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Plant fertilizer?

This is a discussion on Plant fertilizer? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Can't wait to see the results! Are you adding the Flourite to an Amazonian tank, or an Asian tank? This is the flooded Amazon ...

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Old 03-20-2011, 08:12 PM   #21
 
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Can't wait to see the results! Are you adding the Flourite to an Amazonian tank, or an Asian tank?
This is the flooded Amazon forest setup, previously in the 90g but now in the 70g with the Flourite. I'll attach a photo taken a couple days after I set it up. I severely trimmed the plants, but they will grow in again. The old 90g was something of a mess I'm afraid; it had a huge explosion of brush algae last summer and for various reasons including health i let it go too long. I decided to put this setup back in the 70g because it is 4 inches shallower and easier to create a flooded forest look. Also, this tank has a bit more light reaching the substrate due to the shallower depth.

All my tanks except for the largest 115g Amazon riverscape have been torn down and rebuilt during the past couple of weeks. But the 70g is the only one with Flourite substrate. The others have small gravel or sand.

Quote:
Actually (unfortunately), it is not. I need about 4-6" for deep-rooted Amazon Sword. That can get pretty expensive.
I agree with the others that 4 inches will suffice. I have 5-6 in the 115g, but those are really big Echinodorus and the root systems extend so far throughout the substrate that anaerobic is less of a concern; if you go under the tank and look into the bottom (the metal stand is not solid) the bottom is covered with white roots everywhere. In the 70g I have about 2-3 inches of Flourite, deeper at the back than the front. It took 6 bags (7 kg or 15 lb bags). I ordered online, and it was almost 1/2 what they charge in some stores here. Big Al's Canada, they paid the shipping too.

Byron.
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Old 03-20-2011, 08:39 PM   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Mikaila31 View Post
You don't need it that deep, unless you want anaerobic substrate too. I used the same amount of eco complete in my 55 and never had a problem with swords, except they grow too fast.
If I did a substrate 5-6" (which I appearently don't need), then it would be a fine gravel, or if not, something covered with MTS. I do not want to end up with anaerobic substrate.

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This is the flooded Amazon forest setup, previously in the 90g but now in the 70g with the Flourite. I'll attach a photo taken a couple days after I set it up. I severely trimmed the plants, but they will grow in again. The old 90g was something of a mess I'm afraid; it had a huge explosion of brush algae last summer and for various reasons including health i let it go too long. I decided to put this setup back in the 70g because it is 4 inches shallower and easier to create a flooded forest look. Also, this tank has a bit more light reaching the substrate due to the shallower depth.
Simply a beatiful setup as always, Byron!. I am just wondering what that bottom-dweller (not the Ram) is that looks a little bit like a chinese algae eater or an otocinculus?

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I agree with the others that 4 inches will suffice. I have 5-6 in the 115g, but those are really big Echinodorus and the root systems extend so far throughout the substrate that anaerobic is less of a concern; if you go under the tank and look into the bottom (the metal stand is not solid) the bottom is covered with white roots everywhere. In the 70g I have about 2-3 inches of Flourite, deeper at the back than the front. It took 6 bags (7 kg or 15 lb bags). I ordered online, and it was almost 1/2 what they charge in some stores here. Big Al's Canada, they paid the shipping too.

Byron.
Ok then. I guess I will try to figure out a substrate to get at a depth of about 4". Gravel is still a consideration, but I may be able to find something better. I really don't want to pay more than $50 for substrate, though, which may be too little for Flourite or eco-complete.

I wish there was a website called,"Big Al's United States of American"! Free shipping for substrate? That is great!
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:11 AM   #23
 
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Originally Posted by small fry View Post
If I did a substrate 5-6" (which I appearently don't need), then it would be a fine gravel, or if not, something covered with MTS. I do not want to end up with anaerobic substrate.



Simply a beatiful setup as always, Byron!. I am just wondering what that bottom-dweller (not the Ram) is that looks a little bit like a chinese algae eater or an otocinculus?



Ok then. I guess I will try to figure out a substrate to get at a depth of about 4". Gravel is still a consideration, but I may be able to find something better. I really don't want to pay more than $50 for substrate, though, which may be too little for Flourite or eco-complete.

I wish there was a website called,"Big Al's United States of American"! Free shipping for substrate? That is great!
Big Al's is in the US, but I've no idea on their shipping policies. Living in Canada it is much easier to deal with Canadian places, and they happen to have a Canadian outlet. Google "Big Als" and I'm sure you'll find them. Shop around, there are other online retailers too.

Small gravel makes a fine substrate. I measured my 115g substrate last night after thinking about depth, it is actually only 4 inches, not 5-6 as I had thought; my aging eyes are playing tricks on me.

As you're dealing with a 55g, I would aim for 3 inches average, then less near the front (1.5-2 inches suffices for small plants) and sloped or terraced to 3-4 inches along the back where the larger plants will naturally be.

That fish you see is Characidium fasciatum, check the profile. I have a group of 5 in that tank, and picked up another five a couple weeks ago when I spotted them again, they tend to be quite rare here. Can be difficult to get to eat at first, but they do learn to pick at sinking foods if there are other substrate feeders like corys in the tank to teach them.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:26 AM   #24
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Big Al's is in the US, but I've no idea on their shipping policies. Living in Canada it is much easier to deal with Canadian places, and they happen to have a Canadian outlet. Google "Big Als" and I'm sure you'll find them. Shop around, there are other online retailers too.
I found it! Thanks! It is always nice to have multiple sources to compare prices.

