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Discussion Starter #1
I just got an old 55 gallon tank out of storage and set it up again. This time with live plants in mind. I was just curious how deep ya'll make your substate; 1,2,3,4,5, or more inches deep????? I start my own seedlings for my garden and have learned the bigger the pot, the better the seedling grows. I didn't give this any thought until after I filled my tank with 55 gallons of water.
 

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I believe the average depth on any given planted tank is 3". My substrate is right about that (3") .

-Dave
 

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In smaller tanks like a 10 gallon I only have 1.5" but in larger tanks (my largest is a 44 gallon pentagon) I have up to 3". If you make the substrate too deep and you don't have enough in the way of extensively rooted plants like swords, aponogetons, and cryptocorynes you run the risk of anaerobic conditions in the substrate. A depth of 3" will permit any plant to grow because they can grow quite far to the sides rather than down. If you plan on having a plant with an extensive root system in the back or a corner you can slope the substrate so it's deeper there.
 

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A good scale is 2-4". You can slope the substrate so you have say 4" in the back, 3" in the middle & 2" in the foreground.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I thought I was at about 3" but ended up with 5". I am not really worried too much after transplanting some plants from a 10 gallon tank to this 55 gallon tank as the transplants had some deep roots. I would hate to have them grow too far sideways as it would be a nightmare to disturb. I can just see the roots of different plants intertwined and knotted together. And if everything doesn't work out, I'll just start all over again. No big deal.
 
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