Help regarding new planted tank substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-14-2020, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Help regarding new planted tank substrate

Hello;

I have never kept a planted tank before but they always inspired me a lot. The main reason of it the availability of resources. Some mandatory things required for good planted tanks (as i've read on multiple forums) are not easily available in my country. Now, cutting the long story short, I'm planning to setup a planted tank and is in dire need of your expert opinions.

I have an approx. 50~55g (Width 38 x Depth 18 x Height 22 inches) slightly curved from front fish tank. I'm thinking of using following as a substrate. 1 ~ 1.5 inch of vermicompost capped by 1 ~ 1.5 inch of sugar sized black sand.

I'll be using following plants;
Vallisneria (Spiral is preferred but simple will also be fine)
Dwarf Sagittaria
Hygrophilia Sunset & Ludwigia Repens (Need suggestion / recommendation about these)
Water Wisteria or Guppy grass.

Now, the main reason of selecting these plants & substrate is the availability issue. I can do whatever is suggested, keeping in view the limitations of availability.

I can do "Dry start method".
Can cycle tank for weeks or even months without fish.
I will not disturb plants once rooted.
Will follow any other precautions as suggested.

Will it work ??
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 07:50 PM
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Hi Phantom,

Welcome to the Planted Tank!

A few thoughts after reading your post...

- Dry start is not needed or recommended with the plants you have listed. It is more commonly used for small finicky groundcovers which greatly benefit from the CO2 available in air, and the strong undispersed light. Don't overthink it.
- Cycling new tanks is a non-issue if you add a good amount of fast-growing plants from the start. Once they start to grow, they will gladly suck up any Nitrites and Ammonia. Just add fish slowly, over time. Not the whole school at once.
- Most likely you WILL disturb rooted plants. Planted Tanks are dynamic systems, and just pruning back plants works only for a while which means...
- You will disturb the substrate layers. Fine, heavy substrates (like sand) WILL tend to migrate down into fluffier, lighter substrates.
- Vermicompost sounds like a lot of organic matter. I would not recommend that for a new planted tanker. You will end up with loads of algae, and a sulfur-burping aquascape. I mean it's fine as a thin sprinkling, but Compost is very different from mineralized topsoil that is most commonly used.
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