Starting low-tech 220G - Osmocote Plus under substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Question Starting low-tech 220G - Osmocote Plus under substrate

Should I put something like a scattering of Osmocote Plus down on the glass, then put a couple inches of substrate over it?

Thinking of using A combination of black pebbles, ecco-complete and black diamond blasting sand.

I read so many threads of ways to inject it and similar under substrate later, just wondering if I should take advantage for an initial startup does.

Though I am a bit worried if it will STAY under it as I pour and spread. But I think most will.

Or will the "other than most" that didn't cause a lot of problems once I add water and light?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 03:25 PM
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Well,a little of the osmocote goes a long way so maybe a cup for your tank sprinkled on the bottom glass before adding substrate would be my suggestion.
Problem I see with your plan is the black diamond being smaller grain,will find it's way to the bottom and the eco-complete being smaller grain than the gravel will do the same.
Maybe just use eco-complete and cover it with the pebbles? Or..
For your size tank,I might be tempted to just place the sprinkling of osmocote on the glass and cover it with black diamond and be done.
Eco complete would be expensive for this size tank which is I believe why you are also wanting to use pebbles and the black diamond to help reduce how much is needed?
Could also use the osmocote and then some cheap unscented cat litter which is just clay and then cap this with the black diamond.
Just some options.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 04:11 PM
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Black diamond FTW i use it on my 180 planted and will never go back to anything else

75 Gallon Mixed Reef
180 Gallon planted
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well,a little of the osmocote goes a long way so maybe a cup for your tank sprinkled on the bottom glass before adding substrate would be my suggestion.
OK, thanks for the quantitative answer, as that's one concern I had, was how much. I'll probably err on the low side anyway - it's easier to add later than remove.

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Problem I see with your plan is the black diamond being smaller grain,will find it's way to the bottom and the eco-complete being smaller grain than the gravel will do the same.
Maybe just use eco-complete and cover it with the pebbles? Or..
For your size tank,I might be tempted to just place the sprinkling of osmocote on the glass and cover it with black diamond and be done.
Eco complete would be expensive for this size tank which is I believe why you are also wanting to use pebbles and the black diamond to help reduce how much is needed?
Well, was thinking both of cost (it's almost the cost of the tank to use all ecco-complete!), but also was trying to get a variety of sizes and packing characteristics. Ecco-complete mounds up better than the Black Diamond also. But with varying size grains in the substate, I figure plants will figure out where their roots work best.

But I keep reading good things (in fact just see a post from Topekoms also) about it solely. Maybe will do just that plus some pebbles for appearance. While it may change over time, I could just pile pebbles in one corner or something to make them stand out.

But i need something for height... I don't think the Black Diamond is going to mound up at all, is it? What do you do with it if you want some height in places? Even if I put something under it (say starbord or acrylic solid sheets) I assume over time it just runs down?

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...then some cheap unscented cat litter which is just clay and then cap this with the black diamond.
Just some options.
We're hoping for solid black if we can find it. Then grey stones (looking to use Feather Rock to get some height (insert joke here about floating rocks), and then let all the colors be plants and fish.

PS. How important is the lack of CEC in the Black Diamond, would a bag or three of Ecco-Complete or something with high CEC do much to balance out under-substrate and in-water fertilizer. I'm going for long term stable, few water changes, low dosing and low tech in the long run.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 04:41 PM
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Well if you dose the water column, then CEC becomes moot so long as you maintain regular fertilizing.
Some folks use ladies nylon filled with sand to make slopes hold and just pile the black diamond or gravel on top .
I have never tried it so can't say how long or if it works at all over the long haul.
For my own 80 gal low tech, I chose miracle grow organic choice mixed with some peat (CEC) and then placed a layer of "special kitty cat litter" (CEC) from walmart on top of the soil and covered it all with the Black Diamond.
I also dose the water each week with small amounts of NPK dry fertilizers.
Plant's can draw nutrient's from water and or soil and CEC of the soil helps to hold the nutrients created from fish waste etc for longer.
Prolly did not need to use any soil,peat,cat litter,just wanted to see what it would do.
can see old photo of the tank under "my threads".
good luck.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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can see old photo of the tank under "my threads".
good luck.
I think I found it (here), that's quite the jungle. I'm hoping for maybe a quarter that dense. BUt that's gorgeous. What is the sword-shaped leaf plant about a third from the left, dark green and bushy? I like that. I have a tiny crypt that looks a bit like it, which I really like.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-18-2014, 04:57 PM
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I think I found it (here), that's quite the jungle. I'm hoping for maybe a quarter that dense. BUt that's gorgeous. What is the sword-shaped leaf plant about a third from the left, dark green and bushy? I like that. I have a tiny crypt that looks a bit like it, which I really like.
Is bronze crypt and behind it is an Anubia that has since grown out of the tank and I have cut starters from for other tanks.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2014, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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OK, just to put this to bed, I used 3 scopes from the container, which it says is good for 12 sq. ft., and it's buried under 2-3" of substrate, and tank is filling. Off to find lights, heater, plants, new source of funds and more spare time.

PS. I used all Black Diamond. Got some medium and it looked really good.
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