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Old 07-10-2013, 12:30 AM   #1
jdavid71
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Planted tank help!!!!


I am about to start my first planted tankk. Its going to be a low tech one, and I was wondering what would be the best substrate.

Choices:
- Fluval Stratum
- CaribSea Floramax
- Dirt
- Sea Chem FLourite

Last edited by jdavid71; 07-10-2013 at 12:46 AM.. Reason: adding things
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:39 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!

What are the dimensions of your tank?

What kind of plants do you hope to keep? What about livestock?

Lighting?

Will you be dosing fertilizers?

Pressurized CO2?

Is there a budget you'd like to stick to?
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:45 AM   #3
jdavid71
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Its going to be 10 gallon tank and yes I will be dosing. I don't think I'm gonna put a pressurized c02 in there, I might do liquid co2.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:29 AM   #4
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I can't say anything about fluval stratum over the long term - but I've had it for a few weeks in a new tank and I'm not that impressed with it. it's very messy and clouds the water every time it is gets touched slightly.

I don't know how well the plants will do in it yet as it's still too soon to tell.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:44 AM   #5
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Don't know the others, the fluorite is very coarse and non-uniform, and very, very dirty. You have to wash it many, many times.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:33 AM   #6
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Thank you guys
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchase79 View Post
I can't say anything about fluval stratum over the long term - but I've had it for a few weeks in a new tank and I'm not that impressed with it. it's very messy and clouds the water every time it is gets touched slightly.
I have the same experience with fluval stratum. In addition, Eco-complete was too coarse. My favorite so far is the ADA new Amazonia. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:58 AM   #8
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I've only used Flourite, so I can only give an opinion on that. I have a low-light, low-tech 20 gallon tank.

I don't think it needs to be rinsed a ton, that might even be bad as I would think small roots need small particles. I cut both corners off the top of the bag and put it in my tub. I ran water into one corner and let it exit from the other hole for a few minutes. Sure it was cloudy when I added water and plants to the tank, but with a fishless cycle who cares? It all settled in a couple days and hasn't been cloudy since.

Despite all the list of ingredients, I don't think it dissolves and releases any nutrients to feed the plants. It does however hold on to nutrients well so you will need to add some fertilizers. There is conflicting information on the web on this, but I tried it both ways over the last year and no ferts was bad news.

I've been adding CO2 Booster as well, it has helped. With only a 20 gallon tank, commercially made stuff is fine for me and very easy, and it lasts for months. I guess I'm more lazy than cheap. Don't get me wrong though, I am very cheap.
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Old 07-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Could you answer the other questions so we can better help you?

What kind of plants do you hope to keep?

What kind of livestock?

Lighting?

What's your budget?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdavid71 View Post
Its going to be 10 gallon tank and yes I will be dosing. I don't think I'm gonna put a pressurized c02 in there, I might do liquid co2.
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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I have Flourite in my tank that's been up and running for about 2 years. Love it...my plants love it. I found the easiest way to rinse it was with a metal colander. Just took a few minutes and looks great.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #11
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I have flourite in one tank and dirt in another. Flourite you have to add root tabs. I also did not clean it as well as I probably should have and have been plagued by diatoms.
In the dirt tank i used a mix of peat, topsoil, and laterite clay base topped with play sand. The plants root easier in the dirt tank and perk up quickly after planting. I have plants that I added to both tanks simultaneously and they seem to be doing better in the dirt tank. I hear that dirt wears out after a while, several years, so you may have to add root tabs or redo your substrate. If you go with dirt mind the bubbles. Something I should have done but didn't was to presoak the dirt so the gases were out before I planted the tank.

For what its worth, on my next tank I am going with dirt topped with flourite or small flint gravel.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Could you answer the other questions so we can better help you?

What kind of plants do you hope to keep?

What kind of livestock?

Lighting?

What's your budget?
I would like to keep plants that are easy to grow, and low to moderate light demands. I would like to put fish in it such as neon tetras, ottocinclus, and may be a few shrimp. I am using the flourescent light that cam with it. Its about 15w and I am most likely going to upgrade the light to a 20w.

Thank you for responses!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 07-10-2013 at 11:07 PM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:47 PM   #13
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Since you just want to keep low light plants and have a fixture that only provides low light, you could go with Flourite or pick up a bag of pool filter sand to save money. If you want a dark substrate, a bag of Black Diamond blasting grit (search the forum for it) at Tractor Supply for about $8.

If you grow easy stem plants like Bacopa monnieri, you can just use root tabs as fertilizer when you need them. Plants like Anubias, ferns and mosses won't need much in terms of ferts for the most part.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Since you just want to keep low light plants and have a fixture that only provides low light, you could go with Flourite or pick up a bag of pool filter sand to save money. If you want a dark substrate, a bag of Black Diamond blasting grit (search the forum for it) at Tractor Supply for about $8.

If you grow easy stem plants like Bacopa monnieri, you can just use root tabs as fertilizer when you need them. Plants like Anubias, ferns and mosses won't need much in terms of ferts for the most part.
What about dirt, can I use it?
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:20 AM   #15
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better to contact moderator for this query
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