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I'm noticing small bubbles rising from the substrate in my NPT (substrate is 1.5 inch 1/8in gravel cap on topsoil from Home Depot), about 1 every 20 seconds. Anyone know what this might be? Is it cause for alarm?

Thanks!
 

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Isn't it normal for bubbles to come up from the substrate? In Ms. Walstad's book, she said it's a sign of the substrate being "alive". I know the substrate in my tank does this from time to time but not as often as gryffin's.
 

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Isn't it normal for bubbles to come up from the substrate? In Ms. Walstad's book, she said it's a sign of the substrate being "alive". I know the substrate in my tank does this from time to time but not as often as gryffin's.
The bubbles are mostly CO2. Substrate bubbling has happened in my tanks with fresh potting soil. It is temporary as bacteria decompose fresh substrate organic matter. Eventually, it will slow down.

Be glad: your plants are getting free CO2!

Make sure that your fish are breathing normally (early morning) and getting enough oxygen. If not, increase aeration.

The bubbling also benefits by stirring up the substrate and introducing oxygen-containing water.
 

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The bubbles are mostly CO2. Substrate bubbling has happened in my tanks with fresh potting soil. It is temporary as bacteria decompose fresh substrate organic matter. Eventually, it will slow down.

Be glad: your plants are getting free CO2!

Make sure that your fish are breathing normally (early morning) and getting enough oxygen. If not, increase aeration.

The bubbling also benefits by stirring up the substrate and introducing oxygen-containing water.
I thought it was okay for the substrate to bubble!

Even though my tank is over six months old, every now and then, I'll get quite a few bubbles coming up from the soil. I had never smelled any H2S in the water so I don't let it bother me.
 

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I did find with my 20g long at the beginning that the water/tank didn't smell as good as the 2.5g which was 6months old. Assumed due in part to the bubbling of the soil
I have the all-glass aquarium top and that really keeps a lot of the moisture and air in.
To counter-act that I would leave the lid open for a while to make sure the air above the water and water can breath.

Actually now it has become a rountine for the 20g-long
  1. Open-lid in evening
  2. feed fish
  3. feed shrimp
  4. 1/8 teaspoon of crushed CaCO3 (eggshells ;))
  5. leave lid open
  6. Close lid at around 9-10pm.

I've had the tank since Sept, and it still bubbles. No problem. Actually interesting to look at as it travels around my jungle I mean plants.

As a new tank I can see why you would be concerned since you probably won't have the plant to bioload ratio at full throttle.
 

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My 29 also bubbled occasionally before the plants were fully established and filled-in. Since then I have not noticed any. So I thought it was a condition of the tank conditioning its-self.
 
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