Pool filter sand on top of Eco-Complete planted substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Pool filter sand on top of Eco-Complete planted substrate

Hi all--

I've recently set up an Amazon biotope tank (37g tall) for an assortment of cory catfish I've been keeping in a smaller tank. The tank has been planted with Amazon swords and other plants native to the Amazon and currently has the Eco-Complete planted aquarium substrate without any fish in it.

The Eco-Complete seems to be great for the plants as they are flourishing and establishing nick, thick root systems, but those teeny little lava-like rocks are much too rough for burrowing cories, so I purchased some pool filter sand with the intent of putting about a 1/2" layer of it on top of the Eco-Complete so the cories will be happy.

As I sit here with rinsed and cleaned sand in a bucket and a scoop in my hand, I find myself wanting to check with all of you just to make sure I'm not about to make the biggest damned mistake in the world. Has anyone used PFS on top of a plant substrate like this with good results? I still have planting beds that will be Eco-Complete only for the plants, but I really want those cories to have the sandy bottom they are used to in the other tank.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 09:28 PM
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How big is the sand grain compared to eco-complete?
Smaller gains will eventually move down the substrate so you'll get peppered substrate with the eco on top anyway.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 09:35 PM
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I tried PFS on top of flourite once. Was pretty cool until the sand ended up being a solid layer underneath the flourite.

Sand is denser, so winds up on the bottom...especially with cory cats digging around in it 24-7.

I suggest setting aside an area in the tank as a sandy patch, and just moving the eco out of the way and throw in the sand. perhaps the foreground could be sandy?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I might make a sandy patch, though this Eco-Complete stuff seems to be pretty well packed down there already. Any others have experience with this?
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 10:00 PM
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Coal slag will match the EC better, and as previously stated, unless you cap the eco in more than an inch of sand itll surface. Honestly, you want the EC in contact with the watet column or it cannot use its CEC properties.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Those CEC properties are legit and not just marketing? How about if I removed some of the Eco-Complete in the foreground where there are no plants and just went with sand?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-27-2012, 11:50 PM
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Yes, the CEC is legitimate.

Pool filter sand will definitely end up on the bottom of Eco-Complete.

Your idea to put sand in the front where there are no plants will likely look better and work better for you.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 12:34 AM
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Yeah, if you can gwt ahold of some plexi, cut it down about a half inch or cm below the top of the substrate to help keep the sand and eco seperate. You can try filterfloss to seperate them as well, i used big sheets of it and lots of silicon to buold a tertace, so far so good there, not much shifting after it initially settled.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2012, 02:57 PM
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This beautiful tank has the look you describe with a sandy patch in the middle. It shows the entire process of setting up the tank so it may be useful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCMe-bu4-tk



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