Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Ryan71695 08-02-2011 08:29 PM

Re Aquascaping During Cycling
I have a ten gallon tank that has been cycling for about a week and I've decided that I want to plant dwarf hairgrass. I had originally bought some blue gravel as substrate but i figure that won't go very well with the grass and other small plants.

So to the point:

Can I use sand as a substrate for the grass?

To keep my cycling going can i take the water out, put it in a couple of buckets, get the sand and grass in the aquarium then put the water back in. Or does it even matter if I keep the same water because the good bacteria is built up in the filter.

bigehugedome 08-02-2011 10:08 PM

I think the sand would work fine, although I have not used hairgrass so in not 100% sure.

On the cycling, most of the bacteria is growing on the surfaces; substrate, glass, filter and driftwood. So you don't need to keep all the water, although maybe it would be good to keep at least half. Also it may be a good idea to leave some of the substrate in the tank in a mesh bag to keep the bacteria in the tank.
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kitten_penang 08-03-2011 12:43 AM

sand is harder to clean when you get algae orif you keep cories that constantly dig it will be a mess.use fine gravel it's easier.if you keep hair grass you'r gonna need snails or cherry shrimps to clean off the algea from the leaves. the fine leaves are harder for ottos to clean

SinCrisis 08-03-2011 08:47 AM

my DHG grows in sand and it does very well. It does get to be a pain to clean, but once your DHG gets to carpet, you wont really see the sand and it looks very good.

redchigh 08-03-2011 09:07 AM

Agreed just take the gravel out and add the sand.

I use estes reef sand from my LFS- it's a bit larger than play sand (about 1 mm), and doesn't require much rinsing. They also have it in black.

Keep an eye out for Dwarf Hairgrass sp. Belem, it looks much better, and can be sold as a cash crop since it's a bit hard to find.

Ryan71695 08-03-2011 10:01 AM

Thanks guys, I'll probably just go with fine gravel and I'll post back up here after I have finished.

Byron 08-03-2011 10:03 AM

Agree on what's been said concerning replacing the substrate.

Once planted, the plants will handle the "cycle" for you. If there are sufficient live plants, a few fish can go in and the plants will assimilate the ammonia/ammonium and you won't even notice a "cycle" as such.

One comment on the water, if you have been adding ammonia to the tank, I would replace all the water when you cange the substrate. Use a good water conditioner, that's all you need.


Ryan71695 08-03-2011 10:00 PM

Well I went with the gravel and have planted a few clumps of dhg. I got my water tested again today and my nitrites are still pretty high but the lone goldfish in the tank doesn't seem to mind.

kitten_penang 08-04-2011 07:57 AM

whoa gold fish.. i do hope he's not in your planted tank :lol:

Ryan71695 08-04-2011 11:08 PM

Yeah he's just a little feeder fish that i had in there to test the water. He's the only survivor out of the 8 i bought though so I've grown attatched to him :-)

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