View Full Version : Substrate Depth - How Deep?

mike from philly
10-11-2010, 09:41 AM
How deep should my substrate be? I'm growing algae, sword plants, stem plants, and java fern. Its a mid light level tank with excel/Glut for Co2.

10-11-2010, 11:00 AM
What are you using for substrate? Swords will need at least an inch of substrate, I use an inch of mineralized topsoil topped by half an inch of gravel in my medium light tanks. I have high light tanks with 3-4" of expanded clay substrate.

mike from philly
10-11-2010, 11:29 AM
My plan is for black Eco-Complete.

geaux fish
10-11-2010, 12:13 PM
I have black Eco-Complete in my planted 46gallon bow-front. It is about 2.5-3" deep. This required 4 bags. There is a major chain store with an online 20% off sale including Eco-Complete right now -- with FREE SHIPPING when you spend over $65. That's how I got mine. Imagine free shipping on 80lbs of substrate!

10-11-2010, 05:44 PM
I went with the black eco complete in my 55 and a 10. I liked the dark look, all colors seem to stand out against it. One caution is that both of these tanks have a much higher ph (7.8 - 8.0) than other tanks (6.8 - 7.2) I have with stone gravel and no substrate. I have done major water changes to get the ph down and in time it creeps back up. Some years ago I read eco complete had a problem with the ph and were exchanging out with customers who had this problem. I contacted the company and they swear my high ph is not due to their substrate. The only thing in the tank is plants and wood along with the fish, if anything I would think the ph would drop over time. If you have any expensive fish that thrive in a low ph, I would be careful with the eco.

10-11-2010, 06:50 PM
I like mine to be between 2-3 inches. I mainly use fluorite with root tabs.

Larry Bugg
10-11-2010, 07:11 PM
In a 55 gallon or larger I have 3" in the front and 4" in the back. One of the issues you may run into is with too little debth of the substrate you will find it difficult to keep plants planted until they root. At 3" to 4" you avoid most of this.

mike from philly
10-12-2010, 04:06 PM
great info. Thank you.