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Old 02-26-2011, 12:07 AM   #1 
kfish
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NPT - Air under soil?

I set up Stevefish's tank as a natural planted tank. A layer of soil, a layer of sand. Note: He has yet to spend time in the tank, besides when I VERY FIRST set it up. He's been quarantined until I know it's stable (and because I rescued him from persistent horrible water quality and wanted him in pristine water for a while).

This past weekend, I basically tore the whole thing down because I wanted to add more plants and rearrange (final time, of course). I noticed while in the process that TONS of air had collected under the soil. It smelled BAD.

I came home again this weekend and noticed that once again, there's air under the soil. I had figured it was because I didn't have enough plants the first time (which I didn't - I was in a hurry when I set it up... a mistake, in retrospect). When I push down, air bubbles come out of any hole they can find. Not as bad as the first time, though.

Is this... bad? Normal? I can't find anything anywhere online about it.

Note: There's a snail in the tank. Ammonia and nitrite are 0 ppm, so the plants are in fact doing their job.
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Old 02-26-2011, 11:01 AM   #2 
maycausedeath
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Check out the risks here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...planted-51702/

From what I understand you're gonna want to poke at the air bubbles to release them all (I recommend a chopstick) or pick up some trumpet snails as they burrow in the substrate. I've heard that plants with large root systems are also good for this. Also, how much gravel and dirt do you have in?
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Old 02-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #3 
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Thank you so much for that thread!

There's about an inch and a half of soil and sand.

I just went to town on it with a chopstick and pushed down with my hands. Lots of air coming out, but still not nearly as bad as the first time. I'll prod some more tomorrow.

I'll probably also get some more plants that spread roots out far.
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