Substrate issues in dirted tank

Lil g

Gambusia
MFK Member
Jan 25, 2016
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Ok so I have a densely planted aquarium in my 36g bow front that has been running for about 2 weeks... Co2 running in the tank with a odyysea t5 light fixture. I dirted my tank with miracle gro organic potting mix and capped it with all purpose sand I bought from home Depot. I'm starting to think this wasn't the best way to do this but certainly cheaper. I've been poking a chopstick down in the sand to get oxygen down there and I release bubbles from under the sand. My problem I'm having Is even though I do this it seems like sometimes when I go to plant stuff the substrate underneath in some places feels like it blows out, like collapses. And now I've noticed that the dirt underneath is very high on the one side of my tank.. There is barely any cap covering it... And I made sure I evenly spread out my dirt and cap so it's not because some places have more sand than others... I am definitely getting growth but not as much as I think I should be. What can be the issue and am I in the market for a better substrate for my tank?
 

xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx

Candiru
MFK Member
Jul 10, 2011
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Denver, CO.
I'm getting amazing growth in my 30 gallon planted tank, and I'm using flourite/flora-max mix w/ osmocote root tabs. I bought some hygrophilia corybosa last week that was only 6" tall, and I've had to trim it because each stem was sticking out of the water!!! Plus my mix of flourite/flora-max will last for a couple of years, and can easy be replaced with a new flourite/flora-max mix. Plus I can rearrange the tank as much as I want because this substrate mix doesn't kick up alot of debris when doing so, earlier today I moved a couple of plants and tank cleared up within 2 hours.

The only bad part of both flourite and flora-max is trying to rinse them before trying to add them to a tank. if you don't rinse thoroughly your tank will be extremely dirty to the point you can't see through it lol. But after giving the substrate a good rinse and getting the tank set back up the plant growth is amazing.

I'm using a cheap T5HO dual bulb light fixture, DIY co2, and following classic EI dosing regime!!! You can see in the 1st picture the hygro corymbosa is barely visible under the powerhead on the left side of the tank, and in the 2nd picture the brightness is the same plant stems just before having to trim it.



 
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Lil g

Gambusia
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Jan 25, 2016
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Thanks.. That's amazing growth u have in a short period.. But that doesn't really help my situation of knowing why I get these spots in my tank that seem to collapse my substrate lol
 

Kittiee Katt

Potamotrygon
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Aug 1, 2015
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Lil g

Gambusia
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Jan 25, 2016
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Yea he really helped me in another thread I had.... He belittled me and I reported him...
 

rooto56

Jack Dempsey
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Apr 27, 2012
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The spots collapse because the soil isn't compacted anymore when you stick your fingers down into the substrate to plant the plants. It's like you're turning the soil over every time you mess with it.
 
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