substrate 101? help me understand this... - The Planted Tank Forum
 1Likes
  • 2 Post By FishFan13
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
underH20garden's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Jackson Hole, Wy
Posts: 331
Question substrate 101? help me understand this...

Ok Help me get my head around this substrate thing, now I have my tank and lighting picked out my next task is substrate.

this is my 1st planted tank so bear with me..

tank info:
nuvo 20gal black
finnex 24/7 CC lighting
going for a jungle mossy drift wood scape with a few dragon stone or the like. med to low light plats with ground cover.
a school of tetras and shrimp maybe

Ok all that said any links to a substrate 101?

my questions are: ( some of these are no doubt debatable like everything in life)
~how deep? I hear 2-3" if I go with a dirt or compost correct?

~ cost effective of useing CO2 and cheap sand vs quality substrate and ferts?
~ if you use Co2 do you still need to add ferts?

~ changing out substrate? this is a new one to me? why? when? and with what substrate do one do this with? how to go about this? is it a total restart?

~any types to avoid?

any thing else I need to know??
cheers
underH20garden is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 06:35 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Nigel95's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,047
I would go for a good aqua soil your plants will love it. It will crush over time but you wil probably rescape sooner before it will crush. Just refresh the soil after a rescape or reuse the soil if you rescape pretty often. Been using ada aqua soil since I started this hobby and did not had any problems with my plant choices so far. A good substrate is very important. If you are going to use dirt it can make the tank dusty when doing maintenance (replanting stems or so).

Shrimp are really good scavengers to clean up the tank. I would definitely get them. (but also keep on top of maintenance).

I would do something like 1,5 " in front and make a big slope to create more depth in your tank. To make this cheaper you can use small lava stones in the back and put some soil on top of that.

Make sure you have proper flow, use ferts, a good aqua soil substrate and pressurized co2 will let you grow plants like a pro. Don't save money on this..

Yes you will still need ferts when using co2. Plants need three things: co2, ferts and lighting. Use low/med lighting to keep things under control. Plants will grow slower but everything will be easier in terms of algae.

Do as much research as you can. It will be LOTS of info but you will be rewarded. Also get a mock tank like a cardboard box or make a wooden box with the same dimensions as your tank. Practice with hardscape (wood and stones), make pictures and be critical on it (it is easier to see on picture if things fit, than with the eye IRL). A cardboard box or wooden box is recommended so you don't damage the tank. When practicing use something like play sand or potting soil not expensive aqua soil.

My Tanks
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Subscribe to my
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Follow me on
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Nigel95 is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
underH20garden's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Jackson Hole, Wy
Posts: 331
^ thanks for the relay!

so how long does the aqua soil last before needing to replace?

looks like the ADA is a 9L bag how many bags for a 20gal?
any other brands of aqua soil I shodul look into?

and why is this better than using inherent sub. and ferts + Co2?

thanks everyone!
underH20garden is offline  
 
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 12:29 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
Nigel95's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 1,047
Quote:
Originally Posted by underH20garden View Post

so how long does the aqua soil last before needing to replace?

looks like the ADA is a 9L bag how many bags for a 20gal?
any other brands of aqua soil I shodul look into?

and why is this better than using inherent sub. and ferts + Co2?
Depends if you move / replant a lot of plants or just let it be. Around 1-2 years.

Yeah 9L bag are the way to go. I have 3 in my 34gal but I regret the flat slope. I would get 3 for your 20 gal, bigger slope gives a lot more depth. Or get 1-2 bags and some small lava rocks under it to save money.

As far as I know tropica and dennerle aqua soil is also good. But they are all similar in price.

Aqua soil is rich in nutrients and inert substrate does not have any nutrients. Both can store nutrients from the water column. Aqua soil is easy to put plants in. It lowers ph/kh for some months and keep things more stable. Everything becomes pretty easy with a good aqua soil.

My Tanks
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
|
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Subscribe to my
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Follow me on
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Nigel95 is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
underH20garden's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Jackson Hole, Wy
Posts: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel95 View Post
Depends if you move / replant a lot of plants or just let it be. Around 1-2 years.

Yeah 9L bag are the way to go. I have 3 in my 34gal but I regret the flat slope. I would get 3 for your 20 gal, bigger slope gives a lot more depth. Or get 1-2 bags and some small lava rocks under it to save money.

As far as I know tropica and dennerle aqua soil is also good. But they are all similar in price.

Aqua soil is rich in nutrients and inert substrate does not have any nutrients. Both can store nutrients from the water column. Aqua soil is easy to put plants in. It lowers ph/kh for some months and keep things more stable. Everything becomes pretty easy with a good aqua soil.
wow 2-3 bags then possibly replace in a year or 2. sounds expensive my reef sand is cheaper than that. haha
still not sure on tank size its anywhere from 5-40gal now I see why ppl use potting soil then caped it.

whats the pros and cons of that?
a little more work in the begging like rinsing it and polishing H20 after.
underH20garden is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 12:54 AM
Algae Grower
 
blackbirds's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 65
You could go with a cheap inert substrate like sand and then just use root tabs/liquid ferts depending on what type of plants you have. I have a very low tech setup like that with a bunch of anubias plants of various types, and some moss. The tank only has a betta in it so I'm just dosing liquid ferts once a week and they seem to be doing well.

