should i upgrade plain gravel to soil substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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should i upgrade plain gravel to soil substrate?

i have 30l/8gal tank with plain gravel as substrate. 15W grolux plant tube 8h/day on timer. i dose NPK mix, micros and liquid carbon every morning.

the main problem is i cant get sagittaria subulata to grow nice and healthy. the bacopa, anubis and moss is doing fine.

i added JBL 7-balls fert in substrate ( http://www.jbl.de/en/aquatics-freshw...bl-the-7-balls )
this seemed to improved the situation, but still sagittaria is growing slow.

so i was wondering what if i swich to soil substrate, will that solve my problem? and if yes, what exactly would you recommend? since the tank is small, soil price does not make much of a difference.

also i sould mention that main habitants is and will be shrimps.

ps. sorry for my english, not my mother languange

Last edited by dzega; 04-30-2013 at 07:04 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:07 PM
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Do you know your water parameters?
Is you tank water hard/soft?
Might be to low of light as this plant needs medium-high light for "best" growth.

List all your parameters, so someone can help out better.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 08:07 PM
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I might guess that light could be your weakest link. I know on paper you have 2wpg - how old is the bulb?

The only other thought I had was; how frequent are your water changes?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-30-2013, 09:52 PM
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What kind of shrimp are you planning to keep? Most if not all soil/clay based substrates will buffer your pH levels lower. They will definitely help your plants grow immensely. Just depends on whether that's the right choice for your fauna.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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PH=7.2
hardness=300ppm
KH=7
GH=7

lamp is 1 year old. it is special plant growth tube with lots of light in red/blue spectrum. i can however look into increasing wattage in the future, im just afraid of algae wich aleady is a problem (i have green dust algae i belive).

i have lots of red cherry shrimps and few amanos. and i want one bamboo in the future.

water change is once a week but i havent noticed plant response to wether i change water or not. but if i stop dosing traces plants get yellow, if i stop dosing NPK plants stop to grow and new leaves are tiny.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzega View Post
PH=7.2
hardness=300ppm
KH=7
GH=7

lamp is 1 year old. it is special plant growth tube with lots of light in red/blue spectrum. i can however look into increasing wattage in the future, im just afraid of algae wich aleady is a problem (i have green dust algae i belive).

i have lots of red cherry shrimps and few amanos. and i want one bamboo in the future.

water change is once a week but i havent noticed plant response to wether i change water or not. but if i stop dosing traces plants get yellow, if i stop dosing NPK plants stop to grow and new leaves are tiny.
Well that Hardness is probably the problem as this plant comes from South America and does "better" in lower ph and hardness values, I would trade it out for something else that can do better in higher values.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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as for light increase, the easy way for me would be to get few 660nm deep red LEDs off [Ebay Link Removed] i just dont know if they will be of any good. anyone have experience with thos ?

if the hardness is the problem could i mix tap water with RO water for a month? will that be enaugh to determine if that was the problem?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzega View Post
as for light increase, the easy way for me would be to get few 660nm deep red LEDs off [Ebay Link Removed] i just dont know if they will be of any good. anyone have experience with thos ?

if the hardness is the problem could i mix tap water with RO water for a month? will that be enaugh to determine if that was the problem?
1 month should give you a decent amount of test time, but if the plant comes from SA in the first place and you water is 300ppm(18KH) it's just plain and simple math of it "ain't gonna like it" so remove the plant or keep adjusting the water hardness forever.

72-82 F, KH 3-8, pH 6.5-7.5 is ideal but some differences can be tolerated.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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how do you convert TDS ppms to KH ?
i have measured using TDS meter 300ppms and KH of 7 using strip tests
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:19 PM
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"You Killed Fritz!"

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:09 PM
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You could add API root tabs.
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