Is a substrate needed? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 12
Is a substrate needed?

My question to planted tank forums is that are these substrates with minerals and nutrients really needed? or does it just enhance/ increase the rate of growth.

I was at my local fish store and one of the shopkeepers said that the expensive substrate wasn't really needed, just lighting was the main concern.

I was thinking of going to home depot, getting some cheap but good quality rock/gravel rinsing out and using that as my substrate, any suggestions?

Also at that same store they have a deal 4 plants for $11, sounds pretty good to me.
Far3 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 01:32 AM
Banned
 
spypet's Avatar
 
PTrader: (56/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Forest Hills, NY
Posts: 3,297
Far3, welcome to PTF

seems you got here in the nick of time:
before you listened to your LPS owner

your assumption is correct that enriched subrates are not
needed unless you want to maximize rooting and growth,

however

do NOT simply buy any bag of rock gravel for plant use.
grain SIZE is very important to the planted tank keeper,
and you don't want to commit to gravel any larger than
5mm grain size. going the Home Depo route can save
a lot of money compared to what the LPS sell, but first
scout out what's available, then get back to us on PTF
so we can tell you which item has an appropriate grain.

grain porosity is also useful to the planted tank keeper,
so a lava or clay based gravel is better than stones.
porous gravel allows it to hold nutrients, and host
bacteria and microorganism for fish and plant health.

you are better off locating a landscaping supply house
nearby which will have a better selection of gravels,
since Home Depo is seasonal, and will only have
indoor plant supplies through the winter Months.

I would avoid sand, which is generally under half a mm.

do NOT buy a light fixture until you have discussed with
us the size of your tank, and what amount of maintenance
and plants you may want to keep in there. get used to the
idea that most dry goods, lighting, filters, etc. are cheaper
online, than at your double the markup LPS.

I bought 100lbs of gravel online, because it worked out
to be cheaper, even after I included the shipping cost!

start by studying this area of PTF:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/low-tech-forum/
take a look at screen shots of the leafy tanks there,
to see if you are satisfied with those kinds of plants.

get back to us with exactly what plants the LPS has.
here in NYC, most Pets stores have fast growing weeds,
and low light requirement swords and crypts. none of them
require fancy lighting, or much maintenance, however you
may find those types of plants to grow massive and boring.

here's a good place to see plants available to this hobby;
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...finder/all.php
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/myplants/

many here invest more time and expense in their tanks to
accommodate a wider variety of finer more colorful plants,
by going high tech, involving more lighting and fertilization.

my advice would be to start with a small grain substrate.
get a small high intensity fixture like a single T4HO or PCF, so
you can double the light later should you want to go high tech.
avoid weeds and swords, go with Cryptocoryne for their color
and variety of leaf structure, and maybe some vals. if you
are satisfied with your results after a few Months, then stay
with that low tech tank, and if not, then come back and we
can talk about more light, fertilizers, and Co2, so you can
properly grow higher tech plants. then the substrate and
light you already invested in will continue to be useful.

BTW: update your location profile to reflect what town in
NY you reside, so locals like me can better help you out.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
spypet is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 12
Amazing post answered sooo many questions!

I think I'm going to make a new thread to set up my tank,

**will post link when thread created**

Also, I changed my location
Far3 is offline  
 
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 02:31 AM
Wannabe Guru
 
jinx©'s Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,559
Great post spypet

As for plants, you can always keep an eye on the swap n shop section here on the forums. The members here often have great plant packages available that usually beat out most LFS's. Keep in mind this isnt the best time of year for plant shipping, but you may find a deal thats close enough to home to make it work out.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jinx© is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2008, 06:44 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
PTrader: (17/95%)
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: santa clara, CA
Posts: 375
if you go with low tech, I dont think a rich substrate is needed. Some root plants might benefit from it, but again it is not necessary.
stagius is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome