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Suggestions for stocking 55g tank?

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Suggestions for stocking 55g tank?
Old 10-19-2009, 03:10 PM   #91
 
Found this article about substrate sizes. now i know what the fine grain gravel looks like.

Substrate Grain Size Makes a Difference.

Since the secondary roots which significantly contribute to the health of the plant are extremely delicate, they are very susceptible to physical damage – to damage caused not only by the plant’s physical removal from the pet shop aquarium, but also by the shifting of large sized pebbles in the home aquarium substrate.
For this reason, I feel that the smaller the grain size of the aquarium gravel, the healthier the root system will be. Indeed, very fine gravel and sand shifts significantly less than does large grained gravel and pebbles.

Especially when using a gravel vacuum (by the way, you should gravel vac areas around plants only VERY gently), large grained substrate moves around a whole lot …even in the areas of the aquarium that are not being gravel vacuumed.
Imagine the damaged sustained by the secondary roots when pummeled and pulled by a 2 inch deep and tumbling layer of large pebbles! Now fathom the plant roots having to suffer this abuse on a continuous weekly or biweekly basis (and, even when you’re not gravel vacuuming your aquarium, large grained substrate does tend to shift)!
That said, how in the world can you expect the secondary roots to keep up with the sustained physical damage, and, consequently, why would you expect the roots to support a full foliage if you place the plant in large grained substrate?
The good news is that you can easily alleviate the above mentioned problem by simply using fine grained gravel, or even sand (intended for freshwater aquarium use), as opposed to bulky gravel or pebbles.
In fact, fine grained gravel not only provides your aquarium plant roots with a stable environment, but it also offers far more surface area for biological filtration and looks much nicer too.



I'll probably order this, its similar to eco complete but its cheaper and it comes by the gallon. 79.99 for 6 gallons worth. im ordering it in natural amazon

AquariumPlants.com's own: Freshwater Plant Substrate

Last edited by andrewr2488; 10-19-2009 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:14 PM   #92
 
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This will work. Looks nice too. To answer your question on the hardness kit, yes, you can get one from API. They have three, one does GH only, one KH only, and one does both. The latter is best as you want to know the KH for the buffering aspect but the GH is good to know. To save money, your lfs would probably test your tap water for KH and GH. Once you know that, unless you do some sort of adjustment in the Aquarium (which I wouldn't recommend) you may never use the test kit again. I have one sitting on the shelf.

B.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:11 PM   #93
 
Ok, I have read that alot of people do the cheaper alternative and buy lesco sms grey. I dont have a local dealer, closest store is 2 hrs away but its only about 15 dollars for 50 lbs! Others use shultz aquatic fertilizer? I was unable to find either one and i was wondering if scotts turf builder would work? this is the size

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Old 10-20-2009, 09:58 PM   #94
 
I'm talking to a local landscaping store about ordering the lesco Soilmaster Select in Grey. If they cant get any of that then i'll order the 6 gallons worth of aquaticplant.com fert. but the sms is my first choice, for 50 lbs its around 16.50 so you can't beat it! i'm also wondering about using something API puts out for SA Cichlids.

Amazon Extract


Proprietary blend of humic acids, tannins and other beneficial organics. Developed to create ideal conditions for South American cichlids, such as discuss, angelfish, rams, oscars, flag cichlid and severum, it can also be used to improve coloration in fish that live in low pH (acidic) water conditions, such as tetras, barbs, gouramis, and killifish as well as in planted aquariums. Use weekly as most dissolved organics it contains oxidize in the aquarium. Amazon Extract™ Cichlid is a non tinting formula that does not alter pH and helps to create ideal water conditions to promote breeding and coloration.

Here is an article someone wrote about using Soilmaster Select as a substrate

Soilmaster Select Substrate - The Planted Tank

Last edited by andrewr2488; 10-20-2009 at 10:04 PM..
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:05 PM   #95
 
I'm going to use Turface Pro League as my substrate. My local landscaping store can only get it in red... so im not sure about it but its a 90% chance ill use it.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #96
 
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byron im gonna be doing some plants in the tank to maybe u can help me get the look i want

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/fishtanks.php thats look i want so bad
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #97
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southamericancichlidguy23 View Post
byron im gonna be doing some plants in the tank to maybe u can help me get the look i want

http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/fishtanks.php thats look i want so bad
I clicked on the link and it took me to my own aquaria.

Nothing could be easier; fish have more problems than plants in my experience. But I suggest you start a new thread and we'll go from there. This current thread is Andrew's and it is long already.

Byron.
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:50 PM   #98
 
I need to get some opinions on the turface proleague. i gotta get the order in by monday. I kinda dislike the red color but i can make it work. I was also wondering if i need to put a heat cable underneath the substrate? i have red that putting a layer of "peat" then topping with TPL a good way to go. i'm not sure really.. what type of heater would i need to buy? i am assuming ill need 150 watt heater but can anyone recommend a good brand

Last edited by andrewr2488; 10-24-2009 at 10:56 PM..
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:49 AM   #99
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewr2488 View Post
I need to get some opinions on the turface proleague. i gotta get the order in by monday. I kinda dislike the red color but i can make it work. I was also wondering if i need to put a heat cable underneath the substrate? i have red that putting a layer of "peat" then topping with TPL a good way to go. i'm not sure really.. what type of heater would i need to buy? i am assuming ill need 150 watt heater but can anyone recommend a good brand
Andrew, I hesitate to suggest substrates for others because it is your aquarium, not mine. All I can say is much what I have said:
(a) plants tend to grow better in small-grain gravel (1-2 mm grains);
(b) a dark or natural colour enhances the colours of the plants and fish, and looks "natural" if that is what you want; and
(c) enhanced substrates and substrate additives are not necessary (we're talking low-tech or "natural" aquariums), and individual root fertilizer tabs/sticks work fine with large plants that benefit from this.

As for heating cables, the plant authorities I have read do not recommend them as necessary. The purpose of a heating cable under the substrate is to ensure water movement through the substrate. With the gravel I recommend this is unnecessary as the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria levels in a healthy aquarium will create what is needed.

One must not forget that before we had CO2 diffusion and heating cables and whatever paraphernalia, aquarists maintained absolutely beautiful planted aquaria. I have myself never used these contraptions, and I have thriving plant growth. Manufacturers are there to make money. I prefer spending the money on some fish and plants, and I know they will be no less healthy and happy in the natural setup.

Byron.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:33 PM   #100
 
ok thank you very much b. as for substrate color, i would like a more natural look but i do not feel like paying an arm and a leg for the eco or any similar product. aquariumplants.com substrate is the same thing as turface and soilmaster select. paying 70 bucks for a 5 gallon bucket of it when i can get 50# for 30 bucks, i think ill sacrifice the color. as for the peat i have researched a bit and they say a more controlled way to add peat is just to soak it in a bucket for a few days and add small amounts and test between. they say peat can lower my pH by about 0.5, so now comes the question. if i can sustain the pH level to be 6.5-6.8 would blue rams be a possibility? i'm gonna keep the temp at about 77F and i have updated my fish list to match my substrate.

Corydoras Sterbai
Black Skirt Tetra
Cardinal Tetra

Either of these rams
1 gbr
1 gold ram
OR
2 bolivians

I've still got to test my KH and GH. i went to petsmart and petco and couldnt find the test kits.
going with a marineland stealth heater, 200 watts
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