first planted, lost in the details - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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first planted, lost in the details

Hey all,

Im looking at making my first planted tank (had plants in tank before... didn't pay them enough attention... not gone so well). So anyway, the tank is an Aquastart 320 (32L x 32W x 38H) with just the standard 11w PL fluoro installed. I'm planning on using DIY CO2 on the tank and thinking of dosing with SeaChem Flourish and API Leaf Zone (not Prime as I had before. My bad). The plan at the moment is to breed Red Cherry Shrimp as well as grow out swordtail fry in the tank. That makes it 3 out of 3 for things that I'm relatively new to.

My questions are these; what substrate would you suggest for the tank, ideally black/dark to show up colours well, will these be the right additives for me/ are there any others I'll need?

I'm afraid I'm not sure what plants I'll be getting for the tank yet, but with the limitation of the light they'll obviously be low light ones.

thanks for any advice guys, appreciated.


Edit: now thinking of having java fern, java moss and hygro difformis

Last edited by Schmitee; 05-11-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-11-2012, 03:47 PM
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Well IME with my RCS I have eco-complete has my substrate. I love it because like your saying black/dark which mean is and makes the shrimp pop with there red color. Also for every shrimp tank I have. I always have moss in the tank for them.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply GMYukonon,

I'm now looking more at using an inert substrate and using a base substrate of a mix of clay and worm castings and then making tablets of the same, with slightly higher ratio of castings as I've read some have had decent success with these DIY tablets. Just wanting to know how this would compare to the commercial plant specific substrates in terms of plant growth and overall tank health. It seems like mosses are a popular choice in shrimp tanks so thanks for your input.

any other comments would be greatly appreciated.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-13-2012, 05:24 AM
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Research mineralized topsoil. This article is where I first heard of it...

It's time consuming, but works really well. There are literally hundreds of threads floating around. Typically you will have a base layer of dirt and additives, and 1" or so of capping substrate (fluorite, Eco complete, black gravel, ect). If done right, you'll be set at low and medium light levels.
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