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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I have been thinking lately about rescaping my tank. However, this time I want to do it right and before I venture down this pass want to ask some questions. So feel free to add suggestions as you see fit. I think I will do this project in the next 2-3 months, so lots of time to gather the info.

I currently have a planted discus tank and after all is said and done still want to have a planted discus tank. The reason for rescaping the current set up are as follows:

First and foremost my current substrate is not up to the challenge. I originally mixed large (1cm) and small (2-3mm) gravel together. Did not use any sand on my heating cables and did not use any other substrate additions.

I find now that my gravel gets dirty quickly and the dirt gets easily trapped in between the pebbles. Also, now I know that larger gravel is not good for plants. Finally, not sure if this is gravel or fish bioload but I find that my substrate becomes stagnant and has bubbles forming in it.


So, what should I want out for while tearing everything down and changing the gravel? Please share your experiences for do's and don'ts.

Also, what substrate should I go for? Eco Complete Florabase ect?
Do people use different substrates and what about using soil?

I will be using heating cables, so where would I get the right sand that would not break the bank and not alter the Ph? Also, I have seen people use a mesh for attaching cables and was wondering where they got the mesh from.

Think this should be a good start.
 

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I believe that discus biotopes don't have too many plants, so a thick layer (all over the place) is not necessary.
I'd recommend sand (used in swimming-pool-filters), not a too thick layer. The substrate has to be touched regularly (either by fish (cory's) or by snails), so that it will receive oxygen, to prevent it from rotting. Dirt will stay 'on' the sand instead of sinking between gravel.
Something like this setup example is what I mean: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7DSD9yUA50
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the thick planted tanks and my discus seem to like it too (some of my current plants grow extremely well). So I would like to keep that, just change the conditions so that it is easier to maintain and they are more favorable for growth.

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is one specific question (or two) which is better eco-complete or flourite and how much do I need for a 65G?

Also, would I run into problems with dirt getting trapped between the grains?
 

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I'm not familiar with either one of the products, so no advice on that.
I have only small tanks, with hill stream kind of setups and use gravel from 1-6mm, dirt get trapped between that, but my rhinogobies, mts and shrimp prevent it from settling too long so my substrate is always well aerated, and I regularly stir stings around and vacuum the gravel.
So if you choose a coarse kind of substrate dirt will get trapped between it, with sand dirt stays more on top, but even so fine substrate must be aerated too, to prevent rotting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not familiar with either one of the products, so no advice on that.
I have only small tanks, with hill stream kind of setups and use gravel from 1-6mm, dirt get trapped between that, but my rhinogobies, mts and shrimp prevent it from settling too long so my substrate is always well aerated, and I regularly stir stings around and vacuum the gravel.
So if you choose a coarse kind of substrate dirt will get trapped between it, with sand dirt stays more on top, but even so fine substrate must be aerated too, to prevent rotting.
Are you using heating cables by any chance?
 
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