hello building a 10 gallon plant aquarium and I need some help! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

 
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-01-2011, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question hello building a 10 gallon plant aquarium and I need some help!

I would like to use soil to help. I have too many plants in the 20 gallon and would like to build a 10 gallon planted aquarium. The plants grow very quickly and I was thinking that maybe after the aquarium is heavily planted I might add a Dwarf Puffer? I'm not sure though I would like to keep just plants for now.

I don't know if it is a good idea to add soil or not. Maybe I can do it with just gravel? maybe I can use gardening soil? or should I buy some Eco-complete?

I'm not sure but thank you for your help!:)

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post #2 of 5 Old 07-02-2011, 10:00 AM
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Plants will grow and grow fine in any of the common substrate materials, by which I mean sand, gravel (fine grain up to pea gravel size), enriched substrates (like Flourite or Eco-complete) or soil. Each of these may have an advantage or disadvantage. Soil needs an overlay of small gravel or sand, but the others can be used on their own as the sole substrate material.

I have used all of the afore-mentioned except soil. The reason I have not used soil is because I can see no direct advantage, and there are some reaql negatives. This does not mean it is not possible, but it is certainly the most involved and "difficult" from the aspect of things that can go wrong. I base this judgement on the advice of several very experienced planted tank aquarists.

I assume your 20g does not have soil, and yet you say the plants are growing too quickly. This suggests that your substrate in that tank must be OK.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

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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post #3 of 5 Old 07-02-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Plants will grow and grow fine in any of the common substrate materials, by which I mean sand, gravel (fine grain up to pea gravel size), enriched substrates (like Flourite or Eco-complete) or soil. Each of these may have an advantage or disadvantage. Soil needs an overlay of small gravel or sand, but the others can be used on their own as the sole substrate material.

I have used all of the afore-mentioned except soil. The reason I have not used soil is because I can see no direct advantage, and there are some reaql negatives. This does not mean it is not possible, but it is certainly the most involved and "difficult" from the aspect of things that can go wrong. I base this judgement on the advice of several very experienced planted tank aquarists.

I assume your 20g does not have soil, and yet you say the plants are growing too quickly. This suggests that your substrate in that tank must be OK.

Byron.
oh okay that sound good! yeah they do grow fast in small gravel but I was thinking that it did because of the waste of the fish and such that falls in between the rocks and makes a kind of fertilizer for them..

thank you Byron!

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post #4 of 5 Old 07-02-2011, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by leogtr View Post
oh okay that sound good! yeah they do grow fast in small gravel but I was thinking that it did because of the waste of the fish and such that falls in between the rocks and makes a kind of fertilizer for them..

thank you Byron!
That's correct. The plain gravel or sand is itself devoid of any nutrients. Organics (from fish waste, decaying plant matter, uneaten food, dying bacteria, etc) accumulates in the substrate, and a host of bacteria break it down into nutrients for the plants. But this also occurs in any substrate. While some claim that soil quickens this process, it does so at a cost.

You do not want too large a grain size for the gravel; grains around 1-2 mm in diameter are best. Water has to circulate, but the substrate has to be small enough to anchor plant roots and provide a good bed for the bacteria.

The substrate in a planted tank should not be vacuumed, as this removes much of the essential organic matter. Let nature do its thing, it knows best.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

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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post #5 of 5 Old 07-02-2011, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
That's correct. The plain gravel or sand is itself devoid of any nutrients. Organics (from fish waste, decaying plant matter, uneaten food, dying bacteria, etc) accumulates in the substrate, and a host of bacteria break it down into nutrients for the plants. But this also occurs in any substrate. While some claim that soil quickens this process, it does so at a cost.

You do not want too large a grain size for the gravel; grains around 1-2 mm in diameter are best. Water has to circulate, but the substrate has to be small enough to anchor plant roots and provide a good bed for the bacteria.

The substrate in a planted tank should not be vacuumed, as this removes much of the essential organic matter. Let nature do its thing, it knows best.

alrighty then! thank you Byron!!

please watch and share with friends and family.
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