Silly-ca Sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 70g tank at home I had setup a few months back, been thru some algae blooms, one really bad, that eventually died off. I mechanically removed most of it, not sure what flavor it was it was very dark green and I could peel it off in sheets, mostly off the sand itself. Now I am getting some algae mostly on the glass brown/green 'mormal' looking algae, probably due to not having enough plants in the tank. Any thoughts on the silica sand, I wasn't really thinking of doing plants until after I had it setup, and would rather not start over completely again. Can I augment the substrate eaisly or should I really start over with a layered substrate and just run the sand up top?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 10:53 PM
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As long as you have nutrients in the substrate it dont really matter. I believe that sand, or actually any fine grained substrate is good for root systems mainly due to root contact with the nutrients. The only problem with sand is that it has "0" nutrients and they need to be added.
You dont have to start over but be sure to supply the plants with food if they are of that nature...
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-05-2004, 02:43 AM
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you cant really just run the sand on top, because it will just settle to the bottom....they make under substrate fertilizer sticks, to place under the plants root systems. They supposedly work pretty well, and can last for quite sometime.
-zach-
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Any recommendations on 'spikes'

One website points out 'Jobe's Plant Food Spikes for Lush Ferns and Palms' due to low phophates and urea.

Or should I stick to ones (I can't find locally) made for aquariums?

Any other input on 'addatives', liquid fertilizers?

How should I go about adding 'spikes' do I just bury them in near the plants I like the most or just space a bunch out in the sand? How many?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2004, 04:01 PM
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The ones made for aquariums are probably better, but I find them really expensive. For a small tank with only a few root feeders they would be a good and safe option.
If you prefer saving some money, the Jobes sticks are a good option. The palms & ferns variety has a low phosphate content (NPK 16-2-6) which is better than the other varieties.
You would push the root tabs, or Jobes (perhaps broken/cut into 3 or 4 pieces) into the substrate close to the roots of your root feeders. These are rosette plants, like swords, crypts, lotus, aponogetons, etc. If you have an area that you want to have covered by low growing (carpet) plants, you can evenly space the fertilizer sticks.
In any case, push them deep into the substrate so they don't become accidently unearthed and release their nutrients into the water column, which might cause algae/green water outbreaks.
I don't like using sand, unless it is coarse, but this is just personal preference, as plants will do alright in a wide variety of substrates.


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