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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Looking to start a planted tank.


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi guys, it's been a while since I visited the forums and I'm now thinking about stetting up a 10Gal tank I've had laying around for a while.
    I have successfully kept a 10Gal since 09 and I now want to see if I can start another one, this time is going to be planted.

    I really want it to take on a river kind of look, but I seem to be having a lot of trouble deciding on what type of substrate to use, I don't want to use a substrate that will require too much upkeep. For the plants I'm thinking maybe some nuvias, dwarf sag and some ferns, nothing that would require fancy substrate. If it can do well on regular gravel that would be nice.

    I'll be definitely using some driftwood and some river rocks for decorations, as for the fish I'm not sure yet.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Why not sand? You could go black, brown or tan/light/white. It's suitable for many types of snails and bottom dwellers, it looks great and works excellently for plants. =] Then you can use fertilizer tabs to place under the sand/plants.
    Adventures in Aquaria - The KevinVA Story

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  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    ambler, PA
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I am using flouramax right now for my planted and like it way better than when I used sand. I used white sand and it was a nightmare to keep the tank looking good, but the flourite black sand looks cool and is great for plants.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I've been looking on youtube and found that some people are actually using play sand!
    I mean I want so nice sand for the plants to grow but I also want some river gravel.
    Last edited by Evildude; 02-01-2013 at 06:58 AM.

  5. #5

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Pool filter sand is the accepted alternative and I currently use it along with fert tabs to grow. Heavy root feeders such as amazon swords won't grow as quickly but will grow. If I had a tank that size I would get eithe seachem's fluorite or Carib seas Eco complete. Expect to spend $15-25 but it's worth it IMO.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by mojosodope View Post
    Pool filter sand is the accepted alternative and I currently use it along with fert tabs to grow. Heavy root feeders such as amazon swords won't grow as quickly but will grow. If I had a tank that size I would get eithe seachem's fluorite or Carib seas Eco complete. Expect to spend $15-25 but it's worth it IMO.
    Seachem's fluorite looks really good for the look I'm trying to achieve, but will it affect the fish?
    I've never cycled a planted tank before, the nuvias I have on my current tank were added after all of my parameters were stabilized. Mainly as a replacement for those ugly plastic plants.

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I've not used raw sand but did use crushed coral sand mix (not ideal) in my transition to a planted tank and, whilst it did provide a striking, aesthetically pleasing view, I didn't much like it - for maintenance reasons. I found I got a build up of anaerobic gas pockets in places where it wasn't disturbed enough, meaning you have to find a balance of how close to vac the substrate around plants without disturbing their root network. The plants didn't exactly thrive. Those with long roots had die off at the root tips and the stink at water change times was a bit gross! I have heard that Malaysian snails can help with this issue as they burrow a lot and turn the sand over for you.

    I switched to a specialist aqua-soil and I'm totally converted now. I suppose the down sides are that it was an expensive outlay to start with, and some brands leech lots of ammonia for a few weeks (so not suitable for immediate stocking), but, if you can deal with that the benefits outweigh anything else in my opinion. I chose ADA substrate. Didn't need washing and will feed the plants for a few years before becoming exhausted and needing regular supplements. The biggest benefit I have found is that it does not (and should not) be vaccumed. Plant root networks are excellent and growth of the plants (without changing anything else in my low-tech set-ups) is substantial by comparison.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

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  8. #8

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the crushed coral. That stuff is pretty messy and not exactly the best, if you want thriving plants. The substrate moves around much too easily for the plants. The slightest movement can uproot them. I'm struggling with this in two tanks right now, though they're not exactly my show tanks, so it's not that big a deal... but I'd prefer an aesthetically pleasing breeder to not. ;P
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  9. #9

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Crushed coral tends to increase your water hardness significantly. Not ideal for most species.

    I've used gravel with a potting soil under it, classic dutch style, that works. I now run a tank with play sand base topped with filter sand. Play sand works but it's a pain to rinse. Filter sand usually doesn't require any rinsing. I've used clay fertilizer pellets and dose a small dose of liquid fertilizer.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    I've used gravel with a potting soil under it, classic dutch style, that works.
    I think I'm gonna go this route, I want to get either seachem's fluorite or Carib seas Eco complete and put some pebbles on top. Beside it won't need that much vacuuming right? Also, I'm not planning to stock it until about a month later at least.

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