Substrate COmparison Confusion
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Old 09-30-2003, 12:37 AM   #1
evan
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Im confused on the effectiveness of the different commercial substrates vs those home-made substrate mixtures with different ingredients that you find yourself. Are teh home-made ones better or the same? Im using laterite right now, but im thinking about upping my nano tank size to 10 gallons. All i have is e.tenellus. Will a more nutritious substrate make my tenelus stronger? I am having some problems with it. I think its because i didn't fertilize with iron supplements and im starting to do so now. I was depending on just the substrate. I guess that don't work. My older tenellus leaves are become pale and dissolving, prolly because of not enough nutrients.
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Old 09-30-2003, 01:11 AM   #2
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Evan, how many watts of light do you have over the tank? I'm assuming that 2 million is a typo.
Plants need N,P,K and Trace elements along with good light and a source for carbon, to thrive. Give them all of the above and your plants will grow for you.
I suggest you look into SeaChem's line of liquid ferts. They have all of the above nutrients in bottles. They are easy to dose and would be perfect for your tank as it is a small one.

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Old 09-30-2003, 01:15 AM   #3
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Evan,

I have found ONLY IN MY EXPERIENCE that so far I see no difference in my substrates on my 100 gallon and my 10 gallon. I am running DIY household stuff in my 10 and Flourite in my 100. Both seem to be fine. I think that your problem was already answered by your post....lack of fertilization. I personally feel that the substrate is just a place for roots to take hold and absorb nutrients...those nutrients dont necessarily come from the substrate alone...more so from what is fertilized....hence people using root tabs, jobes plant spikes, etc. Keep up your fert schedule and see how the plants are doing.

And in answer to your "will a more nutritious substrate make your tennellus stronger" question.....If the plant is recieving nutrients from a "richer" substrate then I would say yes...however if you are fertilizing well, I think your plants will be fine. Your laterite is not a "Bad" substrate by any stretch of the imagination.

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10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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Old 09-30-2003, 01:18 AM   #4
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Thats right. If you have a good fert routine, along with proper lighting and carbon you could grow plants in a pile of rocks. Many people grow plants in plain gravel.

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Old 09-30-2003, 02:45 AM   #5
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And yet, high light can overcome even good fertilization. Shade loving plants will bleach out in too-strong sunlight. Many of our aquarium plants are actually from shaded tropical areas.

If you pick up the ferts, you may be able to get decent growth back, but given the lighting you have, well, you may be sunbleaching the plants.
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Old 10-01-2003, 04:32 PM   #6
evan
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i think the problem is i wasn't fertilizing enough. this couple of weeks i have been adding more iron and trace stuff, and the new leaves are stronger and thicker. i guess thats it. i used to have 40 watts but i downgraded to 20 watts on my 5 gallon. maybe when my plants are stronger i will up the lighting 8)
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Old 10-01-2003, 05:05 PM   #7
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Evan,

Glad the fertilizer routine is working out for you ! Good Luck!

Mike
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10 Gallon...20 Endler's live bearers planted, peat/kitty litter/sand substrate

15 Gallon...Just Schultz Aquatic Plant soil
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