choice of substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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choice of substrate

Since my first planted tank has been nothing but issues, albeit it has been a learning experience, I've been planning out my next planted tank. My biggest dilemma lies in choosing a substrate.

I've got basically two choices, or at least I think I do.

A. Buy something like Flourite, Eco-complete, Profile, Onyx sand etc. and let that constitute my entire substrate.

B. Use my laterite at the base of the substrate with a little peat, and fill the rest in with an inert sand/gravel. Of course, I'd press in root tabs for the plants that use their roots for reaching nutrients. However, that's where my problem is. I wanted to use some hardy plants like pygmy chainsword, but I'm afraid if I press in root tabs for them then they'll take over the tank. And if I don't, they won't get the nutrients they need to really flourish.

Does anybody know if this plant does well leaching nutrients from the water column?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 12:22 PM
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According to Tom Barr most all aquatic plants would rather take up nutrients from the water column than from the roots.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 12:33 PM
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Plants sure waste a lot of energy growing those unpreferable and extensive root systems then.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 03:08 PM
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remember roots are as much for anchoring as they are for nutrient uptake. I think the jury is still out on which method the majority of plants use for nutrient uptake (not to dismiss any of Mr. Barr's theories)

If it was me, I'd go with Eco-complete. its' as good as flourite, a little prettier, and doesn't have to be rinsed.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 04:52 PM
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Go with Eco-complete, its a great all around substrate with no rinsing required. My first planted tank I used Eco-complete and planted Pygmy Chainswords and that is all they needed (no root tabs), after a few months they started spreading every where and I ended up removing them from my tank.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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I've got pygmy chainsword in one of my tanks right now. It's not spreading all over the place, but it seems to be growing okay with a warm fluorescent(3000k) and a bit of laterite mixed in. I'm not sure what effect the laterite has had or if it's had any at all, because as I understand it, it takes a while to become allocable to plants and eh.. it's just iron.

I plan on swapping out the bulb to a 6700k and adding a general fertilizer and/or root tab to see what it does.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 10:53 AM
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I agree with Trenac.... Eco complete is the way to go !

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