How deep should my substrate be? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 01:01 AM Thread Starter
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How deep should my substrate be?

Hi everyone,


Quick question; I'm beginning a 10 gallon freshwater planted tank, but I'm just wondering how deep my substrate should be. Is 3 to 3.5 inches too much? I don't want to have too little swimming room. Thanks!
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 01:06 AM
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Yeah that seems a little deep. Also depends what you're trying to grow. I'd shoot for somewhere between 1-2 inches for most plants. Heavy rooting plants will need some depth

~Sam

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by The Trigger View Post
Yeah that seems a little deep. Also depends what you're trying to grow. I'd shoot for somewhere between 1-2 inches for most plants. Heavy rooting plants will need some depth

I was thinking it was too deep, it certainly looks too deep. I'm probably just going to shoot for lower-light plants since this is my first tank.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 01:14 AM
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Yeah that's pretty deep lol. I'd take out at least an inch. And is that inert gravel? You're going to be pretty limited on the kinds of plants you will be able to grow in that. Could try dirt capped with that gravel

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah that's pretty deep lol. I'd take out at least an inch. And is that inert gravel? You're going to be pretty limited on the kinds of plants you will be able to grow in that. Could try dirt capped with that gravel

It's gravel mixed with Flora-max. I'll take out an inch tomorrow and get it running at that time as well.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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There we go, this feels better:
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:23 AM
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Yeah looks much better

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah looks much better
Excellent. This is probably me just being paranoid, but I noticed that the black rim that goes around the top of the tank is somewhat loose. That wouldn't compromise the durability of the tank at all, would it?
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:35 AM
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Excellent. This is probably me just being paranoid, but I noticed that the black rim that goes around the top of the tank is somewhat loose. That wouldn't compromise the durability of the tank at all, would it?
On a tank that small I doubt it. A larger tank it could def be a concern. If you're really worried about it you could reinforce it with some silicone and let it dry for a day or two

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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On a tank that small I doubt it. A larger tank it could def be a concern. If you're really worried about it you could reinforce it with some silicone and let it dry for a day or two
Right right. I'd probably just get another since they're cheap and switch the substrate over if need be. I'm not the best with silicone and would probably end up screwing something else up
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 02:45 AM
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It's easy . Just get one of the tubes with the fine tip applicator. Just squirt it up in between the glass and the rim. Boom. Done.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Well maybe loose isn't the best term. I can still pick the tank up by the black frame, so it's still attached, I've just noticed one side seems to bend a little more than the other. If that makes sense.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:40 AM
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Yeah I wouldn't lose sleep over it lol

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 05:55 AM
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If it makes you feel better, a lot of people completely take the rim off of some of the smaller tanks like the 5.5 and 10 gallons, so I am sure you are fine. Supposedly the frame is mainly to make assemble of the tanks easier, the silicone is what actually holds the tank together.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 06:34 AM
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I find two inches quite nice. It's keeps plants down in the substrate and it looks very full. I'd say like a little over an inch minimum in the front of the tank, otherwise it gets hard to plant.
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