switching to sand, nutrient Q - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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switching to sand, nutrient Q

as we speak, i'm switching to play sand in my established tank to aid the growth of carpeting plants like hair grass and glosso. i know i need nutrient rich substrate for those plants, but adding a layer of laterite or eco-complete seems like a chore and is out of my budget at the moment*. would it be sufficient to shove some root tabs into the sand before i plant? if so, how long do root tabs usually last?


* (i know root tabs cost money, too, as will my plant order. but i want to get the substrate complete now so that i can get parameters back in check. by then i can afford the plants and extra items to complete my co2 rig)
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-08-2006, 07:35 PM
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at big als site it is like $5 for those flourish tabs. alot cheaper then the ones in petsmart.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaidexl View Post
as we speak, i'm switching to play sand in my established tank to aid the growth of carpeting plants like hair grass and glosso. i know i need nutrient rich substrate for those plants, but adding a layer of laterite or eco-complete seems like a chore and is out of my budget at the moment*. would it be sufficient to shove some root tabs into the sand before i plant? if so, how long do root tabs usually last?


* (i know root tabs cost money, too, as will my plant order. but i want to get the substrate complete now so that i can get parameters back in check. by then i can afford the plants and extra items to complete my co2 rig)


So, you have all the equipment to grow moderately demanding plants like glosso, and you want to skimp on the substrate? Save up and buy it right the first time.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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that's what i need to know. wasn't sure if sand with root tabs would be considered skimping.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 05:40 AM
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I have had sand and bottom ferts in my planted tanks for about, uhm, 7 years now and my tanks don't look that bad and I don't see using sand as a stupid alternative. I use TetraPlant Crypto fertilizer tablets (and sometimes some other brands), now I'm switching to Tropica Plant Nutrition+ capsules which contain also nitrates and fosfates. My plants are rather hungry, so I do add more bottom ferts regularly, but I don't remember how often... maybe once in two months.

Your plants will tell if they need more ferts. And if you are dosing to the water column too (which is of course a necessity with high light), it won't be that bad if you didn't add enough bottom ferts at first. So, if you want to use sand, I am sure you will be succesfull with adding just root tabs to the areas where the plants are.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the info, your tank looks great. i might save the flourite for when i set a new tank up. or i might move all the fish to a temp and break the whole thing down. it's easier to just remove gravel, vac, then drop sand and poke in plants. call me lazy, but considering all of my time that i've put toward fish health in the past year, i'm just tired. but i've been waiting to start the scape for awhile, so i want to do it right. decisions decisions.

anyway, thanks for the encouragement, rain-.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 03:38 PM
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If you want to buy fluorite, you might as well buy ADA aquasoil. It's about $20 for a bag of fluorite vs $26 for a 9L bag of AS, which (I am told) covers about the same amount of space. Plus, I think you'll find that ADA is smaller granules and a little easier to keep smaller plants rooted.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 03:49 PM
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I'd recommend Aquasoil too for your next setup, it looks really pretty and seems to have an amazing effect on plants. I have a bag of Aquasoil Amazonia waiting for my next project.

Have fun with your setup, which ever way you decide to go! The fun part of this hobby is that there isn't just one right way to do things, there's several with their pros and cons and trying them out and learning in the process is fun.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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hmm, i have to be carefull about adding anything that effects alkelinity due to my non-existant KH. although there are some debates here about that issue, which i plan on testing myself since i've had my fill of trying to sustain any alkelinity. but for now, i'll leave it up to my driftwood and co2 to cause a crash if a crash is even possible. just another reason for me to start a plant-only tank, forget the fish and their need for consistent pH. i'll tell you though, mine have adjusted to everything from 6.1 to 7.6 in the last year or so and still doing ok except for some rosy tetras that take turns dying.

i'm starting to consider seachem onyx mixed into the playsand, or layered at the bottom. that should cancel out having to deal with major dust clouds other than that of the sand. would you guys recommend that stuff for demanding plants? better than nothing, right?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-09-2006, 09:22 PM
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I think usually it's not a good idea to mix different substrates, especially when the grain size and the colour is totally different. With fine sand and coarser Onyx, the fine sand stays underneath the coarser Onyx and might compact more easily. And I don't think it would look that pretty either.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-10-2006, 03:45 PM
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personally I have not had an issue with fert in the column not reaching the roots with sand. At one point I was using a turkey baster to get a little more ferts to my Amazon sword - but that was probably not necessary. (I was using EI, so had lots of ferts in the column).

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