Help with substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Question Help with substrate

Hello I just put together 150 gallon aquarium using just regualr pea gravel for the substrate. Right now i only have 2 amazon swords in the tank and have a pressurized c02 system coming in a few days. My question is can i go plants in this pea gravel or what can i do to "fertilize" the substrate?

new 150 gallon tall (converted from salt water) . running refugium, fluval fx5 filter. t5-ho 6 bulb tek fixture, co2 system on order.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 01:50 AM
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Is this the tank: 150 Gallon 48x24x30 Tall Aquarium? If so, a 6 bulb Tek T5HO light will give you about 180 micromols of PAR if it sits on top of the tank, which is way too much for a planted tank. If you suspend that light about 28 inches above the top of the tank and you should get roughly low medium light. Or, you can use just 3 bulbs and suspend it about 12-14 inches above the top of the tank for low medium light. Hanging the light that high will also let the light spread out enough to cover the whole 24 inch depth of the tank reasonably uniformly, but at the cost of a lot of spilled light off the ends of the tank.

So, back on subject: yes you can plant in pea gravel, and use root fertilizer capsules for fertilizer, and use the EI method of dosing, per https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/fe...-regimes_.html to also dose the water. The more plants you have the more you need to be dosing the water too.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2012, 02:12 AM Thread Starter
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ok great thanks for the info.... just a question what would happen if i did use all light?

new 150 gallon tall (converted from salt water) . running refugium, fluval fx5 filter. t5-ho 6 bulb tek fixture, co2 system on order.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 07:03 PM
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You can use pea gravel and grow plants. As Hoppy said, you dose the water instead, which is actually going to be pretty critical with a lot of light. You can supplement your fert dosing with root tabs as well, but I would skip that except for plants that are heavy root feeders.

As for your lighting question, if you use too much light, you will get algae and possibly to the determent of your plants.

-Matt

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-24-2012, 10:37 PM
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With very high light you are driving the plants to grow very fast. That means those plants that are ordinarily fast, aggressive growers will be that and more. There will be a shortage of CO2 available to the plants, because having non-limiting CO2 would kill all of the fish. So, the aggressive growers will quickly grab most of the CO2, starving the less aggressive growers. Those would become unhealthy plants, and algae would quickly colonize them, killing them.

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