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Cheap Sand-based CO2 Generating Sub

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First thing I want to say, this is not my recipe but Tony's (2toned on AL forum) and I asked him before I posted this here. From the tanks I've seen, this has great resaults, I am going to try this on my 5ft tank when it is fixed.

Just copied the thread because he explains everything very well!

Here's a recipe I've been using for 4-5yrs for a low cost, long life substrate that suits just about everything I've grown.

Propagating Sand (Bunnings $4.95 a bag)

Marble Chips/Oyster Shells

Blood & Bone

Laterite (optional, as the sand has a lot of clay in it)

Peat Moss (optional)

Cover the base with 1-1.5cm unwashed propagating sand - straight from bag, heaps of clay

Sprinkle marble chips - 1 x handful per 30cm square

Sprinkle blood & bone - 1 x dessert spoonful per 30cm sq

Sprinkle laterite - 1/2 x handful per 30cm sq or lay cut and dried potters clay

Cover the lot with 3-4cm well washed propagating sand, don't want all that clay in the water column!

Cover with cling wrap and fill to desired level to work with plants.

The propagating sand is full of minerals and a fair bit of clay... that's why you can get away without using laterite. Coupled with the B&B for N & Ca, the gross feeding plants love it.

The marble chips help maintain ph balance, which is needed for efficient nutrient uptake, and provide an ongoing Ca source. It also acts as the carbon reserve, supplying CO2 as it dissolves. Oyster and other mollusk shells do the same and are the building blocks of aragonite.

The sand is fine grained for a substrate, which keeps all the junk from leaching into the water column. But it really encourages micro-organisms, worms, etc... and I find that the spiral (Malaysian) snails keep it really well aerated - not to mention the Corys rooting around.

In three years I've never had a problem with fouling or gas build up.

I've tried adding a fine layer of peat, but haven't noticed an appreciable difference either way.

The substrate in my shrimp tank is full of tubifex, which aerate it constantly and transfer nutrients up and down through it. My CRS/CBS seem to love the free treats they deliver.

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This substrate is excellent. I personally changed it a little bit by adding JBL AquaBasis to the Propergating sand, rather than adding laterite.

My 4ft




I am removing all mine from this tank (going in a different direction) and moving the substrate to another tank

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