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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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30G planted

Hi guys,

This is my 30 gallon tank. For some reason, I am not happy with it. One thing that I need to work on is the substrate. Any advice or recommendation would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 05:49 AM
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I second that substrate comment.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 05:59 AM
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Your plants look healthy. The substrate is taking away from their beauty. I think you'll find a solid color substrate to be more complimentary. Also, it is likely that your current gravel is epoxy coated. This removes the porosity and makes the gravel a very poor choice for plants. Almost any alternative would be better than what you have. You don't have to spend a fortune on specialty substrates, but if you have a few extra bucks, they certainly make things easier.

http://rexgrigg.com/substrate.htm

Ted


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 06:03 AM
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You could also work on the shape of the layout. You might want to bunch the plants to the side so that it is not tall along the whole tank.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 06:06 AM
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okay, obviously change out the substrate. But really, I think the main problem is that 1) you don't have enough plants there (it's not filled in), and 2) everything is too centered, too artificially organized it you know what I mean. Maybe organize the plants so they are grouped more and put them a little to the side. Maybe some driftwood or rocks would help?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the advices. I really appreciate it. The problem is how I am going to change the substrate? Do I have to break it down and redo the whole thing?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 02:04 PM
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The problem is how I am going to change the substrate? Do I have to break it down and redo the whole thing?
nope, do you have any other tanks to transfer your fish to while changing the substrate? if not, you can get a 5-gallon bucket, add a heater and siphon out some of your aquarium water into the bucket, transfer your fish, drain out most of the water, change the substrate...well, its not that easy, it just takes time...I changed my substrate, click on 10G Planted tank below...I can tell you the steps I went through if you wish...
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 02:49 PM
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No way around it - changing substrate is a big and messy job. But can easily be done in 1/2 a weekend day, or a long evening. One thing to guard against is after you get the old clown puke out and the new stuff in, you have to replant everything. You want to make sure you aren't too tired or rushed at that point to do a good job trimming and separating your plants and placing them optimally. You could easily just float your plants for a day or 2 and do it in 2 stages.

I find your current scape pretty pleasing. Doesn't knock my socks off, but surely not offensive. Mice selection of pretty bullet-proof plants.
A couple of thoughts - I don't see any significant hardscape - rocks or wood. Hardscape establishes focal points and provides interest in many scapes.
Also, I would bring something up closer to the front glass. Either one of your existing plants, or a shoter foreground plant. The strip of substrate across the front is uninteresting, and emphasizes the consistent height in the rear.

If you posted your params - light, ferts, CO2 - it might affect our recommendations.
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