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Old 07-24-2012, 07:54 PM   #1 
Silverfang
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Question bout air pockets in substrate?

I set up my 29gal a month ago. With black earth topped with play sand. Made sure it was no more than three inches deep.
Lots of live plants, easily 40 or more stemmed plants plus a few crypts and swords.

My concern, I've been getting air bubbles. I don't know if this is just pockets of air that got trapped while I was laying the substrate or if this is (and forgive me since I forget the proper term), pockets of gas.

I've gone at the sand twice with a chop stick, and it burps up a few bubbles in random spots. I did add about 40 baby MTS (baby as in 2-3mm) plus 3 larger adults.

However tonight I noticed some "gas" escaping on it's own and I wasn't sure if this is ok, or if I need to prod the substrate more often, or get more adult snails. Next time I get some plants from the LFS they are happy to toss me a half a dozen inch long trumpets.

It hasn't affected my girls (currently there are 5 female bettas and one nerite who has not moved). The only other thing of note are is the brown uh diatoms that are trying to kill my pennywort. Which is probably unrelated.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:30 AM   #2 
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It's NOT air, it's gas from the bacteria reproducing in the soil. I've seen that before & I've sTiRrED it up.

Don't DO THAT.

I think it's fine if it's SELF Releasing. Don't poke at it.


=Oh you're using ACTUAL SOIL mixed with sand?
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:58 AM   #3 
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soil topped with sand.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:15 AM   #4 
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It seems that I will have the same issue. how heavily planted is your NPT?
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:00 AM   #5 
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That is normal for the soil to burp...so-to-speak....nothing to worry about unless it start to smell like rotten eggs....
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:06 AM   #6 
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My soil burps lol. But it has a sweet, swampy smell to the tank.

one of my first attempts at a NPT had issues though, and when I opened the top that thing STUNK like rotten eggs. YUCK.

So I took it down and re did it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:22 PM   #7 
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phew, no bad smell. I'm glad. I've got too add two or three more bunches of stemmed plants, but I might be able to get away with a bit less, my hygro is nearly out of the tank and I'll have to clip it back soon.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:23 PM   #8 
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Try cabomba if you don't already have it. Mine grows like weeds! I'm actually selling some right now. I like water wisteria and micro swords. But micro swords grow pretty slowly.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:06 PM   #9 
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The sand in my wild betta tanks has gone black in some places and it does smell a bit rotten. Because I can't be bothered stirring it up all the time (there is peat over the top of the sand) and the water is too soft for snails, it just stays like that.

I have never had any issues with my fish because of it. I have successfully raised fry in those tanks and all of my wilds are in peak breeding condition.

Personally I would just add some snails and not worry too much about it. I wonder if because bettas are able to take in air from the surface, the effects of any gas build-up are minimal.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:05 PM   #10 
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The ladies are fine, and I have about 20 stems of cabomba or more. The LFS got some really nice stock in, they had lovely red cabomba, but I'm confident I don't have the right lighting for that.
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