Multiple substrates? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-17-2015, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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Multiple substrates?

I just bought a new 55 gallon tank that I intend to keep as a low light tank with fancy goldfish. I've been keeping some plants (and goldfish) in a 32 gallon, only planted with plain jane Flourite, and for the most part (until I had to switch lights due to another tank change), had been having a lot of luck with the stuff.

However, I've been hoping to switch to a sand substrate, or a substrate with a sand cap, but if I use something like flourite, then all the sand will probably sink to the bottom (and I don't want that, nor do I want to have to completely tear the tank down in order to change depleted substrates either) so what do I do/ use?

Suggestions appreciated!!
Sorry for all of the noob questions!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 04:47 AM
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Since no one else has answered I'll give you my two cents. I feel you have two options if you want a sand substrate surface.

You'd have to use all sand, and if you have root feeders root tabs. More than likely unless you are planning all water column feeders, you will need them. If some of your plants draw from the water column, you will still need to fertilize it as well.

Or use a sand cap over dirt ala Walstad. Tom Barr recommends low doses of ferts every week to keep the dirt going for a long time, so you don't need to switch out substrates. Really, he doesn't recommend dirt at all, but I can't think of anything else that will keep sand from settling down.

Hope this helps, good luck.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 04:52 AM
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My fancies are in large black river rock. Easy to clean, and they love shoveling it around. I'm not sure I would try sand with goldfish.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 07:03 AM
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There is a person who mostly does another forum who has several tanks all/w pool filter sand only as the sub. He has many Crypts in his tanks. They atre in that root feeder list.
He never uses anything but water ferts and you can't tell the difference between his tanks and the way his Crypts grow than any other tanks.
The pool filter sand is uniformed in size and graded so it contains very little dust size
grains. Very popular among sand substrate users. Quickcrete has a clear plastic bag
of sand meant for mixing/w the other ingredients for cement. It's fairly consistent in
size but the color is more tan than white if the white isn't that appealing to you.
I'm also sure that in different aria's it's different shades of color so you would need to just go and look at some at your local Home Depot or Loew's for example.

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