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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - substrate calculator
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substrate calculator

Articles on general fish keeping

substrate calculator

Postby Mick » Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:47 pm

When we set up a new tank how many times have we sat scratching our heads wondering how much substrate we need to add, what is more annoying is the fact that when we go to the LFS, they can tell us straight away. But how do they know exactly, there is a basic equation for working this out, obviously substrate grains vary or gravel sizes can vary so this should be treated as a rough guide but it will never be far off.

To work it out measure the length of the tank and then the depth ( from back to front), multiply these two figures together and it will give you the surface area of the base of your tank. For eample if we are using a 60cm tank with a 30 cm depth then the suface area will work out to
60 x 30 = 1800 sq cm.

The next step is to decide what depth of substrate we require, say for example we were plumping for a depth of 5 cm then we multiply the surface area by the required substrate depth
1800sq cm x 5 cm=9000 cubed cm

Substrate volumes
1000 cubed cm = 1kg of medium substrate i.e most gravel
600 cubed cm = 1 kg of fine substrate i.e sand

This now takes us to the final equation
length x depth x substrate depth/substrate volume

so for our example tank you will need 9 kg of medium substrate or 15 kg of fine substrate

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