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Results 21 to 29 of 29
  1. #21

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    0 Not allowed!
    The problem is that the Iron will not really leach into the water for the plants to use. Some phosphate removers that are on the market are actually made of iron oxide pellets, so the presence of iron oxide in the tank isn't a real problem, it just won't do anything for your plants. Plants need iron in the proper form in order to take it in and use it.

  2. #22

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    Thanks for the info!
    ahh, yes, fish you say.

  3. #23

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    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by Fishalicious
    2nd Rule - don’t spend hundreds on special substrates – check your chosen plants needs but basically all that plants need are a not too compact substrate (anaerobic) which allows the nutrients to get to the plants easier.

    Yes I am going against what the advertisers tell you LOL All that specialized substrates do are allow the nutrients to chelate more (Chelators - These are organic “coatings” that keep the nutrients from binding with other substances which the plants cannot access. Plants break down and use these chelators, the Bacteria in your tank also release small amounts of the nutrient into the water over a period of time)

    Most bottled nutrients or tabs have chelating agents in them so I don’t see the point in doubling up. Upside of specialist substrate is that you may need less nutrient supplements over time but I would like to add that peat & humic acid are natural chelators so if you put a little of either (really just a little bit) if your tank that is not meant to be a High PH tank you have a wonderful and cheap way of cutting the costs of nutrients also.

    I am going against rule number 2 and recommend the use of a plant substrate. You don't need to spend hundreds but at least get enough for a 1 inch layer under normal substrate. I'm pretty sure what I have is flourite. It is basically a substrate made from clay. This stuff is loaded with micronutrients(iron), also because clay has a high cation exchange capacity it will attract and hold your macronutrients like nitrogen for the plants root system (A world known as the rhizosphere).

    This book I have explains what cations and the cation exchange capacity is.

    "Essential ellements are dissolved in water when absorbed through the roots. In solution, these ellements are charged particles called ions. Positively charged particles are called cations. The cation exchange capacity is a measure of the soils attraction, retention, and exchange of the positively charged cations. Organic matter and clay normally carry a negative charge. This negative charge attracts and holds the cations, giving soils high in clay and organic matter a high cation exchange capacity. This makes them more fertile than course textured soils.(sand and gravel)"

    I agree with part of your statement where you can use some organic matter like peat, but it's not recommended because any disturbance in that layer will make your water very dirty. Root tabs I also feel highly dirty your substrate.
    I think it's much simpler and effective to use a high quality plant substrate rich in clay, or for the do it yourselfer I have heard of people using clay cat litter as a substrate.
    Last edited by openbook; 12-20-2011 at 12:38 AM.

  4. #24

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    0 Not allowed!
    Read the dates on these threads before responding please. Its over 2 yrs old.

  5. #25

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    But it's a sticky and I have something to add!

  6. #26

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    0 Not allowed!
    I like Flourite.

    Liters to Gallons conversion calculator

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  7. #27

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    Wonderful thread, very informative :] I was about to ask what to look for in fish foods, but after reading the deficiency list I now know!

  8. #28

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    Question Substrate confusion


    0 Not allowed!
    This information is great! Thank you so much for writing it so that it answers so many questions!

    A question i have is how do i know what substrate is a good one for my fish and my tank- I would like to convert my 10g betta tank into a planted betta tank- it is my betta and 4 spiny snails who live in it. I have heard that sand is good for bettas, but is sand ok for plants? Or do i need to do a layer of something underneath the sand to ensure the stemmed plants will root?
    and this may seem like an idiotic thing to ask, but how do i know the tank won't end up one big mud puddle?
    I'd like to do this as correctly as possible first-time, and i am thinking that it all begins with the substrate. Am i correct or should i be focusing on something else as the first step?

    thanks for your time

  9. #29

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    0 Not allowed!
    Yes, sand is just fine for plants. Just don't use more than a couple of inches. I suggest black, fish tend to get brighter over black substrate.
    No, it's not a stupid question, and no you won't get a mud puddle. If you don't rinse the substrate beforehand it clouds up the water, but the sand is heavy and sinks to the bottom.
    Substrate is a pretty good start for converting. I'd suggest you start with some Java moss, Java fern, swordplants, and anubuas, they're all pretty tough. Don't plant the Java fern or the anubias all the way in the sand, they rot if the rhizome (thick bit the stems and roots grow from) is covered. They love being on driftwood, though, and will eventually attach to it. Swordplants are heavy root feeders, they like root tabs. Java moss you can either put on driftwood or just plop in as a big old clump, it's not picky and fish love it. Java ferns grow tiny baby plants along the edges of their leaves sometimes, and both of those rhizome plants will develop into big clumps that can be pulled apart for more plants.
    I hate hearing people say "it's only a $3/$5/$1 fish/shrimp, so it's ok if it dies, I can just get another." It's still an animal! All animals should be treated like they're worth $10,000.
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