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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate ???

Gday,

I am currently re-doing my 4x2x2 planted tank. I have purchased 2 x 7kg (15lbs) bags of Flourite (US$54 each !!!) over here and also have 2 x small bags of Dupla Laterite which is supposedly sufficient for 400 litres (US 100 gallons approx). I also have about 60-80 kgs of a gravel/sand mix which will be more than sufficient for the substrate.

Over here in Australia I have been advised to put the flourite on the bottom of the tank then sprinkle the Dupla laterite over it then put the gravel/sand mix over the top of this. Is this the way to go?

Do you think I will need more Flourite or another substrate additive such as JBL aqua basis to put under the normal grave or do I keep it simple?

I am running 6 x 55w bulbs over the tank with AH Supply reflectors (currently waiting for 3 x 55w 9325k bulbs from 1000bulbs.com) the rest are 5000k/5600k bulbs. Dupla auto CO2 system and Eheim 2288 and 2215 filters.

Thanks,
Dave
Sydney.
Down Under.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-12-2004, 12:38 PM
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Hello Davo,

The laterite goes down first, then the flourite, then cap it all off with the rest. You want to be sure that the laterite is buried a minimum of 3 inches, personally I dont like the stuff in my tanks, it works great but if you like to move things around as much as me it is near impossible not to uproot the stuff into the water column.
2 bags of flourite for a tank that size is really not much but if cost is a factor , which at those prices is, then 2 bags is better then none.
I have seen beautiful tanks grown in nothing but sand and gravel but you must remember to keep the gravel very small in size and keep the substrate fertile for the plants if they are root feeders.

Flourish Tabs, Root Tabs, Jobes Plant sticks etc. will do the trick , but again, dont use coarse gravel or the nutrients can easily seep into the water column... sand works great for this.

Good luck with your new tank !
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-13-2004, 04:11 PM
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I tend to recommend at least 50% flourite...otherwise skip it. Buck's right that laterite is a 'bottom' layer for the roots to hit, so try not to mix it up too much.
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