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  1. tam

    Tropica Soil or Tropica Plant Substrate - which one to use in bags under gravel?

    The substrate is quite fine, I think it would depend on the mesh size. I've used it under gravel not in bags and not had a problem with it, so even if it came out the bags it would just sit in place. It's fine enough, you wouldn't notice it if you pulled some up on plant roots it would disappear...
  2. tam

    Has anyone used tropica substrate, with a layer of sand on top?

    Yes, I've only had the tank set up a couple of months but no issues so far. I've done it with fine (1mm) gravel too.
  3. tam


    Unipac black baltic pebbles? They are dark grey with the line through? Have you tried ebay? Easier to get small batches of different rocks aimed at decorative/craft etc. there is a fair few listings with grey/black of various sizes e.g. 20 kg Basalt Landscaping Pebbles/Stones (changes to black...
  4. tam


    You have to watch photos - you need to see them wet. Often then look fairly uniform different tones of grey/brown but they can end up very different colours wet! If you get enough you can pick through if you don't want any outliers. The unipac natural gravels match quite well for small stuff...
  5. tam

    Could it be the substrate? Tank in terminal decline...

    Do you have any photos?
  6. tam

    Changing gravel/soil post setup

    Tbh, when you are completely changing substrate it's easier and therefore usually quicker to completely empty the tank and start from scratch than muck about trying to work around things like fish and the odd plant you are happy with the location off etc. Just go for it and remove the lot and...
  7. tam


    This is a greyer gravel: https://hugokamishi.com/shop/quartz-light/ might be too light though
  8. tam


    Some of the online aggregate suppliers do sample size bags, might be have a bigger range than your local garden centre.
  9. tam

    Pebble capped soil substrate

    This is my journal: https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/90cm-low-tech-wood-cobbles-emersed-probably.53444/page-2#post-532711 You could easily do a thinner layer of the fine gravel and then cap that with courser gravel. I have bare tropica soil in the two back corners and then tropica substrate...
  10. tam

    Pebble capped soil substrate

    I have soil, fine gravel, then gradually bigger grades up to cobbles. I find there are a couple of spots that trap poop and the rest is fairly clean. It's pretty easy to waft a hand over to disturb it and syphon it up. Tbh you can't see it so I could probably leave it as plant manure. I think...
  11. tam

    Substrate advice

    Trying plugging your postcode in here: https://hugokamishi.com/dealers/ that's a fairly common brand in garden centres/fish shops and they do some natural coloured fine gravel (1-2mm). It's the shipping that is expensive for substrate!
  12. tam

    Would this work?

    How big's the tank/fish? You can get cheap large storage boxes and use those to hold the fish/plants whist you change the substrate. It's much easier/safer doing that sort of work without having to work around them.
  13. tam

    Would this work?

    I think if you wanted to do that you'd probably be best emptying the tank, in which case you might as well remove the sand as well. Otherwise you could just use root tabs or liquid ferts. What sort of plants do you want to grow?
  14. tam

    Noob new setup question

    If it does I don't think it's a lot/for long. I didn't test at the start but no reading a couple of weeks in. I've seen a lot of people add livestock straight away, although you might want larger/more frequent changes at the start as a precaution.
  15. tam


    Depends what you want to grow, but gravel generally works fine for easy plants - root tabs can be added if you have hungry root feeders or liquid ferts. You could look at the tropica soil/substrate - if I remember right they don't have the dramatic spike. I set up a tank a few months ago with it...
  16. tam

    Substrate for Crypts

    Tropica soil powder? Nice to plant in, a natural looking brown and provides some nutrients. Depends what you mean by natural... that covers a lot of colours. Just fine gravel and root tabs would work too though.
  17. tam

    Tank overhaul!

    I wouldn't go for pea shingle - but a fine gravel or aqua soil e.g. tropica would work. Aquasoil has the benefit of giving you a nutrient rich substrate. Decide what substrate colour you want - the aquasoil limits choice a bit, so if you don't like the colours you could always put something down...
  18. tam

    My 3-year old substrate

    Looks fine, that's just where the edge is exposed to the light. If you don't like how it looks you might be able to clean it up with a old credit card (careful not to trap substrate between card and glass and scratch it). Or if you cover it over for a week with some strips of cardboard it will...
  19. tam

    Should I change my substrate?

    If you like how the tank looks and are happy with how the plants are growing there is no need to swap. You can grow plants in plain gravel if you are feeding them in the water column (liquid ferts).
  20. tam

    Tropica soil

    I haven't had any trouble with it, but I haven't disturbed it much. Are they new in, maybe dial the CO2 down a bit and then gradually re increase to help them adjust?
  21. tam

    Tropica soil

    Have you tested for ammonia? That would be my first step. What's your water change routine? I'd up it. Was it an established filter?
  22. tam

    Help my substrates mixed together! Can I sieve them out?

    Craft/sewing store is another option, look under cross stitch/embroidery area you can get find plastic grids there. Or you could go really low tech and poke some holes in the bottom of a cardboard box. You'll probably need to spread the substrate out and let it dry first - shouldn't take long if...
  23. tam

    Help my substrates mixed together! Can I sieve them out?

    If they are different grades then yes, you just need a sieve or mesh to DIY one that the play sand fits through and the black doesn't. You should be able to syphon the sand out of the effected area in preparation to sort it.
  24. tam

    Swapping ADA from one tank to another

    10 tetras and 8 otos is a lot to put in a 30L tank. I'd use the existing tank and just put it somewhere out the way. My 70L is currently on the floor on the upstairs landing, whilst I fixed the stand and set up a new tank in it's place. I drained it down to about 1cm above the substrate and...
  25. tam

    Planting into gravel

    It should be fine, only trouble you might have is the bigger gravel can sometimes be a bit tougher to get the stem plants to stay in initially, so you might have to replant, but once they've grow some roots they'll be fine. Good luck :D
  26. tam

    Old Substrate

    My (low tech) tank has been running about four years now, and I'm wondering about root tabs. I'm pretty sure it was JBL Aquabasis I put under the gravel but I'm guess that's long run out of nutrients. While I'm doing liquid ferts (topica), I can't help wondering if plants like cypts with their...