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Depth Of Sand?

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by RCA, Jun 2, 2013.

  1. RCA

    RCA Member

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    Please see this project for more information about what is underneath the sand.  This link will take you direct to the section re: the sand if you want to jump straight to it.
     
    Last night I washed and placed the sand in the front of the aquarium in the above project (photos will be added to the project later folks), however, I believe I may have made it too deep.
     
    Please can you advise what is the ideal depth for sand in the planted aquarium?
     
    I am planning on having plants in the sand, hence there is the JBL Aqua Basis Plus beneath it, as advised in the above link.  Thus, should there be less sand in this instance so the plants do not get compacted by it?
     
    Thanks in advance for any responses as I will be back later to sort it out.
     
  2. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
    Staff Member Moderator Global Moderator

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    I've used between 1.5-2 inches with amazon swords and sand and have had no issues with the depth - root tabs help though, as swords are heavy root feeders and the sand doesn't supply anything nutrient wise.
     
  3. RCA

    RCA Member

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    OK, so I am back and doing my own research (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) which generally seems to state no more than 3 inches (some say 4), and 1-2 inches is fine.  Heads off to get a ruler...
     
    Oh, and it looks like another form of MTS is required for this project to go with my existing condition [​IMG] that is Malaysian Trumpet Snails.
     
    Your response just came in eagles...[​IMG]   There is JBL Aqua Basis Plus beneath the sand ;)  I am more concerned about the anaerobic build up that could potentially happen, so will need a chop stick too apparently.
     
  4. eaglesaquarium

    eaglesaquarium Life, Liberty & Pursuit of the perfect fish tank
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    I think that the anaerobic build-up is far more 'myth' than 'material'.  There is some issue, but if you keep the sand fairly thin (1-2 inches) then you have very little to fear, except fear itself.
     
    I might add that placing sand over a substrate generally ends up with the sand on the bottom and the other substrate on the top... trust me. [​IMG]  That was my first foray into the sand "experiment" for me.  I used a planting substrate and put sand over the top... 2 years later and the sand is far less on top and the plant substrate is primarily what's on the top now.  [​IMG]
     
    Good news is that the heavy root feeders will be happy with the plant substrate.  The bad news is, you may not get the look you were looking for.
     
  5. snazy

    snazy Moved On

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    From what I've researched, best is 1" of soil max, capped with 1-1.5" of cap. If it's sand, you'd better stick to 1" cap.
    I've planted plants in way less than 1" of overall substrate with no problems.
    The soil/sand tank I did recently has less than 3/4" of soil capped with 1" of sand(the tank you saw with the floating plants)
     
    I really enjoyed reading your journal.
    The only thing I'd mention is that I had a really bad experience with JBL aquabasis plus. No plants grew. I had it for 6 months+ under sand. It even killed my undestructive hydrophila corymbosa. So I ended taking it out. I may have got a bad bag of it. I guess many people have used it to good effects. It also had a hydrogen sulfide smell to it when I cleaned the tank.
     
    Also, watch out for ammonia issues. My corys got sick 2 months after I put this soil in.  And although it says it doesn't leach ammonia, every soil does to an extent for 3-4 weeks.
     
  6. RCA

    RCA Member

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    Cheers eagles... out of interest did you go to the project?  You will see in there I have put hessian (for ponds) in-between the soil and the sand.  Not 100% sure if it will work, but I can but hope.
     
    Thanks snazy for your input too.  I have the same soil in my other tank and the Corys seem fine, but I appreciate the heads up as I am wanting some prized Corys for the project, as you will have read.  I went for the same soil in both tanks as it is what was stocked locally, time will tell if it is any good long term.  I guess I can always add root tabs too if need be ;)
     
    I have just measured and the sand itself is between 2 and 2.5 inches, with the soil about 1 to 1.5 inches depth.  I would say in both cases it is more the former as there is also a bulk of hessian between and this has yet to all be compacted with water.  Thus a total depth of substrate of about 3+ inches.  I am hoping this will work out as in my other tank I have felt it could have done with more surface Unipac Senegal in places, as at times when placing plants it can disturb the soil.  Thus, this time I have made it all a little deeper.
     
    Off now to fit the Hydro External Heater then I will be updating the project itself with more images for your viewing pleasure.
     
    I will of course nip back here again prior to filling it, just in case some one comes in with some wisdom I need to pay attention to - thanks again to those who have already responded, it is helpful.
     

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