Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Brandon 03-12-2007 03:45 PM

New substrate
Ok i have the ugly multi colour substrate and i wanted to know if i could replace it with the whitish brown stuff. I want to get some hair grass and maybe some java moss growing. So how long would i have to wait to plant or would i just add some fertilizer. Also does any one have any ideas on where to find good plant gravel and how to get the old stuff out while its still running?


Oh and also with the ground full of grass or moss how would i clean it cause would't the gravel get gross?

Andrew 03-15-2007 02:44 PM

you cant while it is still running! strip it down start again.
use a peat based under gravel layer so that tehe plant roots have somewhere to grow, then a layer of fine river gravel, then fill slowy one litre at a time- use a jug! then once its half full, stick the heater in bring it up to 26C then start to plant- easier when it is half full.
You will need co2 and around 2 wpg for hair grass.

Brandon 03-16-2007 08:58 AM

where do i get the peat moss and the gravle? Also is it okay to do this then wait and get a light the plant?

fish_4_all 03-16-2007 10:40 AM

It all depends on what substrate you are talking about getting. Eco Complete is going to be almost impossible to do while the tank is full of water but tis doesn't mean you have to tear it down and recycle it. You will need to remove the fish and put them in another tank, cycled preferably, and then remove all the water and the gravel. Then you can add something like Eco Complete or a plant specific substrate. If you want to put in something like Onyx black sand or Fluorite the you can actually do it the same way or leave the fish in the tank if you do it right. You would want to remove half to 3/4 of the water, then remove the old substrate with a net or scoop and then slowly, with a funnel placed almost at the bottom add the sand or fluorite. It would be safer to remove the fish with all the tank water before hand but I know those that have done it without doing so and the fish were fine.

As for the lighting, it depends on the size of the tank. A larger tank may only need 2 w/g for hair grass but anything under 35 gallon will need a lot more light. Put the dimensions of your tank in HERE and then you will know what you need. For hairgrass you will need at least moderate light. For the grass to grow it's best you will need high light if not a little more and you will need CO2 injection. Moderate light will grow it but it will take a long time for it to fill in like a lawn.

As for gravel vacs, just wave your tube over the top to remove the excess debris in the plant. Gravel vacs will only make a mess otherwise and uproot the plant.

Brandon 03-16-2007 11:46 AM

Thanks for the tips. I will try taking the fish out and putting them in my 30 gallon sometime. And then put the peat moss if i can find some then maby some normal gravle, if that doesn't work i might be able to add some fertalizer or somthing. And the light i will be using will be one or 2 (depending on w per g) of those full spectrum curly bulbs.

fish_4_all 03-16-2007 12:13 PM

If you are refering to the screw in compact flourescents then 2 of them for certain. Even though the bulb may say 20 watts, you areonly getting an effective amount of about 1/2 that. 2 of them are plenty to grow a lot of different plants over 10 gallon. I would say you need 10 watts of those bulbs for every 5 gallons to reach a descent light level to grow anything but the easiest plants. I have been trying to figure out how to put 4-6 of them over the top of my 10 gallon tanks but I haven't done it yet. I do know someone who grows awesome plants with 2 of the 20 watt screw ins over a 10 gallon. Now a larger tank might not need that amount but only experimentation will tell for sure. He also does not use CO2 with those bulbs and gets a forests worth of growth every week.

Brandon 03-16-2007 02:24 PM

Thanks and the lights are just te regular house lights.

Depending on the watts ill have to see how many bublbs to put in.


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