Depth of the substrate nutrient - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Depth of the substrate nutrient

I have set up a small planted tank and added the substrate nutrient (fertilizer) and found that the fertilizer is only about 1 cm deep. Is that enough for the fertilizer? (excluding the first and third layer of sand)
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:24 AM
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I had problems in one aquarium when my substrate ferts were not deep enough, and everytime I replanted anything the ferts would go into the water column and my nitrates would go ---^^^ and that was about 1 inch deep. Since then I have stopped using substrate ferts under my stem plants that I replant and only under my sedentary foreground plants.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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hi do you mean that even i inch is not enough OMG then how much is enough?

anywhere i heard that the fert is only the 'starting' point of planting in the tank..in the subsequent months liquid fertilizer have to be added...is that the right saying? in another words maybe I can add liquid fertilizer earlier then before if its not enough for the 'solid' fertilizer..(sorry for the demanding because I have already covered the fert with 2-3 inch of fine sand and it would be a bit of a trouble to undig the sand and adding the fert... )
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 12:07 PM
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Are you talking of Laterite ? If you are, then that should have been added at the bottom of the tank and the substrate should have been poured in on top of that to a depth of 3".

Or you can use root tabs as your substrate ferts and they should also be pushed in to the bottom or at least 2/3 of the way down to be safe. The roots will reach it. In the beginning of a new tank I normally "seed" the substrate every 6-8" of the entire tank with tabs and then after that I add them every couple of months only to the plants that require them most. I do not ever use Laterite.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 02:00 PM
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as Buck said, you want about 3" of substrate in the tank for good rooting. I've never bothered with laterite, cuz I don't like the idea of having to put new laterite in after a year.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 09:34 PM
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I was talking about root tabs being more than 1" so they don't seep into the water column. 2" down is probably a good depth for them. I don't personally like laterite, I think with all the substrates on the market laterite is kind of a mute point.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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hi..sorry i have misunderstood the word substrate in the first place...what i mean is that the 'base fertilizer'. First I add a layer of plain gravel in the tank follow by the base fertilizer i am refering to. Next another layer of plain gravel was added (about 3 cm thick) ...my concern is whether the the 1 cm thick of base fertilizer is enough for a start..

correct me if i am wrong the substrate you mention refers to the plain gravel ( or sand ) and the word laterite refers to the base fertilizer.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-28-2004, 11:19 PM
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wooooah, back up the train here...
If you are using laterite in the tank "at all" , which I would not recommend to a beginner, it has to be the very first layer put down and it needs to be covered by at least 3 inches of a good fine gravel or you will have a mess on your hands with algae.
That stuff is potent and becoming a thing of the past... we have learned alot since the laterite days.
Myself, I will not mess with the stuff again because I "play" in my tank to much and if you allready have it as a middle layer, I wish you luck.

It gets stirred up into the water column way to easy and thats when it gets you...
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Red face

sorry i do not fully understand the meaning of "stirred up into the water column" .....the first layer of gravel that i mention is only very thin layer.. and the third (top) layer of gravel can be as thick as i want ...(as i still have lot of gravel) ...so what the diff with and without the first thin layer of gravel? does it matter? ....and still i dont understand the meaning of "stirred up into the water column...:
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-29-2004, 01:05 PM
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I think you and I are on different thought patterns here...

Is this the Laterite that you are using ?
When I say that it can get stirred up is that with time it tends to break down and when you start uprooting plants and replanting new ones you can release built up sediment which can cause clouding of the water.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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if I uproot the plant ( old plant ) and replanting new plants only when i am changing the water does that help to reduce the effect that you mention?
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 12:04 PM
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When you have uprooted a mature plant you will know what I mean. The roots will cling too and pull up with it anything that is in the bottom of that tank. Now you are left with a mixed mess.
Dont get me wrong, this happens even with fert tabs that you put in there too, but they are easier, (not easy) to deal with then laterite mixed.

Its been easily 6 weeks or so since redoing my tank and I still have algae issues from it all that I can only blame on this.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-30-2004, 05:21 PM
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I've used several laterite products, some were used as additives, others were used alone as the substrate. My 75 which currently is the best planted tank I 've done has a product called "Tropical Laterite" which was purchased some years ago at an LFS in 40 pound bags, it's brick red, and in reality, appears to be crushed red brick or waste from the manufacturing process. Quite frankly, when I purchased it, I had tried virtually every other trick including kitty littler and was ready to go back to plastic plants. It was instant success although I now use Flourish tabs about every two months just because I don't imagine much iron being available from the age.

The laterite additives is something I could not recommend really, I've tried it as a sub layer, mixed with the regular gravel etc, and although I haven't had any problems with algae or big messes when uprooting, I can't say I've had much success with it either, especially considering the cost.

The few times I've bought new substrate lately, it's been fluorite, which I whole heartedly endorse and swear by. Although I can never recall any substrate in my tanks that didn't kick up a cloud when I pulled something up up, at least from tanks that have matured.


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