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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up two bags of sms charcoal for my 125g and have a couple questions. Should I put a thin layer of moss under it first? I now have a gravel bottom in my 55 and my air stones are covered. With the sms how do you have the air stones hidden if the sms is so light? Or don't I need them in a planted tank?
 

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not sure why you would put moss under the substrate...

also not sure why you would need an airstone. plants are your source of O2 for your fish.
 

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I'm not sure either thats why I'm asking? I have had freshwater tanks for 20+ years and all had and have air stones in them. I don't run them in my reef aquariums. I should have included that this is my first planted freshwater tank and I'm learning here what I need and don't. I read some posts about putting a very very light layer of organic moss under the substrate to help add nutrients in a new setup?
 

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I'm not sure either thats why I'm asking? I have had freshwater tanks for 20+ years and all had and have air stones in them. I don't run them in my reef aquariums. I should have included that this is my first planted freshwater tank and I'm learning here what I need and don't. I read some posts about putting a very very light layer of organic moss under the substrate to help add nutrients in a new setup?
Hi, you might find this useful. It is a step by step by MatPat on how to set up a tank using SMS. Yes a layer(more like a light dusting of garden peat moss would not hurt as per MatPat).
http://www.plantedtank.net/articles/Soilmaster-Select-Substrate/26/

You don't need airstones. If anything they can be detrimental in a planted tank by reducing valuable c02 needed by the plants. The plants will produce enough oxygen when they take in c02(at least when the lights are on) making airstones un-necessary. The only time you need to run an airstone is if you have pressurized c02 and you end up injecting too much c02 and all your fish end up gasping and on the brink of death. I have a bubble wand hooked up to an airpump on stand by, but the airpump remains unplugged. Only in an emergency if I end up with dangerously high c02 levels that I need to quickly reduce would I plug in my air pump. Most people who have pressurized c02 usually have their co2 on timer(solenoid) to go off when the lights go off and when the plants don't use c02. It also gives the fish a break from c02.
 
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