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Lagarb 12-28-2012 09:51 PM

Questions About Setting Up My 29gal
Hello everyone!
So, I am about to setup my 29gal in its final location and I am still considering how I’m going to scape it, thinking an Iwagami sort of style, but I'm not really sure, either way.
I currently have 3 bags of regular Flourite, now, I've been checking out and looking over some of the layouts they have to get some ideas and watched a few of the videos they have of the setup of some of the tanks. They seem to only use a very small bag of "substrate" and then cap it with sand/gravel. I’m not sure if they have some sort of concentrated Fertilizer they use or what, but it’s got me thinking I may have more than I need.
Now my last tank I had setup about 10ish months ago, for about 6months (broke it down to move) and I had two bags of washed Flourite in it, it did fine, but I found planting in it was, at times, a challenge due to the larger size of the Flourite and plants not wanting to, initially stay bedded in it and would float up from the current from my filter (Fluval 306)

So, I guess I want to ask... Would one, or maybe two bags be enough to sustain a medium, possibly heavily planted tank if I cap it with either generic sand/gravel (say about .5-1" of Flourite, assuming 1 bag would cover about that, and then ~1-3" of sand/gravel) and use root tabs to help sustain them?
Put 2 or all 3 bags in, and put a much thinner cap on it, of sand, and add tabs if/when needed
Just leaving it with 3 bags of flourite and no cap at all and add tabs as needed/if needed

I don’t plan to do any large re scaping, at least not soon, so I’m not overly worried about having the sand 'fall' into the Flourite if I do end up putting it on as a cap. I can always just add more sand to recap if needed right? And the dust I can deal with at the time I decide to do that.

Also, I am still debating on 'washing' the Flourite or not. I have read pro's and con's for both. Like I'd said, I did for my first tank, which took me about 2 hours to wash 2 bags, doing it in a 2.5gal bucket. If I do, I should have a cleaner tank faster, but if I don't I might have more nourishment for the plants... possibly? (This could open a can of worms, which I have no intention of doing, just wanted to mention I still had not decided on what I was doing about it. To wash Or not to wash)

Any thoughts?

Oh, also, I've been thinking about using basic sand for the cap, I have nothing against using more/different substrate here, like Flourite black sand, or even Eco-Complete. But then all the sub is full of ferts and could possibly cause water problems if I dont plant heavily enough off the get go?

Diana 12-28-2012 10:42 PM

I run my tanks without a cap. Tends to get mixed, and no way to separate it. It won't keep the plants down any better.

To rinse or not is up to you. An easier way is to dump it into the tank and deliberately make a mess, stirring and then drain. Repeat. When you have done this a couple of times be much more careful not to make any more mess, and set up the 'scape. Rinsing the substrate in the tank is much easier than in small buckets.

When you fill the tank put a plate or plastic bag over the substrate and pour the water in slowly so it seeps over the edge of the bag and into the substrate.

Lagarb 12-31-2012 03:51 AM

Thanks for the input. I think I'll not cap them and see how it goes, I dont mind washing it. So I think I'll at least rinse it a few times outside of the tank and see how it goes!

Hopefully should have everything to get it started by Sunday, but I have a feeling I wont, so wont be till the following weekend as I need to get some plants picked out!

Diana 12-31-2012 06:07 PM

Get the set up going and get started on the fishless cycle, even without plants.
When you get the plants, drain the tank, plant, then refill.
This will not interrupt the fishless cycle, the bacteria grow on surfaces, not much in the water.

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