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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Small gravel makes a fine substrate. I measured my 115g substrate last night after thinking about depth, it is actually only 4 inches, not 5-6 as I had thought; my aging eyes are playing tricks on me.

As you're dealing with a 55g, I would aim for 3 inches average, then less near the front (1.5-2 inches suffices for small plants) and sloped or terraced to 3-4 inches along the back where the larger plants will naturally be.
3 Inches avarage sounds fine to me. I will probably get in it gravel, though, since it is about twice as cheap. Is there any way to know how much gravel I would need to match the description listed above?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
That fish you see is Characidium fasciatum, check the profile. I have a group of 5 in that tank, and picked up another five a couple weeks ago when I spotted them again, they tend to be quite rare here. Can be difficult to get to eat at first, but they do learn to pick at sinking foods if there are other substrate feeders like corys in the tank to teach them.
Oh, I am somewhat familiar with the Darter Characin. That is a neat little fish! Reminds me a little bit of the saltwater gobies.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:38 AM   #25
 
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Originally Posted by small fry View Post
I found it! Thanks! It is always nice to have multiple sources to compare prices.



3 Inches avarage sounds fine to me. I will probably get in it gravel, though, since it is about twice as cheap. Is there any way to know how much gravel I would need to match the description listed above?



Oh, I am somewhat familiar with the Darter Characin. That is a neat little fish! Reminds me a little bit of the saltwater gobies.
Check around, because bags of gravel are about as expensive as Flourite, at least here where I am. And I always like to see it before i decide to get it, so try to find a store that carries whatever you're thinking of and have a llok. You want small-grain gravel, and pictures online can be deceptive. Dark too, a black/gray or brown/buff. The black/gray looks nice because it is very close to the Amazon blackwater substrates. Do a lot of "looking" before buying. You're in no rush, and the substrate is something you want to be "right" from the first.

They used to say a pound of gravel to a gallon of water. But the issue is surface area, not volume. My 70g is 4 feet by 18 inches, and I got 90 pounds. Your 55g is 4 feet by 12 inches I think, so 50-60 pounds will probably do you.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:57 AM   #26
 
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According to my calculations and the US price for products, Flourite would run over $80 for the desired amount (x4 7g or approx 15.5lbs $21ea for 62lbs). This black gravel would run about $27 for 50lbs. for 2 bags of 25lbs at $12.99. The only problem is I can't tell what the grain size is. One person commented,

"I wanted large black rocks - instead I got very small rubble. Not at all like pictured and totally useless for my purposes."

Maybe it is small grained. I'll look into it further.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:10 AM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by small fry View Post
According to my calculations and the US price for products, Flourite would run over $80 for the desired amount (x4 7g or approx 15.5lbs $21ea for 62lbs). This black gravel would run about $27 for 50lbs. for 2 bags of 25lbs at $12.99. The only problem is I can't tell what the grain size is. One person commented,

"I wanted large black rocks - instead I got very small rubble. Not at all like pictured and totally useless for my purposes."

Maybe it is small grained. I'll look into it further.
I would not go with that. The grain size is large, and it is glossy. Looking through the linked site, here's something like what you're probably looking for.
Instant Aquarium Substrate Tahitian Moon

Now, having suggested this, I have read somewhwere that this moon sand is "sharp." I've not seen it myself. This is one of those cases where you would like to find a nearby store that has this, so you could see it first hand. If you like it, then buy it online.

I came across some very nice black river gravel a couple weeks ago. It is called GEOsystem Substrate, made by Hagen. I only needed a bit, so I bought it from the store, but it was more expensive. You might find it online.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:09 PM   #28
 
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My favorite substrate is by far Estes 'ultra reef' sand.

It's a bit small, but way larger than what you would imagine as sand. It's a bit hard to find..


There's also a 3m Colorquartz that's used for flooring and lining swimming pools. I know, I know. Sounds crazy.. It's totally inert and non-toxic, and is only silica-coated quartz sand, the same as regular gravel. Also available in 16 colors.

Many friends of mine have used it, and the only problem is rinsing the dust off. Takes longer than anything else... Warm water helps..

Of course, at $20 for a 50 pound bag, it's worth some extra washing, and looks beautiful. T-grade is larger, and closer to the size of regular gravel. (about 2mm across)
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:13 PM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by redchigh View Post
My favorite substrate is by far Estes 'ultra reef' sand.

It's a bit small, but way larger than what you would imagine as sand. It's a bit hard to find..


There's also a 3m Colorquartz that's used for flooring and lining swimming pools. I know, I know. Sounds crazy.. It's totally inert and non-toxic, and is only silica-coated quartz sand, the same as regular gravel. Also available in 16 colors.

Many friends of mine have used it, and the only problem is rinsing the dust off. Takes longer than anything else... Warm water helps..

Of course, at $20 for a 50 pound bag, it's worth some extra washing, and looks beautiful. T-grade is larger, and closer to the size of regular gravel. (about 2mm across)
woah!
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:10 PM   #30
 
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3m discontinued it, so it's extremely hard to find... Chain stores don't typically carry it, but look around for a 3m distributor or a pool supply company...

Sometimes 'aggregate' is in the yellow pages.
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