That said if you want ground cover in the form of a carpet you're most likely going to need CO2.

newbie | 5.5g planted | 10g planted
blackbirds is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 01:13 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 190
I have never had any problem with just doing inert substrate. I use black diamond blasting sand and really like it. I make my own root tabs for when I need them.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FishFan13 is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
underH20garden's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Jackson Hole, Wy
Posts: 331
yeah its gonna be easy plats with alot of moss, anubias and a ground cover of some sort.

can you guys post pics of your tanks?
all so a link to the DIY root tabs.
underH20garden is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 05:07 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
jellopuddinpop's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: CT River Valley, CT, USA
Posts: 485
Quote:
Originally Posted by underH20garden View Post
yeah its gonna be easy plats with alot of moss, anubias and
.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by underH20garden View Post
a ground cover of some sort.
These two things are mutually exclusive. A good carpet in a low tech, low light tank is VERY difficult.

If you ever think you're too small to make a difference, spend a couple of nights sleeping with a mosquito.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jellopuddinpop is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-26-2017, 06:50 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 190
I have not had any success with carpet plants in low light. I would have done a moss carpet. I read that if you do the blender method with the moss then put it small lava rocks, you can make a pretty nice looking carpet. I also put monte carlo in a low tech tank for about two weeks before I changed it to high tech. It seemed to be growing pretty well.

This is one of my tanks with black diamond blasting sand and root tabs. The first is from Nov 19 and the second is from today. I only started with a few stems of HC scattered around the tank.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0505 (1).jpg
Views:	51
Size:	94.9 KB
ID:	813834  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0638.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	114.0 KB
ID:	813842  



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FishFan13 is offline  
post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
underH20garden's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Jackson Hole, Wy
Posts: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by jellopuddinpop View Post
.....



These two things are mutually exclusive. A good carpet in a low tech, low light tank is VERY difficult.
well it would not be low light just maybe low tech, even that I am not sure on...seams Co2 is not that hard. just not sure I need it. still in the learning faze.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFan13 View Post
I have not had any success with carpet plants in low light. I would have done a moss carpet. I read that if you do the blender method with the moss then put it small lava rocks, you can make a pretty nice looking carpet. I also put monte carlo in a low tech tank for about two weeks before I changed it to high tech. It seemed to be growing pretty well.

This is one of my tanks with black diamond blasting sand and root tabs. The first is from Nov 19 and the second is from today. I only started with a few stems of HC scattered around the tank.
nice!
how do you like the Black D. sand ? did you DIY your root tabs?
underH20garden is offline  
post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 01:04 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
jellopuddinpop's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: CT River Valley, CT, USA
Posts: 485
Quote:
Originally Posted by underH20garden View Post
well it would not be low light just maybe low tech, even that I am not sure on...seams Co2 is not that hard. just not sure I need it. still in the learning faze.
This is what Iím trying to say. You canít have high light without CO2, without also having algae problems. In my experience, you can either have a nice carpet with med/high lighting and CO2, or low/med lighting and no CO2 with no carpet. You canít have it both ways.

One thing you can do is have a carpet of moss like @FishFan13 said. You would put down some lava rock, Riccia stone, or SS mesh and let a moss of some kind grow over it. It would technically be a carpet, but not an HC, MC, or DHG carpet like youíre thinking.

If you ever think you're too small to make a difference, spend a couple of nights sleeping with a mosquito.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jellopuddinpop is offline  
post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-27-2017, 05:56 PM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 190
I do like the black diamond sand. Everything roots well in it and everything seems to grow.

I do make my own root tabs. They work and they are pretty easy to make.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FishFan13 is offline  
post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
underH20garden's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Jackson Hole, Wy
Posts: 331
Quote:
Originally Posted by FishFan13 View Post
I do like the black diamond sand. Everything roots well in it and everything seems to grow.

I do make my own root tabs. They work and they are pretty easy to make.
can you share your DIY root tabs or a link to learn how to make them please


Quote:
Originally Posted by jellopuddinpop View Post
This is what Iím trying to say. You canít have high light without CO2, without also having algae problems. In my experience, you can either have a nice carpet with med/high lighting and CO2, or low/med lighting and no CO2 with no carpet. You canít have it both ways.

ah I see now, thanks for the clarifying that for me..

One thing you can do is have a carpet of moss like @FishFan13 said. You would put down some lava rock, Riccia stone, or SS mesh and let a moss of some kind grow over it. It would technically be a carpet, but not an HC, MC, or DHG carpet like youíre thinking.
that could be cool.
underH20garden is offline  
post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-02-2018, 03:46 AM
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 190
Get some empty "00" gel capsules like these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1 and just fill them with osmocote plus.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
FishFan13 is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome