Substrate System for a Planted Tank

Substrate System for a Planted Tank

February 26, 2017

Laying the foundation

It is important to have a good layer of nutrients & additives to develop and substain the growth of roots and plants.

What is needed?

This is a rough estimation of what you need from the BorneoWild Substrate System (in bags and bottles), in order to create a 1" thick substrate layer. You will need more soil to create different depths and slopes.


Why plant growth is slow and my water looks yellowish?

Nutrients from the soil dissolves into the water column best at around pH 6-7. When you have pH higher than 7, most nutrients do not dissolve well. This is true for any submerged soil. It is just chemistry. Thus, you may see slow growth. 

Yellow water is usually caused by humic and fulvic acids from the soil. Humics in soil are soluble at pH higher than 7. So at pH higher than 7+ to 8, they will dissolve and leech.

Both these issues can be fixed by lowering the pH of water (ie lowering the carbonate hardness, kH). This can be done by using RO water, or reducing the pH by using pH down or increasing CO2 to lower pH to below 7.

What happens when base fert gets depleted?

Depending on the type and amount of base fertilizers you used, the substainability of the foundation nutrients may last between 1-2 years. When you find that the plant growth has slowed down, its perhaps time to insert some roots boosters!

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