank if you don't want to temporarily plant them. They should consume most of any ammonia that the fish and substrate generate, while the bacteria colonies are growing to take care of the excess.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-15-2009, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSM View Post
Put the aquasoil in a 2 gallon bucket and fill it with water...dump out the water everyday and refill it until it stops leaching ammonia.

Why do you want the caribsea sand? Just an aesthetic choice? Pool filter sand costs about 1/3 as much, but it is lighter in color.
I'll go ahead and follow your suggestion for the small amount of aquasoil if I go ahead with it. I chose the Caribsea gravel because I prefer the color (sand looks too white for my taste). I know it was a lot cheaper but I didn't want to deal with stirring it and found the Peace River to be a good compromise between sand and a darker gravel, which I would ordinarily choose if it weren't for my plan to add the discus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BottomFeeder View Post
From what I can see it is a fine gravel, not a sand. In some of my tanks with inert gravel, I mixed it with Seachem flourite.
I thought about mixing in some flourite and I guess at this point I can't decide if it's even worth it to add the Aquasoil. I've grown most everything in Eco-Complete without problems and figure that as long as my dosing and CO2 are kept up, I might not even need to extra hassle of adding anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
You should probably use a few bunches of stem plants when you first start the tank, and that should eliminate the cycling problem entirely. The plants could just float in the tank if you don't want to temporarily plant them. They should consume most of any ammonia that the fish and substrate generate, while the bacteria colonies are growing to take care of the excess.
Good call on the bunches of plants. My current scape is pretty light on plants to leave lots of open space and I imagine I will need to compensate for that with temporary plant mass. Thanks for the reminder.


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