I keep messing with my substrate, help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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I keep messing with my substrate, help!

I switched out colored gravel, and replaced with 2 bags of flourite. Money is dwindling due to mistakes. So I have an inch to and inch and one half of flourite. I know the substrate is supposed to be 2"-4", so I put my gravel back in. Then I start reading here in the substrate forums and realize I probably goofed again.

What should I do? I don't believe I can swing more flourite, but I do like how it looks. Should I pull my colored gravel off the top of the flourite again or just leave it? Maybe one more bag of flourite, or pool sand over everything? The gravel is 1/4" to 1/2" in size, but there is the layer of flourite underneath. I want some carpet grass type plants for sure, and would like to try a bit of everything if I can.

Nothing in the tank right now except substrate and water. Still waiting for things to arrive to move forward, so I guess I have time to fool with it.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:07 AM
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sorry to sound brutal, but if you can't afford another bag of gravel,
then maybe you should reconsider starting a planted tank altogether.
this is not a cheap hobby.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lo...sunk-into.html
the major problem with color gravel is the grain size,
so if it's the same size as your fluorite, I would just
use the old color gravel alone.
or you could use the fluorite pushed to one side of
your tank, and leave exposed glass on the other.


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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:22 AM
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What you have is fine. Some of the smaller fourground plants would do better with a flourite or sand. Maybe you can just remove some of the old gravel from the front. You don't need very much substrate at the front of the aquarium anyway, an inch or so should be fine.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
sorry to sound brutal, but if you can't afford another bag of gravel,
then maybe you should reconsider starting a planted tank altogether.
this is not a cheap hobby.
I can afford gravel just fine; the flourite is a little more rough, and since I'm so far into it, I may end up getting more flourite. There is so much to take in, with all the different aspects fo a planted tank, I find find myself goofing up at every turn. I was Just looking for suggestions.

I'm no stranger to expensive hobbies, but everything else I'm involved in is an upgrade over time - tweaks here, mods there... This hobby is balls out straight away.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:32 AM
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yoink, i don't mean to disagree with you, but qualify what you wrote.
yes, you can get away with 1' of flourite for plants to thrive, but once
you add fish and some water flow, 1' of gravel may simply not be enough
for many plants to establish roots deep enough to hold themselves in place,
especially if you bucket dump fresh water after a change.

edacsac, I'm glad you can afford this hobby. don't be afraid of expensive
mistakes because we all make them. best advice is to never impulse buy,
never listen to advice given in your LPS, use the search function on this
forum to learn as much as you can about developing your tank, then ask
questions on whatever issues are still unclear or not fully covered.

don't mix your gravels man, it will look ridiculous,
and one type will blend into the other over time.
just buy more flourite.

good luck


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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Something like this?



Quote:
Originally Posted by yoink View Post
What you have is fine. Some of the smaller fourground plants would do better with a flourite or sand. Maybe you can just remove some of the old gravel from the front. You don't need very much substrate at the front of the aquarium anyway, an inch or so should be fine.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
1' of gravel may simply not be enough
for many plants to establish roots deep enough to hold themselves in place,
especially if you bucket dump fresh water after a change.
Yikes, I didn't think of that. Flourite isn't kind to bucket dumping...

I visited the how much have you spent thread, and after adding things up, it looks like I have some room yet.

I've been reading about course pool sand here, with positive comments. I'm thinking of removing the large gravel (yet again, and throwing it away so it never makes its way back into the tank) and putting in course pool filter sand, mushing up the flourite and sand with my hands to mix it, and calling it good.

If that is a bad idea, please comment. :-)

Quote:
edacsac, I'm glad you can afford this hobby. don't be afraid of expensive
mistakes because we all make them. best advice is to never impulse buy,
never listen to advice given in your LPS, use the search function on this
forum to learn as much as you can about developing your tank, then ask
questions on whatever issues are still unclear or not fully covered.
I completely trusted the LFS on my semi impulse buy. While thye are great and knowledgable folks, they aren't every well versed in this degree of planted tanks, and they try (like any shrewd business owner) to push the high markup items to the uninformed (like me). I should have been reading for months before spending a dime.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 03:57 AM
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stick with the flourite, don't get side tracked with sand.
we argue about this all the time on PTF, but the bottom
line is as long as grain size is 5mm or less, you'll be fine.
no point in mixing sand with flourite, as over time the
flourite will come to the surface, while the sand may
compact on the bottom choking plant roots of nutrients.


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:02 AM
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I've got glosso, HC, lilaeopsis, and maselia growing in around an inch of eco and soilmaster. Most fourground plants are pretty small and shallow rooted. I don't dump large amounts of water directly on the gravel and have no fish that want to dig down into the substrate. Flourite is the hardest to disturb substate I have used, nice and heavy and holds plants well.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
 
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I was really liking the sand idea...

Two more bags of flourite should give me at least 2" of substrate depth. I think I could rinse it this time over window screen, and hopefully I don't have to drain the tank again.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:10 AM
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edacsac, don't run out and buy anything tomorrow.
maybe someone will chime into this thread with a
idea or reasoning that better suits your situation.
mine is just one man's opinion

yoink, "Flourite is the hardest to disturb substate I have used,
nice and heavy and holds plants well." good to know, thanks.
I wonder if it's because Fluorite has such flat and porous grains.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:12 AM
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You're going have to rinse the Flourite 12-15 times to get it clean before adding it to your tank.

If you wanted to go with sand, you could use a divider in the tank, add in Flourite in one section, and use sand for the other section. Then pull the divider out slowly...it should stay separated for a while if you don't plant in between the two.

I've seen pics of it...looks pretty awesome.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:14 AM Thread Starter
 
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I do appreciate you input. :-) I know the decision is ultimatley mine to make, but I'm such a newbie that I have to ask this stuff or I'll drive myself crazy with all the different options.

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Originally Posted by spypet View Post
edacsac, don't run out and buy anything tomorrow.
maybe someone will chime into this thread with a
idea or reasoning that better suits your situation.
mine is just one man's opinion
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
You're going have to rinse the Flourite 12-15 times to get it clean before adding it to your tank.
Been there, done that. Worked very well. I also used some screen to seperate my first mistake of mixing the gravel and flourite, and thought the flourite might rinse well in small quantities over finer screen.

Quote:
If you wanted to go with sand, you could use a divider in the tank, add in Flourite in one section, and use sand for the other section. Then pull the divider out slowly...it should stay separated for a while if you don't plant in between the two.

I've seen pics of it...looks pretty awesome.
That sounds pretty slick, but in my newbness, I want to be sure things will grow and be stable as well. I was thinking sand as more of a cheap filler to the flourite.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spypet View Post
edacsac, don't run out and buy anything tomorrow.
maybe someone will chime into this thread with a
idea or reasoning that better suits your situation.
mine is just one man's opinion
Same here.
Quote:
yoink, "Flourite is the hardest to disturb substate I have used,
nice and heavy and holds plants well." good to know, thanks.
I wonder if it's because Fluorite has such flat and porous grains.
I think it is because it is so heavy. Soilmaster will really go flying if you dump water directly on it.
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