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Quick question about sand & plants

This is a discussion on Quick question about sand & plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> What type of "watts per gallon" are we speaking? Compact florescent? T5? What is the spectrum? It should work out ok, it's not too ...

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Quick question about sand & plants
Old 10-24-2008, 12:21 AM   #21
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What type of "watts per gallon" are we speaking? Compact florescent? T5? What is the spectrum? It should work out ok, it's not too demanding a plant. However, being such a fine plant, it can collect a lot of mulm, so it will require a bit of maintenance. Pygmy chain sword is another grassy plant I've had a lot of luck with.
The sand shouldn't slip through provided the gravel was around 2-3mm thick, the sand will just sit on top of the gravel and give it that awesome look sand gives to any tank that has it
Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, the largest item will always end up on top: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazil_nut_effect
PS. I haven't seen you online for awhile...I thought you had headed off to Peru on your fish collecting trip...??
I wish! Gotta wait until the dry season in Peru to catch the good fish. However, a trip to Australia is in the works for the meantime :)

Last edited by okiemavis; 10-24-2008 at 12:25 AM..
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:41 AM   #22
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Thanks for that link on the "brazil nut effect". I always wondered why I had to dig around in the bottom of a bin for nuts at the store for the almonds. My parrot insists on almonds for treats!

Australia? Nice! Now, who will take care of everthing while you're gone now that you've got the mini-zoo??
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
Anaerobic pockets are areas of compacted sand where there is little to no water flow. If there is no water flow, no oxygen is being brought to the area. So, instead of normal, healthy bacteria, anaerobic bacteria begin to grow. These guys live and multiply without oxygen. The problem is that their metabolic processes result in gasses that are toxic to your fish. These gasses can get trapped in the anaerobic pocket, and when it's disrupted...you get the idea.
Hahahha awesome. I love how I learned about this yesterday in my biology class and then I go home and read about it on the fish forum.... Lol maybe I should start going to my bio class more often.

And just to add my opinion to this, I have a planted tank with sand and one with gravel. I find the gravel is easier... But I like how the sand looks so I don't really care. I put some... eco layer starter thing by API in there so theres a small layer of that and then the sand. The clay eco stuff tends to come up through the sand though, lol it makes me mad so I just push it back down there. I honestly have no complaints with plants and sand, I love it.

Lol apparently my eco layer coming up is the Brazil nut effect, thanks for the link Okie it was a good read.

Last edited by Little-Fizz; 10-24-2008 at 05:52 AM..
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:49 PM   #24
The light is a standard shop light T12 fixture that I got from Home Depot. It has 2 30 watt 50/50 bulbs in it. My tank is a standard 29 gallon. I know this isn't really the best light fixture, but it was the only one I could afford. I figured I would just get easy, undemanding plants and everything should work out fine. I also plan on doing DIY co2, but I will be experimenting with it before I put in any fish as this will be my first time.

Little-Fizz, how is the gravel easier?

Okiemavis: Wow, Australia and then Peru . LUCKY!!
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:03 PM   #25
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Two 30 watt T12's should give you some decent lighting, certainly better than a single tube light would. You will get *much* better growth if you switch out the 50/50 bulbs for something in the 6500K - 8000K range.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:09 PM   #26
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Well gravel itself is easier to clean and maintain. But with the sand I found it was harder getting plants with big roots sticking out of them in the sand. But once I got them in right they stayed so no problems there. I just miss being able to shove my vacuum right into the gravel is all.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:05 PM   #27
Thanks everyone. The reason that I wanted to do sand is that I want to have some kuhlii loaches in there (they would appreciate the sand right), and it's really cheap! Also I like the look of it.

Okiemavis, I'll take your word on the anarobic pocket thing as you are obviously an expert at this.

I'll look for some bulbs with a higher K-rating, I couldn't seem to find some as when I looked (haven't actually bought the bulbs yet, so no harm done) I couldn't seem to find anything between 5,000 and 10,000K.

Oh, I have heard people talk about "guppy grass." Is this an easy plant to grow, and what is its actual name?

I really appreciate it everyone, as I'm still a newbie at this whole plant thing.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:55 PM   #28
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I'm glad you asked about guppy grass. I looked up the images online and realize it's what I've got floating in my tank. At the time of purchase my guy at the LFS didn't know what it was called. It's great as it does well floating or planted. I also have a fine sand substrate. Both ways it grows quickly and it's a lush looking plant.
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:44 PM   #29
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Good call, the kuhlis will definitely appreciate the sand! When I first moved my cories over to sand, I was impressed with all the new, wonderful behaviors they suddenly displayed. Those kind of bottom dwellers are definitely happier on sand.

"Guppy grass" is also called najas grass (Najas quadalupensis) it's a pretty, hard to kill floating plant.

Batman's right about the bulbs. 50/50 is gonna grow you more algae than plants :P
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:02 AM   #30
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You could have an area of gravel where you want a carpet of greenery and sand elsewhere maybe, u'll not see the gravel much anyway. I can't remember where now but there's a pic of a really cool planted tank on this site where they've covered the bottom I'd ask their advice :o) I'll try to find where and let you know.
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