Can't decide which substrate! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Can't decide which substrate!

So I'm setting up a 20l. I have RCS and CPD currently and hope to add 10 c.hasbrosus. Currently my ph is 7.4, which I'm not sure is going to be very good for the corycats. This makes me very undecided on which substrate to use.

I am considering either MGOCPS (is that the correct abbreviation) or Fluval Plant Stratum or UP Shrimp Sand.

this is my current plant list if it helps

java moss, christmas moss (getting flame and taiwan in the future)
water sprite- this tanks up most of my tank and it doesn't need any help growing
wisteria -
moneywort
bacopa- this is dying
Hygrophila Stricta
crypt wendtii
amazon sword - not growing
windelov java fern - not growing, i wish it would though because its so pretty
anacharis floating around
anubias nana on driftwood
two small pieces mopani driftwood and planning on getting one large centerpiece.
I don't think I'll be getting any other species.

For lighting I'm going to do CFL lamps w/ 13watt bulbs.

Soo my question is - should I do a dirt setup, plant stratum, or shrimp sand so that my plants will grow well and I can keep c.hasbrosus?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 02:15 PM
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For Cories and Shrimp? Don't go the dirt route unless you absolutely feel the need to save tons of cash. Otherwise, your opportunities are limitless.

You could do anything from Safe T Sorb to pool filter sand to black blasting grit. That would cost probably $5-$10 to do the entire tank. Could use root tabs for your plants that need them.

Fluval Plant/Shrimp Stratum would lower your pH a bit for about a year but would cost $30-$50 for your entire tank. Would still need root tabs.

UP Aqua Shrimp Sand would lower your pH end up costing you easily $100 or more. Root tabs still required. It would be cheaper to get ADA Aquasoil if you went that route.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I thought blasting grit was too sharp for cories though? I definitely want black substrate and if blasting grit is safe for them I will go with that
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:49 PM
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That's a pretty common concern, but almost everytime it comes up, several people will post stating they have blasting grit, and all their cories have great barbels. Usually the barbel damage is attributed to poor water conditions.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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That's a pretty common concern, but almost everytime it comes up, several people will post stating they have blasting grit, and all their cories have great barbels. Usually the barbel damage is attributed to poor water conditions.
Okay thanks. Do they sell Black Diamond at OSH or Home Depot? And how much for a 20l? It looks like one bag is 50lbs which seems like it would be more than enough right?
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dwops View Post
Okay thanks. Do they sell Black Diamond at OSH or Home Depot? And how much for a 20l? It looks like one bag is 50lbs which seems like it would be more than enough right?
They sell it at the Tractor & Supply store and Northern Tool & Equipment. Those are the only places I have seen it.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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POO! There are no tractor supply stores in my area.
Is a 9 liter bag of New Amazonia Aqua Soil enough for a 20l? I might go with that, if not I am going to give up and get Eco Complete again or Flourite Black Sand. I'm hoping to get a large mopani driftwood centerpiece so maybe that will lower my PH or I can use IAL to get it down around 7/7.2
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 03:17 AM
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Hey, you're in Calif.
Go to any pool supply store and get # 20 grade quartz-based silica pool filter sand - 50 lbs. should be $10. or less.
Cories love it, and so do shrimp!.
Comes in several different colors - white, beige/sand, pink, grey.

Clean - dust, grit, grime & dirt free - needs little or no rinsing - looks great - won't rise up into the water column when disturbed - won't get into your filters and clog up the impeller assemblies, and you can vac it well without siphoning any out. What more could you ask ?
Just use root tab ferts for your plants.
Have a look:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/...3RedSnakeSkins
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2013, 10:28 PM
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There was a thread over in the California forum talking about this:

Blasting Sand - East Bay

I haven't seen any at the local OSH/Home Depot/Lowes, but it seems like what's available varies a lot from store to store.

I think there was some discussion about getting it shipped from drillspot or something as well.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 02:40 AM Thread Starter
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I might go with pool filter sand but I really want black substrate.

Yeah I saw that thread. Drillspot doesn't carry it anymore and I live in the south bay. The closest place that has it is over an hour away and i don't feel like doing that. So if my papa buys me Flourite Black Sand I will use that. If he says no then I will buy the pool filter sand which is $11.99 at my nearest swimming pool supply store.
Yes I am 22 years old and I still tell my father to buy me stuff. Its hereditary my brothers do it too
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2013, 02:47 AM Thread Starter
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well he already ordered two bags of Black Sand when I suggested that he just buy one bag of it and just use it for the front part that is easily viewed and use silica sand for the rest so I guess i'm just going with Black Sand
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 02:39 PM
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You'd need about 1.5 bags at least. Two if you want any sort of sloping.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Dwops View Post
Is a 9 liter bag of New Amazonia Aqua Soil enough for a 20l?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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I got the Black Sand today and it looks like I might need another bag, gah. I'm going to try using rocks to do a slope but I'm not sure it's going to work well with sand..i
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 03:21 AM
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You can put mineralized topsoil under the back half or more of the tank, to raise the substrate level. I did that twicee and had no problems at all with it. You could also use pool filter sand in place of the topsoil, but the sand grains, being bigger than the Flourite sand grains, will end up on top enough to spoil the looks.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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There was enough black sand for the tank. I filled it partially and am now trying to get rid of the dust/cloudiness.
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