My Planted Aquarium
I am sure that the question has been asked and answered but I am not the type of person who's ever been keen on sifting through loads of information to find an answer. It bores me. Besides, I had 2 strokes last year and staring at the computer screen hurts my eyes. No sympathy please.
I have a 50 gallon tank that I have planted. My plants are doing well but I would like them to do better. I don't have a lot of fish (1 gold gourami, 2 tiger barbs, 1 green tiger barb, 2 albino corys and 4 otocinclus). I have been doing 30% water changes about every week and a half. I have also been dosing with FlorinMulti 2x weekly and iron once weekly. I have a substrate of river rocks. Not the ideal substrate for plants. I like my gravel but am thinking that maybe the addition something like Flourite would be beneficial. I don't want to change my gravel completely. My question is, if I mix the Flourite with my current gravel would it hold the nutrients that the plants need and help them to grow more lush and maybe a little more quickly?
Oh...I almost forgot...my lighting is sufficient. I invested in a plant light and since my plants have gotten nicer. Lighting is on 3:30pm-12:30am approximately 9 hours. I had longer but I grew a lot of algae. I finally controlled that and would not like to grow any more.
Should I add Flourite? How much?
Hi and Welcome to TFK!
To answer your question yes you can add some Flourite in between the river rocks or sand or whatever. Just keep in mind that all the small particles will fill on any cracks/spaces in and between the rocks which I assume is what you are wanting to do. Rooted plants definitely do better when they can dig their roots into smaller substrate like sand or flourite or whatever. This should make a difference and adding root tabs to the heavy root feeders such as Crypts, Swords, and Vals just to name a couple will help even more.
Before adding the flourite I would vacuum out in between the rocks as good as you can and get any debris out before hand.
Ohh and how much depends on the plants you have. If you have heavy root feeders I would go something like 2-3 inches for them and plants with smaller root systems you can do 1-2". This is really up to you and the look you are going with but I wouldn't do anymore then 3-4" max.
So I will probably take some of the gravel I have now out and fill it in with Flourite. I am not sure I want to do the whole tank. Are there any other good ones to use?
Approx how much should I use for a 50 gallon tank if I were to replace it all?
I have never used the stuff but think it comes in 15lbs bags? Soo just guessing here depending in the depth you want 2-3 bags I would think would be plenty.
I am thinking that I used 3 bags of Eco complete (similar to flourite) in my 55 and it was enough.
My grandfather always had the best looking plants in his tanks. I never had any luck with them, but, until now, I never had the patience to cycle my tanks the way he did. He only used regular aquarium gravel, because in the 50s to late 60s when he died, that's all there was available where he was at. He kept the tank lights on for 10 hours, then turned them all off for 2 hours, where they only got room light. Then he covered them all with towels or sheets for 10 hours to make sure they got total darkness for that time. Then he removed the covers using room light only for 2 hours before turning the tank lights on for the day. He constantly had beautiful, healthy plants to give away & sell back to the fish store. His only filtration was homemade hang-on-the-back filters, so he strictly followed the 1" of fish per gallon rule. I've seen equally healthy fish & plants, but none any better. (I hate to tell how many plants he gave me that I killed, too young & impatient, but I'm glad to be able to remember the way he did things now!) After you've added your fluorite, and the tank has cycled a couple weeks, you might want to try his lighting cycle which mimics the natural outdoor lighting. Good luck with your plants! I'm PATIENTLY cycling my tank in preparation for planting. Only 3 days into it, so a long way to go.
use dirt if you want to use flourite its cheaper and better. normal sand works fine.
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