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Old 07-15-2013, 03:51 AM   #1
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Best substrate for planted aquarium?

While our tank is still cycling, I am considering changing the substrate, which is currently GloGravel.

We have 3 live plants, one plastic and a faux coral structure. The plans are not staying down without being weighted and I was wondering about going to fine gravel or sand allowing the plants to actually root. I found this substrate on amazon and like the black bottom look.

In the future, we would like to add shrimp, and possibly more plants. Would this be a suitable substrate for our goals, AND, how/when should we change the substrate from marble gravel to sand/soil or fine gravel - don't want to upset the ecosystem too much (or start over at the expense of the fish and plants).

Appreciate the advice and experience here.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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That's the same substrate I am planning to use for my 10g planted tank but I was going to use the fine grained version of it. That should work just fine for you and will work great for shrimp as well.

To change over just pull out all of the fish, plants, and decorations after thoroughly washing the new substrate. Scoop the old substrate out with a scooping implement of some sort. Add the new substrate and do a water change or 2 with appropriately temped water to take care of the cloudiness. Then acclimate your fish as if you had just bought them from the store.

You might experience a mini cycle when you switch over so keep an eye on parameters.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply!

One of the nice things about rhis substrate is no rinsing! Unless I lnked to the wrong product, this is more lke a soil, and according to reviews I've read, doesn't cloud.

Wondering if I should even remove the gravel that's in there now or just bed right over it... I'm concerned about keeping my bacteria colony intact.

I do wonder about vacuuming in the future, will this substrate be easily pulled up?

Anyone out there with firsthand experience?
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Just pull the old substrate out. As long as you don't change your filter than 90% of the BB is going to be in the filter. The rest will be located on your substrate and tank walls. It shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days for the BB to get repopulated.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
Just pull the old substrate out. As long as you don't change your filter than 90% of the BB is going to be in the filter. The rest will be located on your substrate and tank walls. It shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days for the BB to get repopulated.
Cool

I think I'll wait for my tank to finish cycling
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:29 AM   #6
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How to Change Out Your Substrate - Aquarium Advice
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Old 07-17-2013, 05:47 AM   #7
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I like the black substrate in a tank. I too am going down the root of live plants and might change my substrate too.
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Old 07-17-2013, 01:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferzbooboo View Post
Good link. The article seems to overlook some things but does address some of the concerns and a few methods for accomplishing a "live" substrate change.

jefferzbooboo!

In my case, a small 6-gal tall/round tank, I will need to remove EVERYTHING. So my questions are as follows:
1) to get plants to root, how deep should the substrate be?
-Anacharis, micro sword and possibly soon a banana plant or something else small
-separate strands of micro sword and anacharis, plant each individually?
2) without a spare tank I have to either bag or bucket my 3 neon tetras:
-separate or together, and for how long?
3) my plants are weighted down with lead strips wrapped around them:
-remove the lead weights immediately?
4) I have 1 plastic plant with a base, should I embed the base into the substrate or leave loose on top for some reason?
5) I have a faux coral rock structure, should I embed the base into the substrate or leave loose on top for some reason?

Thanks in advance, sorry for pedantic (and overly specific) questions
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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Just got my 20# of CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted, Black. It comes pre-moistened in bio-starting fluid.

After reading the bag, I might wait on deploying this in our current tank and opt to setup a new tank using this substrate so see if it really can jumpstart the ecosystem as it claims:
Eco-Complete has highly porous spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance and contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants. It establishes a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer.
The instructions do go on to say that if using in an already established tank one should drain off the fluid the substrate ships in. Not sure if this is a variable I want to introduce into my tank right now while it seems to have stalled mid-cycle, or perhaps this is the jumpstart it needs...

I'm feeling conservative. Anyone with experience out there?
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:12 PM   #10
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Question

No one on AA have any first-hand experience with CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted?
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