Why do you 'cap' a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Why do you 'cap' a planted tank

I capped my tank because I read that everyone was doing it. I was a sheep I guess but I never understood specifically why?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:25 PM
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Capping is done on potting soil for two reasons:

1 - Potting soil is light. If you just setup a tank with MGOPS and fill it you will have a ton of particulate matter and it will take extra time for it to get saturated to sink.

2- MGOPS is not as attractive as the caps! Caps are used to add aesthetic look to the tank, but at the same time the substrate beneath is nutrient rich for the plants being grown.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:27 PM
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What was your base substrate, was it soil? If so, capping the tank helps to prevent fine soil particles from getting suspended, thus keeping the water more clear.

You certainly do not have to cap, as long as you're ok with cloudy water for a while. Here's an example of a nano, no cap over soil.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/22...-vase-too.html

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 10:07 PM
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I have this strange feeling that the term is being misunderstood by the OP here for some reason. You dont cap a tank. You cap the substrate in an effort to keep it down where it can be used by the plants' root systems.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 10:10 PM
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Mainly the cap keeps the underlying soil from being disturbed and cloiding the water, either by filters fish, water changes, planting, etc


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 11:25 PM
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Yes, I can see there might be some question about which is being capped. Capping the tank is one but capping the substrate is for a totally different reason. Both have good valid reasons in certain situations. Which one is in question?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 01:21 AM
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capping is also important not just to keep your tank water from being cloudy, but also to prevent all the richness of the soil from leaching into your water column and preventing algae blooms. Only needed when using soil.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 01:44 AM
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If there was no other post in this thread than the one that started it - I would have been misled into thinking it was tank canopies which was the subject of discussion. It would have been more so as I use canopies for my tanks.

I cap my substrates too as my first layer is a home-made mixture of lateritic clay mixed with gypsum and calcium-phosphate - very prone to make the water a red-brown soup - and my top layer washed river-sand and coloured natural gravels.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 02:41 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry everyone, I should've been more specific, I meant capping the substrate so you guys guessed right. Thanks for the additional info.
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