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A Newbie Needing Plant Advice

This is a discussion on A Newbie Needing Plant Advice within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Just avoid the white pool filter sand. There is a black sand available. And another member, AbbeysDad I think it was, mentioned buff coloured ...

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A Newbie Needing Plant Advice
Old 11-20-2012, 10:44 AM   #21
 
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Just avoid the white pool filter sand. There is a black sand available. And another member, AbbeysDad I think it was, mentioned buff coloured sand. I haven't seen this so no idea how "bright" it might be. And make sure it is inert.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:21 PM   #22
 
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Just avoid the white pool filter sand. There is a black sand available. And another member, AbbeysDad I think it was, mentioned buff coloured sand. I haven't seen this so no idea how "bright" it might be. And make sure it is inert.
It seems inert from the sites I have visited. Not for sure thought. I might need to do some more digging before I throw it in my tank.

Btw, I got on the PetSmart site and apparently they don't carry Water Sprites, so I guess my decision was made for me!
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:23 AM   #23
 
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Hello all!

Updat: I got an Anubias and it is doing well. I also got some tan pool filter sand. It looks lovely! Only problem is cleaning is a pain! Looks like the turkey baster is out and I will have to invest in a gravel vacume.

I now have 4 out of 5 of my Apondogeus (spelling?) bulbs that have sunk and 2 that are well sprouted. The only problem is that one of the sunken bulbs appears to have a clear film around it! It does not smell bad, so I put it back. Any clue what it could be?
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:34 PM   #24
 
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Hello all!

Updat: I got an Anubias and it is doing well. I also got some tan pool filter sand. It looks lovely! Only problem is cleaning is a pain! Looks like the turkey baster is out and I will have to invest in a gravel vacume.

I now have 4 out of 5 of my Apondogeus (spelling?) bulbs that have sunk and 2 that are well sprouted. The only problem is that one of the sunken bulbs appears to have a clear film around it! It does not smell bad, so I put it back. Any clue what it could be?
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Fungus. In this case it may not be toxic, but I can't be sure. Is the bulb solid when lightly pressed with your fingers? If it is soft and "squishy" it is gone and should be tossed. Healthy bulbs should always be solid and firm.

You've mentioned another reason I don't like pool filter sand, whatever the colour. With the play sand, which has grains of black, white, gray and tan, you do not see detritus.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:36 PM   #25
 
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*ackwardly raises hand* What is dertritus?

The bulbs are firm with not foul odor. In fact, they smell like oxygenated water! I put the bulb in a cup next to my window and added a bit of rock salt (just a few granules) in the hope that whatever it is, the bit of salt will kill it off. I didn't want to give it a high dose of salt and worry about it killing it.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:19 AM   #26
 
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*ackwardly raises hand* What is dertritus?

The bulbs are firm with not foul odor. In fact, they smell like oxygenated water! I put the bulb in a cup next to my window and added a bit of rock salt (just a few granules) in the hope that whatever it is, the bit of salt will kill it off. I didn't want to give it a high dose of salt and worry about it killing it.
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Detritus is the technical name for solid fish waste and other non-living organic matter that naturally accumulates on the substrate. It should be left, because it will get pulled down into the substrate where it is broken down by bacteria [many types, not thinking here of the nitrifying bacteria that handle ammonia and nitrite]. This provides nutrients for the plant roots, plus it is important to complete the nitrification cycle because bacteria in the substrate will use nitrate to produce nitrogen gas, as I explain in my article on Bacteria:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-74891/

Snails help break down the more visible waste into smaller bits by digesting it themselves, and then the bacteria can more easily deal with what's left.

With multi-hued substrate, like sand or gravel consisting of a mix of black/gray/tan/white grains, this waste is much harder to see. It gets broken down fairly quickly. To be honest, I've never noticed it other than as a "dust" if a loach or cory digs into the substrate. Except in my tank with the solid black substrate, but here I see more stuff like plant leaf bits and snail shells.

Now, having said that, with larger fish of course there is larger waste, and this will be more visible, though still less so with multi-coloured substrates. But again, it is a natural part of the biological system.


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Old 11-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #27
 
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Thanks for explaining!

Actually, the pfs is multicolored (various hues of tan and brown) and doesn't show any of the yucky stuff. It is very pretty in fact. I just assumed that it needed to be cleaned regularly. Am I wrong?

Also, my tap has a bit of Amonia in it. Never more than 0.5, but it worries me. Is it okay?

Edit: My Ghost Shrimp became very stressed when I changed out my substrate and 3 died. And I know many said that my Cory Cat would play in it, but he doesn't! Maybe the sand is bad...
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:49 PM   #28
 
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Nevermind obout the Ghost Shrimp! They weren't dead. They had shed! I just thought when I saw Gus rolling them around a bit ago, that they were dead ghost shrimp! They all came out to munch the shells. All 8 are accounted for
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #29
 
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I just assumed that it needed to be cleaned regularly. Am I wrong?
Most of us with planted tanks never touch the substrate, or do so rarely and for a specific purpose. My 115g is never touched. My 33g I do a light vacuum over, on the open (no plant) bits, because I find the 10 loaches (dwarf species) are always rooting around in it, so it keeps it a bit tidier.

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And I know many said that my Cory Cat would play in it, but he doesn't!
Don't know about "play," but corys generally do like to dig into the substrate. Some will bury most of their head region doing this, others just sift through with their barbels. It is a natural feeding behaviour. Sand is best with corys because it allows them to do this, and when they sift like this they often pick up sand with the food, and expel the sand via the gills. Gravel can cause issues.

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Also, my tap has a bit of Amonia in it. Never more than 0.5, but it worries me. Is it okay?
This is best handled by using a water conditioner that detoxifies ammonia; some do, many don't. At each water change, the conditioner will detoxify the initial ammonia, and this wears off within 24-48 hours, depending, and by then the plants and bacteria will have no trouble. If the tank is heavily planted, the plants, especially fast-growers, might handle the ammonia from the start. But it is safer with the ammonia-detoxifying conditioner.

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:54 PM   #30
 
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It's not exactly heavily planted. More like a work in progress. It has 1 Marimo Ball, 1 Anubias (looking good and healthy btw), and 5 Apendegonus (GOD I need to write down how to spell that! The ones from WalMart!) bulbs. Out of the bulbs, one has a 1in sprout, one has a 1/2in sprout, two have sunk but have not sprouted yet, and one is floating.

Also, I have been using Tetra Plus, but I also have API Stress Coat. Would either of those help?
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