Substrates are very important for the success any aquascape or planted aquarium. Aquatic plants are much the same as garden plants.
They possess an intricate root system that enhances their uptake of vital nutrients. These nutrients include Iron, Magnesium, Nitrogen, Potassium and so on.
These vital nutrients play a major role in the health, growth rate and coloration of the plants inside the planted tank.
Nutrient-rich aquarium substrates can help prevent the growth of algae by enabling your plants to overwhelm the growth level of pest plants, taking up more than enough nitrates and withdrawing survival from algae spores.
So, in order to make the environment more suitable for your plant, you need to know how deep the substrate must be and also the proper way of setting up substrate for planted aquarium. So read on and learn a lot from this article!
How Deep Should Substrate for Planted Tank Be?
The depth of substrate for planted aquarium is very important. The most ideal way to figure out how deep your substrate should be is to know the kind of plants you intend to grow.
Some plants species, for example, Anubias, Fern, and Microsorum could still survive without substrate while plants like Cryptocoryne and Echinodorus will require a lot of space to develop their root system.
A slanted substrate (i.e. deeper at the back and shallow in front) can be an incredible way to nurture all plants. Bigger plants with bigger root systems in the backside and smaller plants with smaller root systems in the front-side.
Generally, 2-3 inch should accommodate most bigger plants. In less depth, deeply rooted plants will end up being entangled and the planted tank will experience the ill effects of insufficient nutrients.
With gravel, you should make sure you vacuum deeply so as to release harmful toxic gasses around the root system.
With sand, 2-3 inch should be good. Since most plants would want to have a good spot to place their root. Too deep substrate isn’t decent either because plenty of toxic gasses may gather underneath the substrate and it is a spot for anaerobic microorganisms to grow and regenerate.
However, if you intend to create a deep sand bed substrate, it is good to have a sand bed that has at least a depth of 6 inches.
If your planted tank is 18 inches deep (that is plenty of sand), you might need to consider that once more. If you are opting in for a deep sand bed substrate, you would likewise want to be mindful so as to stay away from the no-mans-land at around 2-6 inch.
The science behind the denitrification procedure can be quite awful–and you won’t want the situation whereby the sand is stirred-up into your aquarium tank inadvertently. Having less than 2 inches or at least 6 inches of sand gives you a chance to avoid that issue altogether.
How to Set Up Substrate for Planted Aquarium?
Making a decision about the size of your tank, the depth of substrate and the best substrate for planted aquarium can be somewhat difficult but, once you have come to a decision, you should simply set up and maintain the aquarium tank.
In this section, we will give you detailed information on how you can properly set up substrate for planted aquarium. So here are the steps involved:
Step 1: Set up your cabinet or aquarium stand in the desired spot for your planted tank. Ensure you place it well far from drafty windows, doors and also cooling/heating vents. Make sure that the cabinet or stand is very sturdy and strong. If it isn’t, the tank could fall as you pour water into it.
Step 2: Rinse you selected substrate properly until the point when the water runs clean and clear. Make sure you follow the package’s direction for this as there are some kinds of substrates won’t need rinsing.
Step 3: Line the base of your aquarium tank with the prescribed amount of substrate. You need to get a layer of at least some inches to suit the root system of most planted tanks.
Step 4: Fill your planted tank with dechlorinated water, then set up and put on both water filter and heater system for your aquarium.
Step 5: Make use of a water test pack for aquarium to test the water chemistry in the tank. The perfect pH for an aquarium that includes both plants and fish is within 6.5 to 7.5.
Step 6: Install the lighting system and ensure that it gives sufficient lighting to your plants. An aquarium that is heavily planted will require around 3-5 watts of light for every gallon.
Step 7: Insert your aquarium plants and deeply bury the roots of the plant into the substrate for proper stability and to guarantee that they get adequate nourishment.
Step 8: For the best outcomes, put the bigger plants with bigger root systems in the backside and smaller plants with smaller root systems in the front-side – this will bring about a natural look while likewise guaranteeing that your fish have a lot of swimming room in the center of the planted tank.
Step 9: Include extra embellishments like pieces of driftwood and rocks to promote your tank’s appearance.
Step 10: Give your aquarium a chance to keep running for a full 2-3 weeks so that the nitrogen cycle can be settled – your plants will enhance this procedure along.
Step 11: Examine your aquarium water once more – if there is zero level of ammonia, then your tank is ready to receive fish.
Step 12: Acclimate your fish gradually to the tank to prevent stunning them with an adjustment in water chemistry or temperature
Step 13: Finally, once you have introduced your fish to the planted tank, you should simply look after it! You should examine the water temperature by testing it weekly. This will help you to monitor the levels of ammonia so as to ensure that your beneficial microbes and your live plants are fulfilling their duties. With sufficient lighting and nutrition, your aquarium tank should flourish.
Determining the amount of substrate to purchase for your new planted tank depends on the shape and size of your tank, and likewise the depth of the substrate bed. Other factors are the kind of aquascaping structure you are arranging, and the grain size of the maker’s chosen substrate.
Any depth is good if its just one substrate type. If there is dirt beneath and it gets extremely deep, then you will need to get something to aerate it, since it will turn out to be anaerobic, and gasses will erupt, and they will inevitably spill out and can intoxicate a tank, so you will need to blend it up and make them go out a bit at a time.
So, utilizing this simple information given in this article, we believe we have helped you navigate your way through the setting up of substrate for your planted tank.