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[draft] How Much Substrate Should You Buy?
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Roswell, GA

PostPosted: 2005.01.31(Mon)8:34    Post subject: [draft] How Much Substrate Should You Buy? Reply with quote

This is a rough draft, and I hope that whoever reads this will make suggestions, corrections, contributions. Let me know how you want your name to show up, don't Plagiarize (not sure how you could...), etc...

This article is not a discussion of how much substrate a fish-keeper should use in a particular design, for example, this article isn't going to argue for 8cm of substrate in a planted tank over 5cm. Rather, once you've decided how much you think you need, this article will help (hopefully) insure you buy enough the first time and don't end up with extra or having to go back to buy more.

Hope it helps!

Substrate: When do I need it?

Before discussing how much substrate a hobbyist needs, let's look at the times when you may not need it, and then we will look at the times when you do. I know of two particular situations where a hobbyist would not want substrate: first, some breeders prefer to have a bare-bottom tank for fry and second, in some cases a bare-bottom tank is easier for breeding. I will leave the specifics of these two situations to other articles by experienced breeders.

I suppose the main reason beginning hobbyists use substrate in their tanks is for aesthetic reasons. I believe most people, myself included, think that a gravel or sand of some kind in the bottom of the tank looks better than nothing. This is probably the most superficial reason to use a substrate, but an entirely valid one as well.

The right substrate will also help to buffer your water and if chosen correctly will help the hobbyist maintain his or her desired pH levels. This is especially important for African cichlids.

A substrate is a necessity for almost all planted tanks. I suppose you wouldn
20g planted - 1.5 wpg - pea gravel/sand/laterite - DIY co2

Last edited by TheVillageIdiot on 2005.02.23(Wed)9:37; edited 5 times in total
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Marcos Avila

Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Hiroshima (JP)

PostPosted: 2005.02.08(Tue)23:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I just gave it a quick read although I didn't stop and look in detail on all the numbers. That's a nice draft and will indeed be a good addition to the Articles section.

One thing that I feel is missing is a good paragraph or two in the beginning, as an introduction to the topic and motivation for further reading. For example, a few brief comments on when and why you should even have a substrate in your tank and/or be concerned about it; what are the basic roles of substrates in an aquarium; how they can influence the aquarium in terms of filtration, water parameters, fish behavior; and so on.

Once the readers are convinced they should be paying attention to their choice of substrate, then they may be interested in carefully reading all the nice mathematical details you've provided to help them plan it right.

BTW, I'm pretty sure I can work out some nice little Javascript code within the final article so people can enter the dimensions of their rectangular/triangular/hexagonal tanks and get the volumes immediately.

BTW2, I feel that a continuous repetition of metric *and* American systems everytime a unit is written gets pretty cluttered and distracting. Since this is an international site that officially uses the metric system, that's how the articles should be written as a whole, having at most an end note or appendix to comment on conversion to the American system (readers will also have the handy, ever-present conversion tool at the bottom of the page as well as every other page on the site).

But all in all that's a very nice and potentially useful article and I'll be glad to continue helping you out with it. I will even write up the intro paragraph in the final version if you're not up to it, but it would be nice have your own personal views on those issues, not mine Wink
Are you a Fish-HAVER or a Fish-KEEPER?
Success with a fish/tank is measured in YEARS, not months or weeks...
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Roswell, GA

PostPosted: 2005.03.01(Tue)14:16    Post subject: Reply with quote


If you have a chance to review, I believe the article is ready following any necessary edits you feel you need to make!


Matt (TVI)
20g planted - 1.5 wpg - pea gravel/sand/laterite - DIY co2
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