Few substrate questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-11-2013, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Few substrate questions

So, I'm trying to plan out my next tank and was doing some reading on substrates. I read through one of the big substrate comparison threads here and had a few questions. The tank will be 10-15 gallons and semi-low tech. It'll have a 1x39W T5HO Catalina fixture, Fluval 205, and some plants I had in mind were HC, DHG, mosses, and a few others..

Reason I say semi-low tech is because I'm looking to not use co2 in this tank, if possible. I don't mind adding root tabs or ferts every so often, but I already have a high-tech setup and was looking for something requiring less attention.

1. The thread didn't include Azoo Plant Grower Bed... I've seen guys on here use it, is it any good?

2. Are the 'plant' substrates really worth it? A lot of them have high CEC and include nutrients - is this relevant if I dose O+ tabs every few months or so?

3. If I'm going the MGOCPM/MTS route, capped with Black Diamond Blasting Sand, will that be enough to keep up the nutrients and carbon content?

The tank will likely house some shrimp and a small school of fish. I'm basically looking for a substrate that's low-maintenance, provides nutrients to keep my plants healthy, easy to grow a carpet on, and is safe for shrimp.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 03:39 AM
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A 39 watt T5HO light is about 36 inches long. A 10 gallon tank is 20 inches long. A 15 gallon tank is 24 inches long. What light and tank are you planning to use?

Carpets do best with CO2, and more than minimum low light, so your desire to have both low light and a carpet may not work as well as you want.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-12-2013, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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I was thinking a 12 gallon long, as I've seen a few members tanks and they look beautiful, and I love the footprint of that tank.

Thinking back to my original post, I was sorta also considering a paintball CO2 setup. I just didn't want to have to purchase another co2 setup, since I already have one. I've got a spare solenoid, a spare Clippard needle valve, and a spare inline co2 atomizer... so I still have that option.

So, if I go that route, I'd probably do the black blasting sand w/ O+ root tabs since it's the cheapest option. Since CO2 is necessary for a good carpet, I'll probably figure out a cheap paintball setup.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-14-2013, 05:10 AM
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I had an HC carpet in a 10 gal tank with standard CFL lights and the DIY/hagen/ladder diffuser setup
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