03-03-2008, 10:05 PM
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The amount of substrate, using weight as a guide is all relative to the basic weight of the material. Lava rock weighs much less that red flint gravel. 1# of the lava has a volume much higher than that same weight of a heavier stone. The weight guide is, therefore, essentially worthless. It does give one an idea of how much is needed.
Depth should not exceed 3" average for the greater portion of the aquarium. This is especially true when using a ugf. Water, simply, cannot pass thru that depth of gravel. Add to the fact, that the shear weight of the substrate at a 5" depth causes compaction and dead spots in the bacteria bed from lack of oxygen and circulation. This could cause deadly methane gas buildup, kills fish and can explode.
Turtleman said he used a 50-50 mixture of Eco-Complete and Flourite. I questioned this in one of his previous threads. It is a redundancy. Eco-Complete is a stand alone product, meaning that the product is used just by itself. Flourite can either be mixed with gravel or used by itself. Mixing the two doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Just additional cost and labor. The least expensive would be a 50-50 flourite/gravel mix. Another item that on can add is laterite. I don't have alot of experience in using it, I only have it in one tank. That was an experiemental tank and another product out performed it. Just too lazy(and cheap) to change it.
It was also noted that when adding water to the tank, it became very cloudy. Some cloudiness will appear because of the fine particulates from the gravel(gravel dust). This can be minimized by first washing the gravel thoroughly prior to placing it in the aquarium. It's truly a mess if you don't. Since you already have gravel, you may want to use the Flourite, it comes in red and red/black blend. If you have a funky color that won't match and have to change gravel, I suggest the Eco-Complete. Your tank, if already cycled, may go through another "mini-cycle", though.