soil layer Q - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-01-2019, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 244
Question soil layer Q

Hi all-

Well, I finally caved and got another betta (it's been a couple years since I had one), which has brought me back to the forum that started it all- my multi-tank syndrome, planted tanks and my fish geekness :) I have a soil-under-black-diamond-blasting-sand planted 20g tank that's about 4 years old and generally doing well with very little caretaking on my part.

The soil/sand layers have somewhat mixed over time, and there is a dusting of soil visible on top of the soil in various areas around the tank. Should I lay down another layer of black diamond? If so, how thick? Or just ignore it? [possibly related: The water column is clear, but when I clean the tank and squeeze out the sponge filter in a bucket of the old tank water, lots of dark stuff that looks like it might be soil is released.]

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 02:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Oil City PA. USA
Posts: 1,285
I would make sure that you have enough blasting sand to give you a 2" base. If you need to add a thin layer of well washed sand. I would also suggest getting a HOB filter to take the place of the sponge (but that's just me) I have always had problems with the sponge filters picking up dusting of substrate so I switched years ago to HOB and canister filters. I would recommend either a Top Fin adjustable flow or any filter that could filter 110 gph. If you have to, place a piece of filter sponge in front of the discharge shoot with a rubber band holding it in place to reduce the output flow and current. This will take care of the problem.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-02-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 244
I probably have about a total ~ 2" of base, but there are areas where there is just always soil on top (if I vac it away, it just returns). I'm wondering if it's just mixed soil/sand over the years and I should throw another layer of black diamond on top so there isn't soil in contact with the tank water? Or if it's fine?

Maybe a pic will help [attached are both sides; ignore particles as they're from feeding and ignore hair algae as I broke my light timer and it's now fixed and algae is almost gone]

And I can't do a HOB- it's a two sided tank spanning a hallway, so there is no 'back', and also I need it silent in that room. But thanks for the ideas, always appreciate input!
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