Substrate and Planting
I've just purchased a 240l tank.
I want this tank to be a planted tank, I love the look of dwarf hairgrass so I'm planning on covering most of the bottom with this. It came with two bulbs, Aquaglow 40W bulb which is 120 lux and a Sun-glow 40W buld which is 250 lux. I'm going to have two C02 kits. The tank has a Fluval 305 external filter which will cope with tanks upto 300l.
The substrate I'm going to go for is 2 - 2.5" of Eco complete then an 1" of sand on top.
My questions are these:
If I add the substate as above and plant the hairgrass, then fill with water, is it easy to plant other plants when the tank is full? Or do I have to plant all the plants then fill with water. I don't know what plants I want yet but I want to kick off the cycle. At the same time I want it to look good.
My other question is the coverage per bag of eco complete. It recommends X kgs per gallon but this doesn't make sense to me. You could have a really long tank that wasn't quite short in height that could be the same volume as a tall narrow tank.
My tank is 1200 x 400mm in plan area and i want a 2 - 2.5" layer of eco complete. Has anyone thats used this got any idea of coverage? It would be a big help as this stuff is fairl expensive and I don't want to buy too much.
Any comments on the above are welcomed, thanks.
Dwarf hairgrass looks amazing!!
It should be pretty easy to plant after the tank is full, in fact proosibly easier because adding the water in, no matter how carefull you "think" you're doing it, it always disturbs the plants and then you just have to rearrange them anyway.
Never used eco-complete sorry, but I hear it's excellent for the hairgrass.
I would recommend putting the sand under the substrate, it compacts alot, it's difficult to properly vacuum and tends to get sucked into your filter. As for planting while filling the tank, I would recommend waiting til the tank is at least 50% full, then adding the grass. When I buy plants after the tank's going (like I did last night), I prefer to put the plants in when I do my water change, but last night I didn't want to do a water change, so I just planted. It won't be a problem.
A good 2 inches is a good idea just for root development and for extended nutrient release.
I am wondering if the lighting is going to be enough to really grow dwarf hairgrass though. It might be enough but it could grow a little taller than you want. I think that 120-130 watts is going to be more of what you want to shoot for. This keeps you in low enough light to not have to have CO2 but should keep the plant lower and thick. It can't hurt though to give it a try, with the Eco it might just work.
I wouldn't put sand under the Eco though because it will compact and unless you have an army of Malaysian trumpet snails it could cause anaerobic pockets.
CO2 is always an option and would allow for much higher light if you wanted it. That is if you can afford to get pressurized. 60 Gallons would be tough to do with DIY.
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