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Hello! Looking for new tank setup critique, plus a couple of questions

This is a discussion on Hello! Looking for new tank setup critique, plus a couple of questions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by WisFish Thanks for the comments Byron. Couple of thoughts. I thought Flourite was replentishable. In other words, just like garden soil, ...

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Hello! Looking for new tank setup critique, plus a couple of questions
Old 01-27-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by WisFish View Post
Thanks for the comments Byron. Couple of thoughts. I thought Flourite was replentishable. In other words, just like garden soil, if you add root tabs or liquid ferts in a tank with Flourite, I understand that Flourite could store these nutrients. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Lastly your comment..

" Anyway, once the first-time plant enthusiast has all the facts, he/she can decide. The nice thing about this forum is that each of us can present his method and reasons, unlike reading a magazine or book where you only have the author's opinion. "

is what I'm addressing. Seems like we keep telling peoiple not to use enriched substrates when it seems like there are appropriate times to use them.

Anyway, I think I'll stop promoting enriched substrates and go back to standing up for UGFs
Oh, don't get me started on those...

On the Flourite, I don't see how; Seachem stated that it would last for a long time, which means it must give out at some point. Somehow the gravel (which is what they call it) would have to draw in the nutrients from the sticks or tabs, and I would suspect this is not possible or they would have said it. Seachem did state the nutrients will not leech into the water, they must have plant roots to assimilate the nutrients from the gravels, so it seems to act much like the tabs/sticks in plain gravel or sand.

So, LMychajluk, are you any the wiser after all this?
Byron.
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:54 PM   #12
 
I'm still trying to get this ammonium/amonia/nitrate/nitrite thing straight...I'm ignoring this Flourite stuff so my head doesn't explode...
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:36 AM   #13
 
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I gotta go past my parents on the way to pick up my tank on Saturday, so I'll swing by and see if dad can spare a filter medium. Actually, maybe I can have him throw a clean dish sponge in the filter tonight that I can then just nab from him on Saturday? Will that work?
Nice tank there!!!
No within just a few days this sponge wouldn't have enough bacteria on it; ask your dad just to borrow a sponge from his that's been in there for a longgg time; wash it out in your tank and give it back to him (of if he doesn't care, keep it in your filter and he'll put a new one in his).

Plant choice sounds nice...maybe like 5-6 more plants for the tank size and you'll be set for it to grow nicely.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:42 AM   #14
 
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I always have these discussions with Byron. The ony reason to use root tabs is because the plant is a root feeder and the substrate is not supplying the nutrients the plant needs. This is exactly when an enriched substrate would be a benefit.

I myself use plain gravel with my tank. But the root tabs are becoming more expensive in the long run than if I would have used Flourite for example from the start.
Ok, so I'm the newbie now have no tank exp and I'll go for the plants (Stems) my LFS has here and I'll set it up with Flourite.... Now how will this help ANY if you'm covering my tank with a bunch Ludwigia, Camboma, Rotala etc??? Non at all would it now!? So I just spent some $60+ (assuming a 55g tank) for no reason at all cause these plants will not benefit from it and i STILL have to go out and buy a liquid fert...so where's the added benefit in that?

Now I'm the Other newbie and I'm telling you I wanna stock my tank with Kleiner Bar, Amazon, narrowleaf chain etc.....YAY then using flourite makes perfect sense; if you in fact live in some parts of the US that has RO water coming from the tap. For ref look at my tanks and its Swords which have zero flourit, zero sticks, zero liquid nadda - You tell me these plants look poor? I highly doubt it.

Last but not least I'm newbie no 3; I wanna have Ludwigia, Camboma, Rotalaand a Amazon as a center piece...here again why spent some $60 odd for one Amazon is far beyond me if I can just go and buy a pack of root sticks to be added 1x a year for $5 for that very one Sword in there.

You see where I'm getting at with this before I write a large book here?
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:57 AM   #15
 
Well, I went to the LFS (see, I'm picking up the lingo!) and got some supplies last night (still need to make a trek on Saturday to get the tank itself). Got 75lbs of gravel, an API liquid test kit, some API water conditioner, and some misc. stuff (nets, thermometer, etc...).

I washed out 50lbs of gravel, which seems like a lot, and kept the last bag in reserve.

I tested my water, and the pH seems to be in the mid to high 7s from the tap. I think it's within range of the fish I want to get, though maybe on the high side. We'll see what happens once the water is in the tank and conditioned. Didn't realize until I got home that the test kit didn't include a test for hardness, though, so I didn't get a chance to test that. For $30, I figured one of the 6 bottles in the kit would test hardness...

