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Results 1 to 10 of 33
  1. Default can you use sand ONLY ( few questions)


    0 Not allowed!
    1) can you have a planted tank with only sand, no soil
    2)if so what type of fertilizers would I need if any that would be safe for a german blue ram, since they are sensitive (wouldn't want a fertilizer that would irritate or hurt the fish)
    3)would adding soil to an already running tank with fish in it be harmful , I hear things about ammonia spikes
    4) I hear aquasoil lowers ph, does it lower ph fast enough to be harmful to fish?
    5) does aquarium soil hurt or irritate blue rams in any way
    Last edited by Ras; 10-30-2013 at 11:06 AM.

  2. #2

    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    1. Yes, that's what I did in my tank (see sig)
    2. Depends. Seachem makes some good products, both root tabs and liquids that are safe if dosed with moderation. They make one without nitrate and phosphate whic is perfectly safe and one with which makes sense if you have extremely low nitrate levels
    3. Potentially yes. Depends on what kind.
    4. I sincerely doubt it but I have no experience
    5. There's dozens of different kinds, some probably will, some will not.

  3. #3

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Agree...to parallel talldutchie's response:
    1) Me too! I have three planted tanks (one using pressurized CO2) with inexpensive play sand. It was the only way I could afford substrate for my 125g.
    2) I use Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. Works great. Root feeders need root tabs.
    3) if my plants grow well with sand, why would I want to mess with dirt? The spikes depend on how the soil was conditioned, I think (haven't tried a "dirted tank").
    4) not fast enough to cause any issues unless you really need to maintain an alkaline pH, planted tanks usually tend toward acidic anyway.

    Will soils irritate the fish? Shouldn't, but again, why mess with soil unless you just really want to? Sand makes it much easier to move plants around and not make a mess of the tank when rescaping.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    It's EOTW Beer Time! - KevinVA Nobody likes to drinl alone :) - steeler58 Back at you,  good sir! - Compass Here's to Lee's 5000 and Guava Flavored Whiskey! - Taurus Why drink alone, when a Sandz is nearby? - KevinVA 
    Sorry to hear of your loss, it always sucks to lose fish. - mommy1 Wish it was a real one, sorry for your loses :( - steeler58 So sorry about your fish! - SeaLady Here is pie. - mommy1 for the one you lost :o( - fishmommie 
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    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Just to echo the great prev response, there is no reason to add dirt to a tank ever. It is an aquascaping niche that some plant enthusiasts sometimes like to take under but there are far better substrates out there. Inert sand (like the play sand mentioned) is a great option that many here use. I personally use black diamond grinding sand because I have an affinity for dark substrates. If you want to go the expensive flourite/ecocomplete route, those are substrates that can be utilized to provide a bed of fertilizer for you and are great for planted tanks but they cost a LOT of money per bag. Depending on the size of your tank and your budget for the project, you may go this route...

    Also - the ammonia production from soil in tanks is generally the break down of active ingredients that are meant to fuel the plants, unfortunately in aquatic stances, they produce ammonia *which feeds the plants* but so much so that it kills the fish.
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

  5. #5

    Talking


    1 Not allowed!
    Just a few comments to add on aquasoils. I use these and wouldn't be without them now. Some are better than others so if you decide to go with one of these do your research first. I have swapped a fully stocked tank from sand to aquasoil before - it's a fairly big job as you'll have to empty and drain the tank completely, but the most important thing is to select a soil you know won't leech ammonia.

    E.g. I am a fan of the ADA substrates and now use ADA Amazonia in both of my planted tanks (30L and 350L). I find it is the best (from what I have tried on the market) for long term, sustained plant growth. This substrate will leech A LOT of ammonia in the initial stages though so you cannot introduce it to a stocked tank (at least not without pre-soaking it for a week or two). When I made the switch with fish I chose ADA Malaya substrate as that is very slow release, lower nutrient based, and was safe to immediately stock. There was no recordable ammonia spike with this variety of ADA. I found growth rates weren't as impressive as with the Amazonia though, and the colour was less pleasing in the Malaya (although it depends what style you want to achieve).

    If using a proper, enriched aquasoil, you shouldn't need to supplement with root tabs for at least a year or two. Fertiliser in the water column can be helpful but I tend to use half doses. ADA aquasoils will both soften the water and acidify the water. The amount to which it does this depends on the brand you have chosen, the size of your tank, and the frequency and volume of your water changes. My tap water pH is 7.0-7.5. In the tank this will go to 6.5-7.0 if left for a couple of weeks. The change is gradual now but it can shift the pH quickly when initially introduced. It can be useful if you have slightly harder water than you ideally want for your fish, but do be aware that doing infrequent, larger water changes may stress your fish (from the pH swing, but also from the TDS content in the new water...i.e. becoming suddenly harder). Regular smaller changes are better if you use anything that might shift parameters. Stability is the aim.

    Using aquasoil is much easier than using potting soil (capped with sand) as it is less messy (and less risky in my opinion) and is specifically designed for the job (although will be expensive at the initial outlay).

    I hope that's helpful.
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandz View Post
    Just to echo the great prev response, there is no reason to add dirt to a tank ever. It is an aquascaping niche that some plant enthusiasts sometimes like to take under but there are far better substrates out there. Inert sand (like the play sand mentioned) is a great option that many here use. I personally use black diamond grinding sand because I have an affinity for dark substrates. If you want to go the expensive flourite/ecocomplete route, those are substrates that can be utilized to provide a bed of fertilizer for you and are great for planted tanks but they cost a LOT of money per bag. Depending on the size of your tank and your budget for the project, you may go this route...

