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Thread: Is 3" gravel and substrate thickness enough for a 5'x

  1. #1
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    Is 3" gravel and substrate thickness enough for a 5'x

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    Appreciate any help.

    Thanks,
    Roy

  2. #2
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    3in all around? or 3in in front, taller behind?
    3in in front sounds good

  3. #3
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    including or excluding the base fert roy....if it excludes reconsider as the gravel will be too thick...better to reduce gravel amount for base fert....that would be 1 to 1.5 inch of gravel and the rest is base fert
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  4. #4
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    That's everything, i.e. gravel and base fertiliser. My 3.5' has over 4" of gravel and fertiliser, which I thought is a little too much. So, for my new 5', I try to keep everything moderate.

    Thanks,
    Roy

  5. #5
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    oooh okay....that will be fine than....do consider having a thicker base fert and less gravel....
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  6. #6
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    DEA, that's 3' all around. Tried more at the rear and less in front but after a while everything evens out so don't bother now.

    Thanks,
    Roy

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    A sloping setup is not impossible, but you just have to allow for the gravel to settle first before you start planting to make it hold the shape..... The gravel normally takes about 2 - 3 weeks before it packs in to get a firm shape.....
    Michael Lim
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    Base fert thickness does not depend on your tank size, but your choice of plants. Large plants with large root systems will require deeper substrate.

    I think it's better to have less base fert in front, if you're using foreground plants with short roots... their roots can't reach deep into the base fert and you risk ending up with anerobic regions. You can use drift wood or rocks to shore up the thicker part of the substrate so it does not settle back to the front through time
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  9. #9
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    Thanks folks. I shall stick with the 3" for the time being. Will add more gravel at rear of tank when plants seem settled.

    Cheers,
    Roy

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    Roy,

    In my case, I always prefer thick gravel for the below reasons:
    1) it will keep fert leak out of the equation
    2) it allows vacuum of top substrate without risking fert leak. I do this once a month. If you ever use a python to vacuum the substrate, you will know what I mean; there are hell lot of debris. As I do that, I actually also circulates dead water under it. I always enjoy better water after each such session.
    3) thick gravel is especially important for large tank as one often keep bigger plants here to match the size.

    If you have not bought your tank, I would suggest that you have the top glass bracing glued as high as possible, so that you could fully utilise the tank height for higher water fill.

    Slope the gravel from front 3" to back about 5". If, for some reason, you are determined to keep the slope for long term, you got to cover most of the area with foreground plant, like tenerlus, hair glass, etc. They work the same as grass we have on hill, they help to stop soil erosion/movement. Then, plant the rest of the high plant above them, anywhere.



    Have fun.

  11. #11
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    FC, thanks for the detailed message. I've already laid the fertiliser and gravel, and placed the plants. So, I don't want to disturb the plants for the time being. Once the plants have establised themselves, I would use the last bag of gravel to fill in the rear of the tank.

    I'll try your method of preventing the gravel from evening out.

    Thanks,
    Roy

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