I'm setting up a new planted 75 gallon tank.  The substrate is about 1.5 inches organic soil capped with fine gravel (#3 grade) ranging from 2 to 3.5 inches.  It's been running about two weeks now, but based on some recent reading, I'm concerned about potential anaerobic conditions setting up.  Are my concerns overblown?  Is there something I should consider adding / changing?  Are MTS snails a good option to promote substrate  aeration or would I be introducing a future nightmare?  BTW, there are no fish in the tank yet since the formal cycling process will begin next week.

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Yeah, I have the same problem. It doesn't look like we are getting any help from this site. I heard about MTS sails too. I have 3/4" of dirt in the front to 2" in the back and I have read like you they help with the aeration of the soil. The only problem is I have clown loaches AND Angel fish, both like to pick on snails so I think I'm screwed. Message me if you find a fix. I'm dieing to know to to help this issue.

Well ur over worrying. U get those conditiond wen ur irt layer is really big. So long u have a dirt layer of 1" to 1 1/2"max ull be fine. U can add mts to ur tank but its going to be hard to rid them. Also a clown loach wont do nothing to control the tiny snails. They go or the bigger snails. Mystery and wat not. U can also just poke at ur substrate every 2 weeks or soo. Dont get scared aquariums arent hard

The tank has been up and running for 4 months and everything seems fine.  During the first month or so after I dirted it, I'd get air bubbles releasing every hour or so but no sulphuric smell so I strongly doubt it was due to any anaerobic activity. Since the dirting was new to me, I was being overly cautious.  Looking back, I wish I had initially done the daily water changes like Peter mentioned because I had a big algae outbreak due to all the excess nutrients.

There was also an outbreak of many small snails from some plants so I added a pair of clown loaches which took care of that issue within days.  Fortunately they have not attacked the large nerite snail.  Snails that burrow might be ok too, although my clown loaches had a feeding frenzy when they encountered one of the pea sized snails.  

There is nothing wrong with MTS snails as they do not eat plants, and are good scavengers and algae eaters. Also, anaerobic conditions are ok as long as you dont stir them up and even if u do, i haven't had any adverse effects on my fish. Anaerobic conditions actually help to reduce nitrates.



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