See less of these, support the forums and become a Super Subscriber today!

We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just £20 per month.

Aquarium Soil

Author Topic: Aquarium soil  (Read 693 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline barneyadi

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 390
  • Likes: 2
  • Tropical Fish Forum User
Aquarium soil
« on: November 15, 2018, 01:03:14 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Hi all

Wondering if anyone has recommendations for aquarium soil as looking to try some aquascaping.
Also how do I work out how many litres of soil I need?
Lastly I read on one bag of soil that it reduces pH to 6, is this anything to worry about?
Any help much appreciated.

Dave

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8634
  • Likes: 282
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2018, 01:30:20 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
You need to be careful about aquarium soil. Some of leaches ammonia for round 6 months, so you can't have fish in the tank until it stops. Other's alter the water chemistry. And most of them become ineffective after about a year, having used up any nutrients in them, so you then have to start using root tabs.

Unless someone else can suggest an aquarium soil that doesn't leach ammonia or change the water conditions, I wouldn't bother with one.

Offline Littlefish

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3161
  • Likes: 254
  • aka Donna
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2018, 05:19:56 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I use a layer of JBL Pro Flora AquaBasis Plus, with a 1-2cm layer of sand on top. I haven't had any problems with water chemistry.
Some of the aquarium soils are to be used on their own, and I think these are the ones that are more likely to cause changes to your tank water.
What fish are you thinking of having in the tank? I'm asking because if you have a lot of bottom feeders or burrowers, that can cause a problem. I only use plants that attach to rock/wood in my river tank and axolotl tank, because the sand is often shifted around by the inhabitants.
However, in other tanks I use the AquaBasis with a layer of sand on top, and it has been fine with bristlenose plecs and cories.

Perhaps @Matt can provide you with some additional information.  :)

Offline daveyng

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Super Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Likes: 46
  • Tropical Fish Forum User
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2018, 05:23:30 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I used Westland Aquatic Compost in my 300 litre pond. It contains a mixture of loam and fine grit and nutrients. It does contain some lime based ingredients so it will alter water chemistry. My tap water is very hard and it didnít affect the pH when I added it to the pond in baskets.  Didnít notice any change in the background Ammonia readings from my Seneye when I first introduced it.
I was considering using it in a nano tank setup covered with fine gravel to prevent it from clouding the water.
It did cloud the water in the pond for about a day after adding the baskets.

Offline daveyng

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Super Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 246
  • Likes: 46
  • Tropical Fish Forum User
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2018, 05:38:53 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
In my 270 litre cube tank I used a layer of TetraPlant complete which was then covered with a layer of JBL Manado.

Offline Matt

  • @ScapeEasy on Instagram
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
  • Likes: 163
  • www.ScapeEasy.co.uk
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2018, 06:24:03 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
What you are after is a product with a high Cation Exchange Capacity or CEC. This refers to the ability of the soil to absorb and release nutrients. An aquatic soil which contains nutrients may be useful for starting a tank but it is certainly not essential. As long as you have a soil with a high CEC rating (you can find these with a bit of googling) then the soil will absorb nutrients from the water column and fish poo etc and make it readily available to the plant roots.

Your choice depends on the type of plants you want to grow. If the plants are stem or floating plants for example then these plants take their nutrients mainly from the waters column and so having nutrients at the base is less important. If you wish to use rosette and bulb planta auxh as crypts and swords though (which are easy to care for plants generally) then nutrients at the base are more important because these are heavy root feeders. 

You can definately use root tabs under heavy root feeding plants though as these provide useful nutrients at locations specific to the plants which require it and simply need replacing normally every 3 to 6 months once exhausted. They are most useful with deep rooting plants, carpeting plants which cover a large area with shallow roots will be less suitable to this form of substrate.

As you are talking about scaping a tank without removing the fish at this stage doing a nutrient rich base layer and capping this with another substrate will not be feasible. This also applies to products which leach ammonia which could kill your livestock.

Updated to add:
Some soils are designed to reduce pH because this aids absorption of carbon dioxide into the water. I personally don't believe this is something to worry about too much, provided you do not cause a significant and quick pH swing which your livestock would not appreciate.

Manufacturers normally recommend how many bags you need for a size of aquarium though you can also calculate this yourself using the volume calculators on this site if you replace the height of your tank with the depth of substrate you require.

Offline Matt

  • @ScapeEasy on Instagram
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
  • Likes: 163
  • www.ScapeEasy.co.uk
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 06:29:33 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
@barneyadi i can see you may be reading or replying to this as I have been updating to my original post below... "see updated to add"

Offline barneyadi

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 390
  • Likes: 2
  • Tropical Fish Forum User
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2018, 07:07:45 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Thanks for all the replies guys. All very useful information I have asked a couple of shops about Cation Exchange Capacity and neither of heard of it. But will do the google research and look at the other soils mentioned by everyone.

There is a possibility I might transfer fish from one of my tank into the other, there is only 3, and very similar tank to help with replacement substrate.

