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Substrate Change Question

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Substrate Change Question
Old 02-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #11
 
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If I put the sand on top of the gravel I have in there, would it be better? I would think it would keep all the bacteria in, and make it easier on the fish. I don't have a lot of gravel as it is, so it wouldn't be overkill on substrate. Beaslbob, I thought sand was inert? I just read that peat moss can cause really bad ammonia problems too. I'm not saying you are wrong, but just asking because I just read a different opinion. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by MMAfish35 View Post
If I put the sand on top of the gravel I have in there, would it be better? I would think it would keep all the bacteria in, and make it easier on the fish. I don't have a lot of gravel as it is, so it wouldn't be overkill on substrate. Beaslbob, I thought sand was inert? I just read that peat moss can cause really bad ammonia problems too. I'm not saying you are wrong, but just asking because I just read a different opinion. Thanks for the feedback.
Sand is inert with a bit of limestone or shell material depending on the brand.

The sand would settle through the gravel and it would up back on top.

Bob's method isn't for everyone and needs some research before attempting it.

Jeff.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by MMAfish35 View Post
If I put the sand on top of the gravel I have in there, would it be better? I would think it would keep all the bacteria in, and make it easier on the fish. I don't have a lot of gravel as it is, so it wouldn't be overkill on substrate. Beaslbob, I thought sand was inert?
It is supposed to be. Some sand though is silica free tropical play sand and is actually calcium carbonate and does reace with water increasing hardness.
Quote:
I just read that peat moss can cause really bad ammonia problems too. I'm not saying you are wrong, but just asking because I just read a different opinion. Thanks for the feedback.
I guess it depends on the peat moss you use. Some have added ferts for potted plants and therefore probably have ammonia. I use canadian sphagum peat moss at $13 for the large plastic bale.

see:
Peat Moss from Premier | The Home Depot - Model 70976040

(notice at the bottom of the page a line 'fertilizer enriched---NO'.

According to a site in canada peat moss will actually retain ammonia then release it later. Don't know how that works in aquariums but it sure shounds like a good thing in a cycling tank.

The layering is to trap the peat under the sand so the tank is almost totally clear right from the start. Of course you also have to plant the plants before filling the tank for that to work also.

The pc select is here:

http://www.proschoice1.com/products.html

It make for a nice red substrate in addition to being good for the tank.

I have not seen ammonia spikes with this system. but then I do let the plants work on the tank a week before adding fish.

Sometime I will get an initial nitrate spike which goes down to unmeasureable levels in 3 weeks or so.

After a few weeks and wtih high bioloads PH in all my tanks with or with peat moss are above 8 with the api high range test kit.


Of course none of this is cast in stone. Or even sand for that matter. I'm sure everyone has their particular favorite methods. That is just what works for me

and worth at most .02
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Last edited by beaslbob; 02-12-2013 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:58 AM   #14
 
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Ok I just wanted to make sure. I appreciate all the help guys. Ill be sure to post pics once I get my tank all redone. I'm going to put a lot of thought into it. I'm probably going to remove about 75% of the gravel and put sand in. The gravel I have is a very natural looking mix of small rocks so I think it will go well with the sand. That way I be able to keep a lot of the bacteria in. Thank you for all the feedback.

Luke
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Old 02-12-2013, 03:38 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by MMAfish35 View Post
Ok I just wanted to make sure. I appreciate all the help guys. Ill be sure to post pics once I get my tank all redone. I'm going to put a lot of thought into it. I'm probably going to remove about 75% of the gravel and put sand in. The gravel I have is a very natural looking mix of small rocks so I think it will go well with the sand. That way I be able to keep a lot of the bacteria in. Thank you for all the feedback.

Luke
I wouldn't recommend this, unless you have a divider that is firm/permanent. There is (or should be) a natural flow of water throughout the substrate, and the sand and gravel will mix, not only when layered but when side by side too. And fish move it around. I have experimented a bit and it never worked. Another thing is it will look very artificial and not natural with two different substrate surfaces. If you are after a natural appearance, as you mentioned, stay with one substrate material and break it up with wood or rock or both.

On the earlier Flourite, I would not waste your money on this. I just tore down my 70g after two years with Flourite because (a) the plants were no better, (b) I couldn't keep substrate fish because it is too rough. I replaced it with play sand, which I now have in 6 of 7 tanks. Waste of money that Flourite.

Having changed over many tanks over the years, there is considerable advantage to removing the fish to a temporary tank [plan on it running for a few days] and taking your time. As for the bacteria, if you have live plants this is less of a concern. And bacteria will be on wood, rock, decor in the current tank and keeping this either with the fish in the temp tank or in a tank/pail with tank water will preserve the bacteria.

Check the photos of my tanks under the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left. And I have some of the 70g rebuild in a thread in the plants section started today.

Byron.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:18 PM   #16
 
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OK, Ok you guys convinced me, I'll just go with all sand lol. Now as for what type of sand, I am undecided. I hear play sand works well, and is inert, but I also hear that it can compact roots. Obviously you have been successful with play sand, so the question is, what do you do to ventilate the sand? I heard that Malaysian Trumpet Snails are great at it. I'm planning on get some of those, along with some Assassin Snails. Also, I heard that pool sand works great too. I like the color better than the color of play sand. Again, I hear it compacts the roots like play sand. Thanks for all the info in advance.

Luke
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #17
 
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I've got a whole herd of MTS in my 75 gal! They came with the hornwort I got from PetsMart xD
That and PetsMart will gladly give them away for free.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:31 PM   #18
 
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Yea I have a guy I'm going order a bunch of plants from and he said he will give me them for free. If you know where I can get some free Assassin Snails from, I'll gladly follow up on it lol. Thanks
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #19
 
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I don't remember, but I don't think MTS breed that easily. I don't remember tho.


ETA: Yes they do breed easily xD I've never gotten any assassin snails. I have loaches tho ;)
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:40 PM   #20
 
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I guess they breed slower than rams, but can still get out of control if not kept in check. I would much rather get Assassins rather than havin to crush baby snails or bait them with lettuce and throw them in the trash. At least with Assassins its a little more natural.
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