29 Gallon Substrate Question
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29 Gallon Substrate Question

This is a discussion on 29 Gallon Substrate Question within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I have a 29 gallon tank with some feeder guppies, CPDs, Zebra danios, and cherry shrimp. The plants I have are wisteria, anacharis, java ...

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29 Gallon Substrate Question
Old 03-14-2013, 06:45 PM   #1
 
29 Gallon Substrate Question

I have a 29 gallon tank with some feeder guppies, CPDs, Zebra danios, and cherry shrimp. The plants I have are wisteria, anacharis, java moss, and java fern. The wisteria is looking a little weak, some of the anacharis is looking bad and some is looking great, the the java fern is the same way and the moss looks good but growing slow. I use ferts and I'm working on DIY CO2 and creating a stronger light.

BUT! I can't even keep the dang anacharis in in the gravel. Seems silly to try to balance the chemistry and lighting if I just have a bunch of floating anacharis. The bottoms of the plant look shredded and rootless

I originally bought the gravel for a piranha tank years ago. It is a mix of natural rough and smooth rock. I now know from some online research that the gravel is probably rough on the plants and cutting into them and is bigger than most recommendations for planted aquariums.

So, I started looking into the pricey planted tank substrates. A Seachem calculator said I needed about 45 pounds or three of their bags ($60) to cover 3 inches. So my question is, can you get away with maybe only 50% plant substrate and 50% inert substrate suitable for plants.
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
JDM
 
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Just go with play sand, far cheaper, works with plants, works with bottom feeders, looks more natural than most substrates and won't mess with the water enough to worry about.

Oh, and far cheaper.

Jeff.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #3
 
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Just go with play sand, far cheaper, works with plants, works with bottom feeders, looks more natural than most substrates and won't mess with the water enough to worry about.

Oh, and far cheaper.

Jeff.
That is an interesting idea I haven't thought of. I've only ever shopped for sand for the back of my truck, can you get it in black at local stores very often?
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:46 PM   #4
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I don't know about black. It's got to be play sand though or it will have crap in it.
Even then you need to rinse the finer silt and dust out if it.

Jeff
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:51 PM   #5
 
I preferr pool filter sand. It is super cheap 5-10$ It is generally light brown, and is easier than play sand to clean. Lowes has it and varous other major retailers in the usa. I highly preferr sand as opposed to gravel, and the colored sand I tried from the pet store sucked pretty bad as it bled off the color and was really hard to get clean.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:55 PM   #6
 
I would really like a black substrate. There will be fish in the tank, the fish waste isn't going to sit on top of the sand is it?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:04 PM   #7
 
Sure it will sit on top, however it will sink into the sand somewhat and fertilize the plants. I don't really vac mine and it just seems to disapear. I do have mts snails, maybe they eat it idk? I'm semi new to planted tanks too, and I did try colored sand from petco, just didn't turn out well. This is a 29 gal tank and the sand for it costed like 7.50$
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:07 PM   #8
 
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Sure it will sit on top, however it will sink into the sand somewhat and fertilize the plants. I don't really vac mine and it just seems to disapear. I do have mts snails, maybe they eat it idk? I'm semi new to planted tanks too, and I did try colored sand from petco, just didn't turn out well. This is a 29 gal tank and the sand for it costed like 7.50$
Tank looks great. When I clicked on it, I noticed a picture on the bottom with black substrate. What substrate is that and is it suitable for planted?
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
 
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I preferr pool filter sand. It is super cheap 5-10$ It is generally light brown, and is easier than play sand to clean. Lowes has it and varous other major retailers in the usa. I highly preferr sand as opposed to gravel, and the colored sand I tried from the pet store sucked pretty bad as it bled off the color and was really hard to get clean.
I agree, I prefer PFS over play sand hands down. My experience with play sand was awful - I can't understand why it's suggested. Must have been the brand?.....
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #10
 
Idk about that tank with the black sand- that is my fathers tank in a different state, he posts pictures in my image shack to show me rather than emailing them. Mine is the planted one- his is the fake decor one with the mean big fishy. I like little nice fishy like neons and cat fishes.
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