# calculating amount of needed substrate

#### Matt Holbrook-Bull

##### Founder
ok, lots of people keep asking this so I thought Id put it in its own thread!!

here is how to work out how many litres of substrate you need for a given tank size. And also how to calculate your tank volume in total if you need to.

the formula is:

(length x width x depth) / 1000 = litres.

so for a 60x45x50 with a substrate 5cm deep (uniform)

60 x 45 x 5 = 13500cm2 / 1000 = 13.5 litres.

Hope this helps. • Sianita, nana and TDI-line
Nice one Matt, that will avoid a lot of questions Maybe a little bit more info on substrates too.
Types and which are best, and also a couple of suggestions on the cheap and price not an issue.

LondonDragon said:
Types and which are best, and also a couple of suggestions on the cheap and price not an issue.

knock yourself out Matt Holbrook-Bull said:
knock yourself out My experience is gravel so not much to go by LOL

Matt Holbrook-Bull said:
ok, lots of people keep asking this so I thought Id put it in its own thread!!

here is how to work out how many litres of substrate you need for a given tank size. And also how to calculate your tank volume in total if you need to.

the formula is:

(length x width x depth) / 1000 = litres.

so for a 60x45x50 with a substrate 5cm deep (uniform)

60 x 45 x 5 = 13500cm2 / 1000 = 13.5 litres.

Hope this helps. How do you calculate the amount needed for a corner tank?

Thanks.

zed,
Matt's formula is just the tank's (base area) times (the desired substrate depth) divided by 1000.
In your corner tank it's the same principle - just the area of the base times substrate depth divided by 1000.

The area of the base, assuming it's a triangle = a x h/2
where, "a" is the length of the base (i.e the viewing pane)
"h" is the distance from the viewing pane to the rear corner.

So your required volume = a x h/2 x (desired substrate depth) / 1000

Cheers,

• nana and NexusIcon
Ceg,

Thanks for the clarification!

By those calculations I need approx 30 litres for my Hagen Venezia 350 litre corner tank.

Eco-complete comes in 9kg bags. Any idea what volume this would be?

Hi Zed,
I'm not sure what the density of the ecocomplete is. It's best to use the substrate calculator given above http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html

The calculator does exactly the same thing as we just did but in order to tweak it for a triangle enter a length and width that gives you the same square footage as your triangle - so if your triangle's base area is 500 square inches then on the substrate calculator you would enter, say, 50 inches for the length and 10 inches for the width (50 x 10 = 500).

That should teach you to get weird shaped tanks... Cheers,

• nana
Ok, I've calculated (or rather you did ) 93lb or 42kg of Eco complete. That's 5 bags that are 9kg each, nigh on Â£90.

Matt Holbrook-Bull said:
(length x width x depth) / 1000 = litres.

so for a 60x45x50 with a substrate 5cm deep (uniform)

60 x 45 x 5 = 13500cm2 / 1000 = 13.5 litres.

just for clarity, all units are metric

MY sand cost that!!! all because the wife did not want brown sand that looks dull. TBH i do live the sand i have and its worth it now

do you have the forulae to calculate pounds and kilos as substrate is sold in all 3 forms

You multiply kilos by 2.2 to get pounds,or divide pounds by 2.2 to get kilos.

...

Goodygumdrops said:
You multiply kilos by 2.2 to get pounds,or divide pounds by 2.2 to get kilos.

But the formula in the first post gives the amount of substrate in litres! I think Nick is wanting to convert litres into pounds and kilos.

The answer to that is that it is going to vary slightly between the substrates as Aquasoil is lighter per litre than ordinary sand or gravel. The best way will be to ask the seller for the rough volume of the product you are thinking of getting.

Ah ok,my bad Hi

simply just type in google 22lb to kg and it will split the result for you it works with currency etc.....

hope that makes things simpler regards
gzylo

Would it be worth mentioning in here what depth you should aim for with various substrates? I've got 3inches with my cat litter, but would this be the same with soil? What about the specialist substrates? etc