Adding substrate to established tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Question Adding substrate to established tank

I have a 20gal tank with less than 1" of gravel bottom. I'm sure it's no surprise that plants are not rooting well. The tank has been working for a long time, and I'd rather not start over (but I'm thinking about it).
Soooo... can I just buy a bag of flourite, and add to the tank? Will the plants grow up through it, if I just gently add layers, weekly, perhaps?
I want to get the substrate up to 2" or more.
The gravel in the tank now is the regular non-coloured (but possibly coated)pet store kind. The tanks been running 2 + yrs.
Thanks, Ingrid
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 11:29 AM
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Yes you can as long as you don't mind getting them mixed up overtime. If you decide to go with Flourite, make sure you rinse it well
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 01:36 PM
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If its a 20 gal with just 14 fish, I would use a bucket to hold all the water and fish, run the filter in the bucket, and take my time to redo the substrate. Its just easier that way.

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Eheim 2028 X 2 2080 X 1
Dupla Substrate Heater
Dupla S external reactor
Aquamedic 2hp & Teco R15 400W chillers
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Light period: 6 hours on each bulb across 12 hours
Water Parameters: pH 6.4, KH 2, GH 1, NO3 40, PO4 1 TDS 250
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 02:53 PM
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Flourite will work fine but may cloud your water.
A better bet would be eco complete and mix it with your current gravel or do all eco complete.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so there are two choices, then.
If I add flourite, how much can I add at a time without stressing the plants too much? 1/4" per week? maybe? I like the flourite for the red colour; I've used it and it does cloud the water (even rinsed well), it's a pain. Eco Complete is black, right? I'm looking for something that looks natural to me, so the closer to sand colour, the more I like it.
Choice two: put fish in a bucket.
My concern with this is 'will the tank have to cycle all over again'?
For either choice, I'd be using the current gravel, plus the flourite (or whatever else I might decide on). Would I rinse the current gravel clean, or would I leave it somewhat dirty with the mulm that has collected deep down?
PS. I updated my sig to current situation. The rosy barbs started snacking on my plants, so they went to the flea market to find new homes (happy ending)
Thanks for all your care, Ingrid
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