As I mentioned, I plan on planting the tank from the start, maybe 10-12 plants of 3-4 different types to see how it goes. Any suggestions as to plant food / fertilzer for tank that's just starting out? I've seen the tabs that get burried in the gravel and liquid plant food. Should I use either of these, or anything else?
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:26 PM   #16
 
Oh, BTW, I'm also considering a canister filter as previously suggested. Since it's a corner tank, I think that'll allow the tank to 'tuck in' a little tighter into the corner than a power filter. Would the Fluval 305 be appropriate, or maybe too much for a 44gal planted tank?
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:32 PM   #17
 
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Originally Posted by LMychajluk View Post
Well, I went to the LFS (see, I'm picking up the lingo!) and got some supplies last night (still need to make a trek on Saturday to get the tank itself). Got 75lbs of gravel, an API liquid test kit, some API water conditioner, and some misc. stuff (nets, thermometer, etc...).

I washed out 50lbs of gravel, which seems like a lot, and kept the last bag in reserve.

I tested my water, and the pH seems to be in the mid to high 7s from the tap. I think it's within range of the fish I want to get, though maybe on the high side. We'll see what happens once the water is in the tank and conditioned. Didn't realize until I got home that the test kit didn't include a test for hardness, though, so I didn't get a chance to test that. For $30, I figured one of the 6 bottles in the kit would test hardness...

As I mentioned, I plan on planting the tank from the start, maybe 10-12 plants of 3-4 different types to see how it goes. Any suggestions as to plant food / fertilzer for tank that's just starting out? I've seen the tabs that get burried in the gravel and liquid plant food. Should I use either of these, or anything else?
I would suggest rather than wasting money on a hardness test kit that you take a sample of your tap water to the fish store, most will test water for you. Or you might be able to check with your local water board, some have websites with water tests posted, or will tell you about pH and hardness. Once you know the hardness of your tap water, it generally remains the same or close, unless the Board does something or for some reason your water comes from quite different sources.

On the fertilizers, it somewhat depends upon the type of plants in the tank. But in all cases a liquid will suffice as a general fertilizewr and in my experience I grew heavy substrate root feeders like swords and crypts for more than 12 years with only weekly liquid, so it is as I say sufficient. Substrate tabs/sticks next to larger swords will provide them with more nutrients, but it is not essential.

You want a comprehensive fertilizer, one that supplies most of the 17 nutrients plants require and in the correct proportions. I have used and can recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium, and Kent Freshwater Plant [not to be confused with their Plant-Pro which is quite different]. I have also looked at Nutrafin's Plant-Gro though haven't used it (yet) and think it should be fine. Some of the other brands I will not recommend.

The pH of your tap water might rise after it has sat for a day, due to the dissipation of CO2 from the water which is normal in many places. I would check the tank water pH daily once the filter and heater are operating just to ascertain any shifts. Once the tank is set up with fish and plants and bacteria, the pH will tend to drop to become more acidic, unless the KH of the water is high enough to buffer it or there is calcareous rock/gravel in the tank that releases mineral (calcium and magnesium primarily) into the water to keep the pH and hardness up. Any particularly sensitive fish should not be acquired for a new tank until the tank is biologically established, usually 2-3 months; once there is a biological equilibrium, shifts in pH and hardness are much less likely to occur, and such shifts can be dangerous to many fish.

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Old 01-29-2010, 08:48 PM   #18
 
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Ok, so I'm the newbie now have no tank exp and I'll go for the plants (Stems) my LFS has here and I'll set it up with Flourite.... Now how will this help ANY if you'm covering my tank with a bunch Ludwigia, Camboma, Rotala etc??? Non at all would it now!? So I just spent some $60+ (assuming a 55g tank) for no reason at all cause these plants will not benefit from it and i STILL have to go out and buy a liquid fert...so where's the added benefit in that?

Now I'm the Other newbie and I'm telling you I wanna stock my tank with Kleiner Bar, Amazon, narrowleaf chain etc.....YAY then using flourite makes perfect sense; if you in fact live in some parts of the US that has RO water coming from the tap. For ref look at my tanks and its Swords which have zero flourit, zero sticks, zero liquid nadda - You tell me these plants look poor? I highly doubt it.

