Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Where the devil went down to!
Having had dirted tanks, playsand substrates, and MTS, Something about anaerobic pockets in your substrate isn't has harmful as you might think provided you have a planted tank. i Learned that my MTS will help keep the play sand stirred but wont help with the anaerobic pockets, they will regardless get released into the water column and out into the air. nothing to be concerned with a fully mature planted tank. but also to help keep the anaerobic gasses down put your substrate in after you fill the tank 1/4 way full that way any air will be released to the surface and reduce the conditions of the air pockets being converted to anaerobic state. by the time it takes for the anaerobic conditions to establish in your tank, your tank should be fully established. if you look at the underside of my tank that just has playsand you will see black spots of stale gas , and air. i don't worry about it because anything your biological filter removes will also clean anything that the substrate releases. I have never heard of anyone who has lost a tank because there substrate was to anaerobic in a planted tank. the plant roots will also help tank that out. they will feed off some of the bad air and gasses trapped in your substrate along with all the waste from the tank that gets absorbed into the substrate. MTS are great to have i put them in every tank. they are the only snail i consider working snails. they do populate fast, But they do help a planted tank out, they help root feeder plants get the waste from the fish from the top of the substrate to the bottom. they do work wonders. but your really need a good population to help keep the substrate from packing, but but 1 assassin snail will help keep them in check in a 55g tank or smaller. the reason i used playsand as a reference is it packs tight and it is worse than eco-complete, Don't be worried as much, of your substrate, tho the depth of your substrate is kinda high i would cut back to 2 inches, you really don't need more than that, my dirted tank is only 3 1/2 inches with cap. but even still at 3 inches you would be fine. but just make sure you get some heavy rooted feeding plants like amazon swords.