Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • How much Substrate?

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How much Substrate?

Postby bristlenose72 » Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:51 am

Hi. I'm setting up a new 4 foot, 63 gallon tank.

The tank is going to be planted and with keyhole cichlids and rainbow fish among other fish.

I want to have a layer of seachem fluorite, with a layer of smooth pea gravel on top.

Does anyone know how many inches of the fluorite and pea gravel I should have?

This is of course a planted tank, so I have to bear this in mind.


Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:35 pm
Location: England

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Re: How much Substrate?

Postby SenorStrum » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:00 pm

Hi Dom, I think that the standard answer would be about 2 inches total. Diana Walstad recommends a one inch layer of soil (like the flourite) covered by a layer of gravel not greater than 1 inch or a layer of sand not greater than 1/2 inch. Her book is called the Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, and is absolutely excellent, if not above my grade-level. "An Alternative Aquarium" is another great book on the subject and recommend much the same as above.

Now, this is an older question. Did you set it up already? What did you wind up going with?
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:27 pm
Location: United States

Re: How much Substrate?

Postby bristlenose72 » Wed Jan 27, 2021 11:20 am

I actually went with sand in the end. 1 cm of tropical substrate (nutrient plant layer) followed by 2 inches of sand because I've got some fish that dig. Not sure this is enough sand because of the digging fish. Thanks for your advice.
Joined: Sun May 12, 2019 5:35 pm
Location: England

Re: How much Substrate?

Postby kennethbeasley » Wed Jan 27, 2021 9:06 pm

I don't think that will give you a very deep substrate. If you plan on mixing the two, I would get 60-70lbs of eco-complete and 50lbs of regular gravel or sand. That should give you 3 inches or so.
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2020 10:37 pm
Location: Regina

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