Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Substrate Question (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-planted-aquarium/substrate-question-56875/)

underh2o 12-06-2010 02:44 PM

Substrate Question
 
Hi ALL, I was curious to no if anyone has used and what kind of results you have gotten with aquarium plants.com freshwater aquarium substrate. Thanks Jack

redchigh 12-06-2010 03:10 PM

I've never used a premade substrate...

but mine are cheap as dirt. :P (see signature)

They don't list what's in it... I think it's essentially a fine pea gravel with some sort of coating.

The thing that catches me up is 1, they don't list what it is, and 2:
Quote:

Used with our exclusive "Aquariumplants.com's own Substrate Fertilizer Pellets" we GUARANTEE success.
Why would you need both? Most people use an enriched substrate OR root tabs... I'm not saying it's a scam or anything, only that it's unneccesary, and probably a waste of money when you have to use pellets too. If it was cheap, i'd say why not.

Byron 12-07-2010 02:50 PM

I haven't used this product, but I would like to share my general comments on substrates. Sometimes the "benefit" of spending more money is negligible.

The appearance (colour and grain size) is ideal, no argument there; the black would suit an Amazonian setup, the red certain SE Asian setups, etc. And the 1-2 mm grain size is the best for substrate-rooted plants. On these two factors, plain black or dark fine gravel would be equally good.

So that brings us to the matter of enriched substrates. If you intend largely substrate-rooted plants, especially swords, crypts, aponogeton, Vallisneria, Sagitarria, etc., this would be advantageous. With stem plants less so; with non-substrate rooted plants and floating plants completely irrelevant.

I've used regular gravel for over 20 years and have no problems growing any plants. If I had "extra" money to spare, I would buy an enriched substrate; I like the look of them, and the nutrient value is a benefit--at least up to the point when they are exhausted.

Byron.

underh2o 12-07-2010 05:17 PM

Thank you Byron I was thinking along those same lines. I have been using a natural gravel for many years but there is always that urge to try something different. I Love the look of that gravel too , I think that is what first attracted me to it. I am setting up a new 46 bow front , I have a home made 96 w compact flo to put over it but I don't want to much light so I am thinking about hanging it higher above the tank. (Any Thoughts) Jack

Byron 12-07-2010 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by underh2o (Post 529175)
Thank you Byron I was thinking along those same lines. I have been using a natural gravel for many years but there is always that urge to try something different. I Love the look of that gravel too , I think that is what first attracted me to it. I am setting up a new 46 bow front , I have a home made 96 w compact flo to put over it but I don't want to much light so I am thinking about hanging it higher above the tank. (Any Thoughts) Jack

The problem with lights haning above the tank is viewing the aquarium. When you are sitting in front of the tank, the light immediately above it would be bright, and distract from the tank. Even room lights do this, at least to me; I have pot lights in the ceiling of my fish room and I sometimes have them on when I am sitting reading a magazine, but when I want to observe the fish (which I can spend hours doing) I turn them out.

Presumably you can use a lower-wattage bulb? That really is a lot of intensity. I have CFL on my 20g, two 10w bulbs.

underh2o 12-08-2010 08:39 AM

Byron, You are correct! That is a lot of light, I used it back about ten years ago trying to do high tech with co2 , great results but soon realized I liked less light and less tech. = LESS TO GO WRONG!! I seem to do fine with a little over 1 to 1.5 watts. per. I am not sure if I can use a smaller wattage bulb in a 96watt fixture/ballast??.

redchigh 12-08-2010 11:25 AM

Many fluorescent fixtures that hold 3-4 bulbs will operate okay with only one or two bulbs installed.

Byron 12-08-2010 12:35 PM

Is this a fluorescent tube? Earlier you mentioned compact fluorescent, which to me means screw-in bulbs. There are no ballasts with incandescent lights, so any bulb (provided it is not over the maximum wattage for the fixture) should work. You may have some special fixture, which would be another matter.

redchigh 12-08-2010 12:38 PM

Ah, perhaps they are Power Compacts?

In which case I'm no help...

underh2o 12-08-2010 01:43 PM

Yes definitely 96 watt. compact Florescent! Just don't no if it will drive a lesser wattage compact safely.


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