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i know i may be asking a silly question but wat i was wondering is if i can use charcoal not activated charcoal at the bottom 1-2inches then top it with ada aquasoil to increase the substrate height to the level i need than spend on aqua soil again.. i have searched a lot on charcoal in aquarium and as far as what i have heard is that it makes the water cloudy and leeches back all the toxins it has absorbed.. well my question is what if it were beneath the top layer of aqua soil and it was never used before to absorb any toxins in the 1st place.. also charcoal has lot of surface area and pores to help beneficial bacteria to grow and also help aerate the substrate avoiding compaction.. so if i used this char coal as the bottom layer of my planted tank substrate will it be of any harm to the plant roots or the fish will it increase ph or anything like that in the long run? tbh i never plan to remove the layer unless i was rescaping the whole tank 0:)

Bump: all i need from this char coal is a black/soil type bottom non compact layer i dont need any of its filtration properties.. just a nice colored bottom biomedia that wont harm the plants or fish in the long run


this is how i want to use it as the basic bottom layer of my substrate to bank up the substrate

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Bump: http://imgur.com/vwM9L73
 

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I have to admit that is not one I've tried but this is just random guessing. I would see it as a lot of risk for little gain. I find wood that has been partly burned tends to color my water. Does your charcoal float like the stuff I've spilled at times? For the ease of finding and using it, I go for sand. I just don't like to fight things when I have more sure ways to go.
A thought to keep in mind is that the layers tend to get stirred over time. If the fish don't dig, you may when planting.
 

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well the charcoal i use is boiled in water so all the air bubbles inside escape and it becomes heavy and drops to the bottom like drift wood.. also the coloring problem i have not had as the charcoal is quite hard unless u are to harsh with it just like aqua soil.. its actually harder than the aquasoil.. the reason why i dont want sand is coz of the sulphuric acid build up due to anaerobic bacteria.. i have had this problem before wen i had used 4 -5 inches of sand
 

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Wouldn't it become very caustic over time? I think you can make caustic soda with water and ashes... that is how the old timers made soap.
 
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