Last but not least I'm newbie no 3; I wanna have Ludwigia, Camboma, Rotalaand a Amazon as a center piece...here again why spent some $60 odd for one Amazon is far beyond me if I can just go and buy a pack of root sticks to be added 1x a year for $5 for that very one Sword in there.

You see where I'm getting at with this before I write a large book here?
Okay I said I was going to drop this and here I go again.

1) I'd only recommend Flourite if a newbie was going to have Amazon Swords. They really like the iron Flourite or Root Tabs provide. (the swords that is) I agree that only root feeding plants will benefit from Flourite.
2) Your 3 newbie scenarios are aimed perfectly at what I'm trying to get at. Based on the type of plants, Flourite May be of some benefit. (see point #1)
3) Everyone states that Flourite is more expensive than root tabs. Using an online web site, Flourite was twice the price of plain gravel. Using your example above, that $30 more than gravel. I just bought Flourite root tabs from that same online store for $7. The package says the tabs last for 3-4 months. If I dosed according to the label, I'd use the whole box in that 3-4 months. That's $21-$28 a year; pretty close to the same $30 more I paid for the Flourite. After 1 year, the Flourite "gravel" would have been cheaper. Granted you only need to use root tabs near the swords but still, over time the Flourite would be cheaper.
4) Flourite gravel is not a replacement for liquid ferts. If you're using liquid ferts now you'll still want to do that.

So I'm not saying everyone should go out and buy Flourite, I just think it has it's place in planted aquaria. Just like I notice you don't use liquid ferts, most people would argue you have to. And you knwo that's not true.

And finally, here's a web site from someone that really loved Flourite. Althought some of the pictures of her aquariums are no longer available, she had excellent results with Flourite and CO2. (and we all know you don't need CO2 for healthy plants!)

How to Wash FLUORITE
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:44 PM   #19
 
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75 and that's for a 44g? I think 50lbs will be just enough
What kinda fish were you planning on getting?
I totally hate that too how they sell the "kit" yet it doesn't have hardness, makes no sense whatsoever.
Dep on the exact plans you wanna get that may be enough to cover the 44g nicely after a while...may not be.
I'd base the plant food of the exact plants you wanna get. Like I wrote in the examples for wishfish. If you're gonna have stem plants and crypts etc get a good liquid fert (Saechems) and if you wanna have Swords buy some root sticks (I used API, Nutrafin etc).
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:54 PM   #20
 
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1) I'd only recommend Flourite if a newbie was going to have Amazon Swords. They really like the iron Flourite or Root Tabs provide. (the swords that is) I agree that only root feeding plants will benefit from Flourite.
2) Your 3 newbie scenarios are aimed perfectly at what I'm trying to get at. Based on the type of plants, Flourite May be of some benefit. (see point #1)
Alright so far we agree

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3) Everyone states that Flourite is more expensive than root tabs. Using an online web site, Flourite was twice the price of plain gravel. Using your example above, that $30 more than gravel. I just bought Flourite root tabs from that same online store for $7. The package says the tabs last for 3-4 months. If I dosed according to the label, I'd use the whole box in that 3-4 months. That's $21-$28 a year; pretty close to the same $30 more I paid for the Flourite. After 1 year, the Flourite "gravel" would have been cheaper. Granted you only need to use root tabs near the swords but still, over time the Flourite would be cheaper.
And there again read your own point 1) & 2)...all matter of set up, like me I have 2 Swords in the whole 55g set up. If I buy Flourite locally its gonna run me $28 per bag *3=$84...Nutrafin PLant sticks are $4 (for 6) which are to be replaced 1x year and I use only 1/2stick per sword (works great btw) so that lasts me 12 yrs per pack at $4 per pack I can buy me 252 packs for that....Its all about what you truly need for the plants

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4) Flourite gravel is not a replacement for liquid ferts. If you're using liquid ferts now you'll still want to do that.
Essentially what you're saying if you're planting a tank full of stem plants then, I am out the money for the substrate and STILL gotta buy liquid ferts then....

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So I'm not saying everyone should go out and buy Flourite, I just think it has it's place in planted aquaria. Just like I notice you don't use liquid ferts, most people would argue you have to. And you knwo that's not true.
Nop outta all my tanks only 1 gets ferts and I'm truthfully believing my planted tank pic's speak for themselves...had I the problem my plants show signs (dropping leaf's, yellow, holes etc yea then I would) but as my jungles are growing now why should I use; why mess with something that has excellent results as it is (its sorta like me medicating my fish when they're not sick IMO)...why fix something that ain't broken? Just cause the commercials say so? Uhm nop
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