    Also - the ammonia production from soil in tanks is generally the break down of active ingredients that are meant to fuel the plants, unfortunately in aquatic stances, they produce ammonia *which feeds the plants* but so much so that it kills the fish.
    I'm sorry but I think this will be one of those were we agree to disagree.

    I've had a lot of success with a good aquarium soil like the ones made by tetra and dennerle and capped with a fine gravel. Traditional Dutch style aquariums ran almost exclusively on this combo until the turn of the century. I have no reason whatsoever to suspect quality products in ammonia spikes.

  7. #7

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I agree with what has been said, generally anyway. I will just add a few comments from my own experiences over 25 years.

    I now have Quikrete play sand in all my tanks except one which has fine gravel. My plants are flourishing. I tried Seachem's Flourite, a so-called enriched plant substrate, and had it for 2 years before tearing the tank down and dumping it in the back garden as useless rubbish that wasted $180 to do a 70g tank. This tank now has play sand which cost me $15. And what is more infuriating, the plants are just as thriving now as before (the sand has been in there since this past February, so now 8+ months--see the attached photo of this tank taken just last week). Another unfortunate problem was the sharpness of the Flourite; I had to remove my corys, they developed very serious mouth issues, which fortunately cleared up once they were over sand.

    I like the Quikrete play sand because it is very smooth, the plants grow well, the substrate fish really like it, it is inexpensive, easy to maintain, and in appearance it replicates the sand in most Amazonian streams so the fish look natural over it. And this does make a difference to the fish that one can see.

    Assuming you go with plain sand, you will likely have to fertilize, but as others noted this depends upon the plants. Also on your "natural" nutrients that occur in tap water (via water changes) and fish foods. And yes, water changes are essential for the health of the fish, plus they do help prevent algae and they do help the plants.

    A liquid fertilizer is the first usually needed, since it provides everything to all plants. Some nutrients are only taken up via the leaves, some nutrients via both leaves and roots. I have found Flourish Comprehensive to be ideal, as it contains everything (except oxygen, carbon and hydrogen). It takes very little, in my 70g for instance, one teaspoon once a week. For heavy substrate feeders like the larger swords, tiger lotus, aponogeton, etc, the Flourish Tabs work well; one per large plant, replaced every 3 months.

    I am also using the Flourish Trace once a week now; I tried this about 5 or 6 weeks ago, and in my situation with very soft tap water, it has made a difference. Depending upon your source water, the Comprehensive may be all you need (with or without root tabs).

    Byron.

    Edit, on the photo. The Helanthium tenellum and Lilaeopsis brasiliensis were a few isolated plants in MArch; now they are thick as you can see, even in plain sand with no substrate fertilizing, just the liquid. And over at the far right upper corner, you can see the male Farlowella vitatta guarding a clutch of eggs, again.

    70g Oct 17-13.jpg
    Last edited by Byron; 10-30-2013 at 05:34 PM.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    It's EOTW Beer Time! - KevinVA Nobody likes to drinl alone :) - steeler58 Back at you,  good sir! - Compass Here's to Lee's 5000 and Guava Flavored Whiskey! - Taurus Why drink alone, when a Sandz is nearby? - KevinVA 
    Sorry to hear of your loss, it always sucks to lose fish. - mommy1 Wish it was a real one, sorry for your loses :( - steeler58 So sorry about your fish! - SeaLady Here is pie. - mommy1 for the one you lost :o( - fishmommie 
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    Default


    1 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by talldutchie View Post
    I'm sorry but I think this will be one of those were we agree to disagree.

    I've had a lot of success with a good aquarium soil like the ones made by tetra and dennerle and capped with a fine gravel. Traditional Dutch style aquariums ran almost exclusively on this combo until the turn of the century. I have no reason whatsoever to suspect quality products in ammonia spikes.
    Dutchie - im speaking of land fert products like miracle grow and true DIRT tanks... i even gave flourite and eco-complete as options. I said nothing of not using brands for the aquarium like tetra.
    FW: 1 45gal, 1 40gal, 3 10gal, 3 30gal all community tanks of different species
    Sw: 1 55gal, 1 30gal show, 1 29gal show, 1 20gal and 2 10's

  9. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    thanks everyone , and nice tank byron/dutchie, that is pretty much the look I am going for! and this is great because I already use play sand(white), just recently started wondering if it would be enough to sustain a nicely planted tank or if the plants would struggle so I made the thread.
    what kind of light were you both using using?

  10. #10

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ras View Post
    thanks everyone , and nice tank byron/dutchie, that is pretty much the look I am going for! and this is great because I already use play sand(white), just recently started wondering if it would be enough to sustain a nicely planted tank or if the plants would struggle so I made the thread.
    what kind of light were you both using using?
    White sand is not a good choice, as it is completely un-natural for all fish. The play sand I have is a mix of black/tan/white/gray. The Quikrete brand is reliable, I have seen correspondence between them and an aquarist. Aim for about 2 inches depth, less in front and more in back, though it will even out.

    My light is a combination of one Life-Glo 2 T8 tube with a 6700K, and one GE Daylight T8 with 6500K. A Kelvin between 5000K and 7000K is what you want; it will be more red at the lower end and more crisper white/blue at the higher end. There are studies showing that aquarium plants respond best to this light, around 6500K.

    I have the Life-Glo tubes because I got them for 1/4 price from a store closing. Otherwise, I use the GE, Sylvania and Phillips "daylight" tubes (all have 6500K) from Home Depot-type stores. These are the 48-inch tubes, with two over each tank. The smaller size tubes are not as effective if you only have one tube over the tank, and in those situations I always use a single Life-Glo. I did an experiment a year or so back on this, and found quite a difference between the GE and Life-Glo in same-sized tubes (24 inch, over my 29g tank).

    Byron.
    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

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