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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Gravel Q

Hello, I'm new !

I just set up my first planted tank two days ago and already I think I screwed up

My tank :

15 gallon (glass)
15 w x 2 Arcadia Freshwater + Arcadia Tropical
JBL Aquabasis Plus
HOB (Hang-on-back) filter (Sponge, filter floss, bio-rings)

Community :

x 6 Zebra Danios (3 males, 3 females)
x 1 Betta

Plants :

Cabomba caroliniana
Limnophila sessiliflora
Eleocharis acicularis
Cryptocoryne wendtii
Microsorum pteropus

Anyway I used the gravel from my Betta's old 3 gallon and bought the same gravel to top it off. The Aquabasis is a base fertilizer.

Problem is the gravel is too big I think. It's not like the fine gravel most people use . I just added the fish yesterday and I don't want to stress them out. The gravel is like small pebbles not sand-like. I'm worried my hairgrass won't turn into a carpet because it can't spread. I see the roots are already growing downwards to the fertilizer on one of the plants but if it won't carpet, it looks so sparse .





I think the gravel in the front is too thick too. Great .... Sorry about the lousy pics, it's from my phone. I'm starting to think the tank is really ugly too .
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 03:55 AM
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it doesnt look bad, but your hairgrass prolly wont spread as you wouls like with it.

best thing to do would be to take it all out before the mulm buils up and makes ahuge mess when you desterb it. get a plant substrate that ou like and then remove the old. easy as that.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 04:06 AM
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I kind of like the looks of it myself but as bsmith mentioned it may not be the best for you hairgrass.

You could possibly pull it back and make a sand area/gravel area that could look cool. That way maybe you could put your spreading plants in sand and maybe stems towards the back in the gravel areas.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I think I'll get on it ASAP. Thursday is a holiday here. I'll try to get sand. Any suggestions on how to remove all of the 'pebble gravel'? I'm afraid to stir up the Aquabasis. It makes the water a murky 'chocolate milk'. I accidently stirred it up before and it wasn't pretty. I'm hoping to avoid muddy water and hopefully the cloudy water that my tank is now suffering from.

Oh bsmith, the Aquabasis is a plant substrate but it has to be covered with gravel. Hm, here we go :

http://www.jbl.de/uk/downloads/JBL_Pflanzenhilfe_GB.pdf

In PDF format.

It's reddish and as I mentioned before, really yucky if it gets in contact with water. I have a quarter of a bag left so I can't throw everything out even though that seems the best route to me. I'm eager to make my tank dust free and look more like these :

http://www.ratemyfishtank.com/topten.php/s_9

Well, at least in terms of clarity but one day soon...

PS : When I screwed it up before, I couldn't drain out all the water or else the gravel and soil will get sucked up by the siphon.

Oh yes, very rude of me. Many thanks whoever helps a newbie out!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 03:45 PM
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you could get an acrylic divider to seperate the pebbles/aquabase and then put your sand in the front of the tank (if thats where you want the hair grass).


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-19-2007, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hm. I was thinking about that when Jinx suggested it but I think a whole overhaul looks better in my opinion.

I was thinking about sifting the soil and gravel into a colander because the gravel is much bigger than the soil. Then dump the gravel and put back the soil. Any thoughts? I'll have to get on it on Sunday, busy tomorrow.

Anyway, what do you guys think of using 'holland sand'. It's actually small river sand/ gravel popular here in S.E. Asia. The sand actually comes from Indonesia not Holland.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-19-2007, 01:07 AM
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Overhaul is probably best idea.

However, I like jinx's idea of dividing the substrates to sand in front and pebbles in back.

Or if you're really lazy, just dump a lot of sand so that it covers all the old substrate completely but you'd risk getting sand going too deep.

Not sure what holland sand is, hard to say what it's made of. But as long as it doesn't have any undesired effects on the water, isn't too coarse or tiny, it should be good. Test to see if it will leach out anything like calcium, etc.
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