Aquarium Substrates

Manado JBL

Manado JBL substrate is one of the most recommended for aquariums with plants.
In planted aquariums (most of them), it is always necessary to use a substrate in which the root system of the plants can develop , and this task is more than fulfilled by the Manado.

Buy Manado JBL, presentation sizes

What type of substrate is Manado?

There are nutritious substrates such as JBL Aquabasis , and clay substrates that are not enriched , such as JBL Manado.
The structure of the Manado is very porous , designed to absorb excess nutrients that are produced in the aquarium: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

It can be used alone or in combination with other substrates , provided that their special conditions are taken into account.
For example, if we have an aquarium planted with high nutrient needs, it can be used in combination with JBL Aquabasis, taking care to place the nutrient substrate at the bottom, and the herd on the surface.

Features of the Manado JBL

  • It is a substrate with a porous structure and clay origin, which has a characteristic brown color.
  • Its structure gives it the special characteristic of storing the excess nutrients present in the aquarium, to return them when they are needed.
  • Its grains (granulometry) are between 0.5mm to 2mm. Its size and structure are suitable for all types of fish, even those that are very sensitive due to their barbels, such as catfish, prawns or snails.
  • It is very durable in time, it does not fall apart. Nor is it necessary to replace it, since being totally neutral it will absorb nutrients present in the water or that we add consciously.
  • Another of the characteristics that make it exceptional is that, in the long term, it does not modify the parameters of the water, it is neutral.

How to prepare the Manado substrate for use

According to the manufacturer JBL, the Manado should be rinsed under warm running water before use, with the intention of removing excess dust caused by shipping.
But sometimes the newly installed Manado, if it has not been properly washed, can alter the parameters of the water, causing the GH ( total water hardness ) to skyrocket.

Boil the Manado JBL, before installation

If you read on the Internet in the different forums about aquariums you will see all kinds of questions and answers, about the need or not to boil the Manado before its installation.
It seems that the Manado, although it should be totally neutral, has carbonates.
The presence of carbonates can initially alter the GH in the water, causing it to skyrocket.
Usually they are largely removed with a simple rinsing of the substrate, but if we want to be totally sure and not have any type of problem, it is best to boil the product before use.
The advantage of boiling the Manado before use, that the water will be completely crystalline and will not become cloudy, even if you remove the substrate.

How to lower GH in a herd aquarium

It may happen that due to ignorance or improvisation we introduce the Manado directly into the aquarium, with the consequent high of the GH.

  • To reduce the presence of GH in an aquarium with Manado, we have no choice but to make frequent water changes, add water treated with osmosis or mineral water.
  • You can also reduce the GH present in the aquarium, using peat filters and in the worst case, using water softeners.
    As we are talking about a specific problem, which over time the substrate should regulate naturally, it is best to «only» perform water changes.

Recommended changes of 70% of the water for 4 or 5 days. The problem will have been largely fixed, without the need for any additional action.

How much substrate do I need?

Another question that often arises is how much JBL Manado substrate is needed for an aquarium.
According to JBL, we can deduce how many liters of Manado substrate we need using the following formula:

Manado Substrate : length of the aquarium in centimeters x width of the aquarium in centimeters / (divided) by 200 = the result is the liters of substrate required for a thickness of about 5 centimeters.

If you don’t want to complicate your life, follow the following table:

1.5 litros
Peso 1.3 Kg
Acuario 10 Litros
3 litros
Peso 2.6 Kg
Acuario 25 litros
5 litros
Peso 4.3 Kg
Acuario 50 litros
10 litros
Peso 8.6 Kg
Acuario 100 litros
25 litros
Peso 21.3 Kg
Acuario 350 litros
Format Weight Aquarium
1.5 liters 1.3 Kg 10 Liters
3 liters 2.6 Kg 25 liters
5 liters 4.3 Kg 50 liters
10 liters 8.6 Kg 100 liters
25 liters 21.3 Kg 350 liters

Doubts about the use of the Manado JBL

Can Manado be covered with silica sand?

It is not convenient, the sand could end up going to the bottom of the aquarium.

How often is it necessary to change the Manado

Manado is a very stable substrate, which does not need to be removed.
It may need to be changed in very rare cases, such as whole aquarium disease that could settle into the substrate.

Siphon an aquarium with Manado

One of the problems that we can find with a substrate «only» from Manado, is that it is practically impossible to clean with a siphon.
You can try to clean with a very wide siphon and reducing the power, but the best solution is to place the Manado only where we have plants, covering the rest with sand or gravel, easy to clean with a siphon.

Substrate in suspension

The situation may arise that, when Manado is introduced for the first time in the aquarium, part of the substrate due to its low volume goes to the surface.
Don’t worry, these suspended particles will eventually sink to the bottom.

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