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Planted tank substrate in mesh bags?


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I have done it.  Rather than covering the entire bottom of the tank with flat mesh bags of substrate, I prefer to place long thin rolled up bags of a little aquasoil. Sort of like sausages strategically placed in the tank.  This allows me to places stems/ roots between the bags allowing less height of substrate over the bags.

yes the roots do migrate toward the bags and into them.

I like this as it allows me to keep my soil and gravel separate easier to repurpose if redoing the tank and uses oh so much less, expensive aquasoil, (A bag goes a long, long way…

By the same token, the vast majority of plants can grow exceedingly well without any active substrate or root tabs or such.

For inspiration, check out @Mmiller2001 build journal of his 120 gallon dutch style tank with no soil, or active substrate or root tabs.   I would love to have his skills and abilities with aquascaping and plant husbandry…  He has accomplished amazing things using cheap inert pool sand with no root tabs or soil…

I would take his tank over any of mine any dayso long as I could afford to hire someone of his skill to keep it looking like that for me, cause I am nowheres near that level…

 

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photo from his build journal to whet your appetite…

 

 

 

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If you aren't worried about separating it, and you want a different bottom layer of substrate, you can always dig a hole in your current substrate and backfill it using an empty soda bottle filled with your substrate of choice, then cover the added substrate. I'm doing this to add a layer of aqua soil under an existing layer of eco complete. 

Keep in mind though, over time your layers will rearrange themselves starting with the smallest grain size at the bottom. 

Edited by JoeQ
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On 1/31/2024 at 8:57 PM, JoeQ said:

If you aren't worried about separating it, and you want a different bottom layer of substrate, you can always dig a hole in your current substrate and backfill it using an empty soda bottle filled with your substrate of choice, then cover the added substrate. I'm doing this to add a layer of aqua soil under an existing layer of eco complete. 

Keep in mind though, over time your layers will rearrange themselves starting with the smallest grain size at the bottom. 

That's a problem because i want a cory and kuhli tank

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i currently have my setup like this and it works. Plus if you decided to remove the mesh bags they won’t mix with the sand. I just removed a few bags on my tank and it came out clean 

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