How should I mix these substrates?
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:11 AM   #1
fred1163
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How should I mix these substrates?


I'm coming back into the hobby after a 14 year absence, so please bear with me.

I'm going to be setting up a 90 gallon low tech planted tank. I have an Eheim 2228 canister filter rated at 277 gph and four GE 32W T8 6500K bulbs which will sit directly on the glass top, 21-23" () from the substrate.

Planning on starting with a lot of different Crypts, Java Fern on driftwood, Vallisneria, Hygro, Dwarwf Sag, and maybe a few Tropica Swords.

Eventually would like to have a couple Angelfish, 20 or so Cardinal Tetras, and some Corys. Maybe also a few Blue Rams.

I've purchased 4 15.4 lb bags of Flourite black, 1 15 lb bag of Flourite black sand, and a 50 lb bag of Black Beauty 20/40 grit blasting media.

My main question (of many) is do I layer these different substrates, and if so, what goes where?.... or just mix 'em all up?

The last time I had this tank set up was in 1999, and that was with the Eheim combined with a tank-wide undergravel filter driven by a couple powerheads. The plants never did too well in those days...

Secondary question...will I need more filtration and/or water circulation?
Thanks for reading, and special thanks in advance to all who respond with advice!
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:14 PM   #2
somewhatshocked
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Sand will eventually settle to the bottom no matter what you do. Flourite will end up on top.
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Old 02-03-2013, 05:06 PM   #3
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Yes, more filtration and more water movement.
Aim for about 10 times the tank volume of turnover per hour. You won't really get that, of course, since most manufacturers make their claims based on no media or clean, new media in the filter.
You could add another of the same filter, then add a couple of small Koralia style power heads, aimed at whatever trouble spots show up.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Sand will eventually settle to the bottom no matter what you do. Flourite will end up on top.
Was hoping the black beauty would stay on top . I might as well just mix them all together then when I set up the tank. (?)

Is this a decent mix that will grow plants without the high tech lighting, CO2, etc.? Which if any should I leave out?

Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Yes, more filtration and more water movement.
Aim for about 10 times the tank volume of turnover per hour. You won't really get that, of course, since most manufacturers make their claims based on no media or clean, new media in the filter.
You could add another of the same filter, then add a couple of small Koralia style power heads, aimed at whatever trouble spots show up.
Thanks, Diana. Adding another filter - Eheim 2028, which will put me at a total of 554 gph filtration (according to mfr). Also have two powerheads that are each rated at 170 gph.

Is this combo of filters and powerheads (894 gph) in the ballpark of what I need to start with? Thanks again!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fred1163 View Post
Was hoping the black beauty would stay on top . I might as well just mix them all together then when I set up the tank. (?)

Is this a decent mix that will grow plants without the high tech lighting, CO2, etc.? Which if any should I leave out?
You can put the sand on top if you want, but it will eventually settle. If you want to mix them first, that is fine too.

The mixture is fine and should grow many plants as long as you are careful with your selection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fred1163 View Post
Is this combo of filters and powerheads (894 gph) in the ballpark of what I need to start with? Thanks again!
It sounds good to me.
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
You can put the sand on top if you want, but it will eventually settle. If you want to mix them first, that is fine too.

The mixture is fine and should grow many plants as long as you are careful with your selection.


It sounds good to me.
Thanks, Anthony.
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