lakebed sand without undersubstrate nutrient safe ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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lakebed sand without undersubstrate nutrient safe ?

well im currently facing a dillema right now... I recently aquired a box full of riverbed black sand, really nice (got it from a friend who collected it from a lake 3 hours drive away and maybe an hours worth of hiking to collect it.. in other words its no that easy to get).

The question is this, I think the sand is nutrient-wise a bit low... and I really wanted to layer sera floredepot underneath it (or some other undersubstrate fertilizer) but! I am hestating because it will mix with the sand and I wont be able to use it again !

Do you think it is a big gamble to just dose via the water column ?

These are the plants the might go into the tank.
HC cuba
elatine triandra
Limnophilia aromatica
Some crypts maybe
Ludwigia inclinata var cuba and var non cuba(?)

what do you guys think?

Lighting params (4X36 watt pl lighting, 35 gallon, pressurized co2)
this is what the sand looks like in the tank.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 01:37 AM
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I use fine sand in my 38G tank and there's no nutrient layer underneath it, I only add substrate fertilizer tablets (Tetra Crypto tablets) next to the plant roots that need them.

Well, any type of bottom fertilizer does mix with the sand, but if you are going to use the sand again to another setup or empty the tank for some other reason, I think it will be rather easy just to wash the sand clean and get rid of any fertilizers in the sand.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 04:39 AM
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Plants grow just fine with water column fertilizing only. Substrate fertilizing is useful for some plants, but not at all essential. So, I would just wash the sand thoroughly, check it with some acid to make sure it wont raise the hardness of the water too much, and use it with nothing else in the substrate. A dusting of peat on the bottom of the tank, with some mulm, before adding the substrate is a good idea too.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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hmmm ive read about the acid test before. il research around the net on how to do it :P hehehehe anyway I hope the plants wont mind getting all the nutrients from the water column haha
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 04:55 AM
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Looks like you are off to a great start.

In no aquariums for a while.....
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-15-2006, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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yup this tank has been in the making for the past 5-6 months, im just waiting for the lights to arrive ( i had to import PL lighting bec it was not available locally)
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