Age of planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-02-2017, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Age of planted tank

How many years can these go without disturbing the substrate?

Fluval Spec V
Imagitarium 3.7G
Marineland 10G Half-Moon
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2017, 02:04 AM
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I'm looking forward to the responses. My 40B is 1 year old. There's a noticable amount of build up just below the surface of the substrate (Eco complete).
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-06-2017, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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2 years on my oldest with Eco Complete

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Imagitarium 3.7G
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 02:44 AM
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Depends on the substrate. If it is inert sand or gravel the only thing you have to worry about is organic buildup in the substrate. For some tanks excess organics can cause problems. However in other it is not an issue. If you need to remove organics a deal vacuum of the gravel will remove much of twitch minimal disturbance of grave. Inner substrates don't really need to be replaced for any reason.

For substrate with nutrients added, including dirt,those nutrients will eventually run out and you will have to treat it as an inert substrate or replace it. For buffering substrates the buffering capability will eventually run out and you will have to replace it. How many years or months they lasts depends on the water you use, how many water changes and other factors that are difficult to predict.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 02:53 AM
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My Eco Complete lasted for 3 years until I took it apart.


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20 Gallon jungle tank
2.8 Gallon Fluval Spec
2.5 Gallon DHG shrimp tank
2 Gallon Sparkling Gourami underworld

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 05:56 AM
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Hi, I haven't posted on here in years but I've always maintained at least one aquarium and am starting to spend more time on the hobby again. I'm interested to see what peoples experiences are with regards to your question as well. My oldest running tank is about 9 and a half years old now, with the original ADA amazonia powder substrate. I have never done a complete overhaul of the tank and the only real disturbance the substrate gets is adding or removing plants to change it up from time to time. Plants like crypts etc still grow great and I've never added root tabs, or anything besides flourish liquid and pressurised co2.

Here is a recent picture (not sure why its sideways sorry)

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-07-2017, 08:21 PM
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I'm running my tank for a good 9 years with seachem black sand as substrate and have no problems with it. I don't disturb it at all except when replanting and just vacuum over top if there is a lot of mulm build up.

@Geoff C

That's a nice looking Angel you have there. Pretty big, how old is he? Picture is sideways because you used a cell phone. I read about that somewhere but don't know the solution.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 02:40 AM
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Thanks! It's maybe a year and a half old now. He might have been a bit cramped in the 25g cube but he always seemed happy, he lives in my 90g now.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 04:16 PM
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I've had my tank up and running for 18 years and counting. Just getting back into aquascaping after a long hiatus. I've always gone low tech, but now thinking of upping my game. Flourite substrate, anubias that have been in there from the very beginning and have been divided so many times I don't even count, Java fern same and countless number of other plants that have come and gone. Live inhabitants: 7 Rummy nosed tetras have been in there for several years, 1 pearl gourami for at least 8 years, They were the only inhabitants for the longest time, but recently added black veil angel 1 year, gold angel 1 year and more recently a gold severum and a green severum (tank full once they all grow up.) I've actually replaced the tank itself about 10 years ago and the filter has been changed several times (I've tried them all...) but the substrate has been the same from the beginning. I'm pretty sure it's cycled! I don't go into shops often because I hardly ever buy anything, but when I do, I get a kick when they ask how long my tank has been up; my response always catches them off guard. The tank looks overgrown right now though, anubias so big they go from bottom to the top, once they break the water line I cut them back again. I have discovered three things through all these years: 1) I am really good at growing anubias. 2) I am really good at growing algae. 3) nerite snails are the best algae eaters period (.)
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