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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never had a nice planted tank before. I've kept some java moss alive in my cichlid tank, but that's about it. I recently came into a free 29g tank and stand, and I'm going to try my hand at plants.

I am considering a SE Asia theme for my tank (harlequin rasboras, kuhli loaches, cherry shrimp, betta or gourami) and I have already purchased lights, 20lbs of eco complete substrate, and a filter. My question is this:

I was planning on adding about 10lbs. of tahitian moon sand on top of the ecocomplete. I have never used sand as a substrate before, and I was wondering if I need to rinse eco-complete and tahitian moon sand prior to adding it to my tank. I'm wary of this, because both come presoaked in the nitrifying microbiota and nutrients. Won't rinsing wash all this away?

Any advice any one can offer on the tank would be much appreciated, and I'm sure I will be around the forum quite a bit as I begin the planting/stocking phase of the tank build. Thanks.

-C
 

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Ether way works fine the nutrient wash wont last very long once you add the water so you will need to dose your water column with ferts pretty soon anyway.

Keep in mind the sand will slowly sink to the bottom of the tank.

- Brad
 

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Yeah I've had Eco Complete and topped it with black sand in the past. Unfortunately the sand will always end up at the bottom.
 

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I'm not disagreeing with lauraleellbp but in my opinion the only reason you need to pre-wash a substrate is because you made an impulse buy and have a bag or bags of fish setting next to the empty tank.

If you have the time don't bother with rinsing it just dump it in and put a dinner plate on top of it and slowly fill the tank by keeping the flow centered on the plate. Yes it will cloud up but put a small cheap ($5'ish) power head near the bottom of the tank pointed up to keep the dust in the water column and out of the new substrate while your filter removes it overnight. On my low-tech sponge tanks I add a couple of Hagen Elite Mini's to it and it's clear by the next morning.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks guys. Anything else that would be ideal for soft bellies and black besides TMS? I just need ten pounds of substrate. I have a 20lb bag of eco, and I need 9 more pounds of something. The TMS comes in ten pound bags and they have it at the LFS. That's the main reason I was considering it.
 
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