Planted an stabilized tank/w fishes
Hi I'm have three aquariums at my apartment:
1) 55 gals. with tetras, cory,danios, cats and rams also have one Anubia nana,two Amazon swords,some floating wisterias. My question is: Can I spread some extra substrate? As first Layer Laterite or so? :roll: :roll: :roll:
How deep and what is your current substrate? Are you talking about removing it and replacing it with Laterite or adding the Laterite to the top? Either way as long as your current substrate isn't too deep you can always add or change it. I've changed mine twice since it was setup 5 years ago.
How would u do that with the fish in the tank? Would u take the fish out and leave the water just sprinkle the new gravel on top of the old?
Doesn't that stuff cloud the water like squid ink?! (I may be exaggerating, but you get the point. :lol:) Its not safe for fish until its capped and settled. Its used as a first layer, with a top layer of sand or gravel over it to cap it. If you want to use laterite, you need to drain the tank completely, break it down, re-do it, plant it, fill it, let it settle, then add fish. Please don't try to add it on top of what you have, or add it with fish still in the tank. This would be disaster!
The only method I know for adding laterite without breaking down the tank is the "ice cube method". You can research this to see how to do it, if its even worth the effort, and precautions and possible hazards.
But since I haven't used this myself, can anyone who has used it chime in here?
I did a complete substrate change awhile back. I had several large buckets (rubber made) I put the plants in one with the wood and a few fish, separated the fish by who would be happiest with each other. Cories all in one etc...
I siphoned all of the water out (other then what I had put into the rubber made containers.) and the started the scooping of stinky dirty substrate. I worked quickly as I didn't want an oxygen problem for my fish. I did have my sponge filter in the biggest bucket with the most fish. Once finished with that, I wiped out the tank with clean clothes (no soap or anything) and added new substrate and some fresh water, replanted plants and wood and the fish went happily into their fresh clean home. No losses and seemingly happy fish.
First thing to recognize is that plants will grow fine in practically any substrate. They need light (of sufficient intensity and duration) and 17 nutrients in balance with each other and with the light. All nutrients must be contained in the water before the plants can assimilate them either via roots or leaves, and aquatic plants use both to varying degrees.
Laterite is of very limited value in planted tanks. Laterite is simply iron clay, and while iron is important, it is only one micro-nutrient. I did set up my 115g several years ago with laterite, and frankly saw no difference in the plant growth in this tank compared to my other two large tanks without laterite (comparing the identical plant species, and under identical light, and with the same gravel substrates except for the added laterite in the 115g). And yes, it does have to go on the bottom glass, with the gravel or sand above it. It will cloud the water, though that is not the real issue; iron is now known to cause algae, plus it is a heavy metal and highly toxic to all life forms. As if all this wasn't enough, an excess of iron can also cause plants to stop assimilation of some other nutrients.
A caution on using water clarifiers. I don't know what "TheraP" is, but many clarifiers function by causing suspended particulate matter to stick together so the filter will more quickly catch them i the media. Some of these also bind fish's gills and this is highly stressful at the least and may kill the fish.
Back to your substrate. Provided it is comprised of suitable sized particles, and of sufficient depth for the plant species, it will be fine. But nutrients may be lacking (the yellowing leaves indicate this, provided the light is sufficient) and can be added via liquid fertilizers or substrate tab fertilizers. We can discuss this more once we know the plant species, light specs, and current fertilizers being added.
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