Offline Matt

  • @ScapeEasy on Instagram
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1659
  • Likes: 163
  • www.ScapeEasy.co.uk
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2018, 07:24:43 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Unfortunately most fish shops and staff see aquascaping as quite 'specialist' still as it is not their main source of income they focus on other things... they also often don't get these right as Sue will no doubt be thinking as she reads this!...

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8634
  • Likes: 282
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2018, 07:35:22 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Most shops are OK on general things like filters, heaters and plain ordinary gravel but not specialised things like aquascaping stuff. You are better getting that on-line, and asking for advice from aquascaping experts like Matt.

Shops are also useless on fish  ;)

Offline TopCookie

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 730
  • Likes: 71
  • aka: Pierre
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2018, 10:45:25 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I've gotta put a shout in for the John Innes No.3, which I believe does have a high CEC value, or rating...  Best part too, it's - if you'll include the cheesy pun - dirt cheap...   ;D

Offline Rustle

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Super Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 189
  • Likes: 16
  • Tropical Fish Forum User
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 06:08:35 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I am going to aquascape  my nano tank for shrimp and have invested in Dennerle Nutribasis 6in1 topped with Dennerle quartz black gravel.

Fish Community Creator Tanks - Assess Tankmate Suitability Tool
Cherry Barb (6) - Neon Tetra (7) - Harlequin Rasbora (11) - Honey Gourami (2) - Guppy (male) (3) - Otocinclus (5) - Japonica Shrimp (8) -
Note: The user may not necessarily own these fish, these are tanks that they may be building or researching for stocking purposes


Offline Helen

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
  • Likes: 55
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2018, 08:31:33 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
For those that put sand on top of soil, or other planting substrate, does the sand stay on top or do you have to keep replacing it? The sand in my tank does not stay where I put it (inhabitants rather than water flow), and it also sinks to the bottom and the plant substrate (sieved eco complete) rises to the top.

Offline TopCookie

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 730
  • Likes: 71
  • aka: Pierre
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2018, 11:04:34 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
The sand area in my set up is sand top to bottom Helen, so I can't chip in with an answer to that...  Gravel on soil certainly remains in place though... 

Offline Littlefish

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3161
  • Likes: 254
  • aka Donna
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2018, 05:19:29 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
The sand stays on top, if the tank inhabitants aren't too much of a problem.
In my South American tanks I have sand on top of planting substrate, and those tanks each have a bristlenose and a group of cories.

Offline Helen

  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 774
  • Likes: 55
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2018, 07:11:55 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I'm fairly sure my kuhlis are the culprits, but where the move the sand on top of the gravel, it sinks, so I can't move it back.

Offline Littlefish

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3161
  • Likes: 254
  • aka Donna
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2018, 08:18:14 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 1
More than likely, as they do like to burrow.
I have quite a soft spot for kuhlis. They are fascinating, and such lovely little faces.  :)

Offline jaypeecee

  • Fishy Member
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Likes: 3
  • Tropical Fish FTW!
Re: Aquarium soil
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2018, 06:59:25 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Hi barneyadi,

I use Tetra Complete Substrate topped with JBL Manado, both of which have performed well in my setup. Check out the full specification of each of these products in order to be sure they are what you are looking for. I also recommend you take a look at https://www.ukaps.org/index.php?page=guide-to-substrates.

JPC

See less of these, become a Super Subscriber today! We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just £20 per month.
See less of these, support the forums and become a Super Subscriber today!

We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just £20 per month.

** Become a ThinkFish Super Subscriber **

It takes time and money to keep ThinkFish going, if you'd like to help, then a Subscription of your choice would be fantastic. Your subscription will help fund new articles, help pay for server costs and help fund development and promotion initiatives, helping us bring you more of the good stuff you love! You'll also see less ads. Why not become a Super Subscriber today!?

We also have sponsorship opportunities for tropical fish related businesses from just £20 per month.

Tags:
 


Assess Tankmates In The Tropical Fish Community Creator


Topics that relate to "Aquarium soil"

  Subject - Started by Replies Last post
1 Replies
984 Views
Last post November 20, 2016, 06:32:32 PM
by Sue
8 Replies
1735 Views
Last post December 02, 2016, 05:54:18 PM
by Matt
11 Replies
1194 Views
Last post April 03, 2018, 10:09:28 AM
by daveyng
4 Replies
543 Views
Last post June 04, 2018, 09:13:17 AM
by Sue
4 Replies
591 Views
Last post July 13, 2018, 01:13:01 AM
by TopCookie
12 Replies
905 Views
Last post July 22, 2018, 06:55:47 PM
by norie_uk
2 Replies
183 Views
Last post October 29, 2018, 04:52:22 PM
by Helen

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 

Think Fish © 2004-2018 | Keeping Tropical Fish Forum - Everything you need for your Tropical Fish hobby
Tropical Fish Market Place
SEO Services in Kent
Legal | Contact Follow Think Fish on: