Substrate Options - Page 2
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Substrate


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #16
Hoppy
Planted Tank Guru
 
Hoppy's Avatar
 
PTrader: (74/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 18,658
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elyssa View Post
I need to be careful with my PH. I don't want any chances of raising it.
I wouldn't worry about the pH. It is the KH that is more important, by far. The pH ia just a reaction to the KH.
Quote:

Is there anyway to test the water coming out of your tap for the mineral composition? My well water is loaded with minerals and in layman speak is considered hard. I'm not running a water softener system.
Yes, you can measure the GH, knowing that most of the GH will be calcium. And, you can look up, or ask for your local water company water quality report, which usually lists the "stuff" that is in the water.
Quote:

I was cringing over the price of lighting last week and now it appears the substrate might be more. Are there any *cheats*, as in okay, buy a bag of flourite for the actual areas you'll be putting the rooted plants in and then going with another material that's less pricey to fill the areas that won't be planted.
Most of us keep our tank as it is for a limited time, a year or two maybe, then we want to try something else. If you use different substrate materials in different parts of the tank, or layer the substrate, when you try to remove it for doing a good cleaning of the tank, you mix it all up. Even if you leave it in the tank, the substrate will mix up from the activities of the fish and the natural mixing of fine materials moving down, and large particles moving up. Plus, every time you pull out a plant you partially mix the substrate materials. I think there is a lot in favor of using just one material for a substrate, even if it is costly.

Inert substrates work fine, just not as good as nutrient loaded substrates. You can use Black Diamond blasting grit if you want a nice black substrate, and it is very cheap. Or you can use pool filter sand, which can have a color from white to black, depending on where you live. Then, use root fertilizer tabs to get nutrients into the substrate. Those are much better economical options than using different substrate materials in the tank, in my opinion.
__________________
Hoppy
Hoppy is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 02-17-2013, 04:12 PM   #17
Elyssa
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Default

To funny Hoppy,
That was my next question.
http://www.tractorsupply.com/little-...50-lb--3907798

They also have the black diamond stuff too. $7.99 for 50lbs.

It's just coal slag and from what I've read a few seconds ago, people seem to have good luck with it.

I figured as much with mixing, you'd end up with a mess over time!

Thanks.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-19-2013 at 08:59 PM.. Reason: edit
Elyssa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 06:43 PM   #18
madness
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (14/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,698
Default

Using the 'sand' type substrates you just have to be careful when working in the tank. Removing/moving plants, netting things out, etc. because the substrate is so light that it can get messy.

Mostly aesthetic challenges rather than biological or chemical challenges.

I have black tahitian moon sand (very comparable to the black diamond stuff) in a couple of tanks and it looks great and seems to grow plants just fine as long as I keep the tanks properly fertilized. I rarely mess with the tanks though so I don't have to worry about stirring up the sand.
madness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 07:22 PM   #19
Elyssa
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Default

madness,
The black tahitian moon sand is beautiful.

Good to know that it's more aesthetic issues than anything else.

How long does it take to settle after you've planted or disturbed it?
Elyssa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2013, 11:12 PM   #20
Option
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 792
Default

Elyssa,

Just to give you an idea of the discrepancy in pH between my Flourite tank vs my Eco-complete tank. The flourite tank sits at a nice, stable pH of 6.6. The eco-complete tank sits at a pH of 7.8-8.0.

I suppose for some the higher pH might be better...?african cichlids like this I think. But my fauna is mostly amazon or southeast asian fish. And for sure almost all freshwater shrimps (which I have boatloads in the flourite tank) like it at a pH of < 7.
__________________
Pearling.....it's way overrated.
Option is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 11:00 AM   #21
Elyssa
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Default

Option,
That would suggest that eco-complete does raise the PH assuming your source water is the same and is effecting yours quite a bit. How buffered is your water? I know dropping the PH of mine is a challenge and more fidding than I want to get into and more added expense.

I think my best bet might be going with a substrate that is inert then that is one less thing to worry about.

Thanks for posting your numbers.

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-19-2013 at 09:01 PM.. Reason: edit
Elyssa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 06:40 PM   #22
Option
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 792
Default

Elyssa,

No problem. NYC water is some of the most conducive for shrimp raising and in my experience it has definitely not dissapointed. And to answer your question - yes I have been using the same NYC tap water in both of my tanks.

So because the eco-complete tank has been having much higher pH's I have been using indian almond leaves to buffer the high pH and further IALs are also great for the fauna as well. Of course, overall I wish my pH would just stay low in that tank by itself.
__________________
Pearling.....it's way overrated.
Option is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2013, 09:11 PM   #23
Elyssa
Planted Member
 
Elyssa's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 222
Default

Well, I just went out earlier and purchased 100 lbs of the 20/40 Black Diamond Blasting Sand. It's funny because right on the front of the package it says in big red capital letters....PRODUCT MUST STAY DRY...

I'm starting with a 26 gallon bow front tomorrow morning & then onto the 55g.

Thanks everybody for your feedback!

Last edited by Elyssa; 02-19-2013 at 09:02 PM.. Reason: edit
Elyssa is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012