a noob needs help with substrate material - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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a noob needs help with substrate material

hey guys im wanting to set up a 36gal planted tank and im abit confuzzled
how does this idea sound?

my first layer of substrate would be red dirt(pretty sure its volcanic)
then a fine layer of blood and bone then a layer of top soil. This would be topped off with a fine gravel then a coarser gravel maybe 4-5mm and i hear some people use nails in there for iron? how would that go with fish?(cardinals and rummys im guessing not so good)

or should i just mix up all of the layers together with water(or not) excluding the gravel? would this create those toxic bubbles? that i once got when i used potting mix below the gravel.

Im not wanting to buy flourite or whatever cause im trying to keep it cheap thanks guys
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-21-2008, 01:23 PM
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Blood and bone?

Your layers will end up mixing. Smaller grains will work their way to the bottom with time and as you plant.

Try just the fine gravel, and fertilize in the water column and with root tabs.

No nails; the idea isn't to just rust stuff out in your tank.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-22-2008, 04:50 PM
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I've never heard of "blood and bone" either but if it's made up of what it sounds like I wouldn't put it in a fish tank? Sounds like asking for a never-ending cycle and algae blooms as the organics decompose...

I agree just straight up pea gravel would be better.

Or you could mix Fluorite with pea gravel to save costs but still have some nutrient content in the substrate.

If you use Fluorite, rinse the Fluorite well and then let it completely dry before installing it to help reduce cloudiness in the tank during planting.





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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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o "blood and bone" is a natural fert we have in aus another forum uses maybe 5 teapsoons in the deepest part of the gravel where the larger stems are. The whole reason for this is because i wanted to provide enough nutrients to my plants without having to dose ferts or use expensive gravel.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 12:40 PM
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You might find the type of information that you are looking for easier here:

El Natural


You may also want to research Diana Walstad's work/efforts......


HTH


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 12:42 PM
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We have blood and bone in the UK too. Personally I wouldn't use it though. Aquarium plants are used to less nutrients than soil grown ones. I just have gravel in my tank and the mulm that has built up over time from all the fish waste does the fertilising for me.

If you must use it use it very sparingly as it really is high in nutrients and you're risking an algae bloom.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-23-2008, 02:24 PM
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Yep I agree that you need to read Diana Walstad's "Ecology of the Planted Tank"- sounds like the type of setup for you?

I personally use 100% peat as a VERY thin underlayer for my substrate; provides some nutrient content as well as lowering the pH and somewhat hardness.





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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-24-2008, 09:02 PM
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Blood and bone, ya never know, maybe it's made of fish blood and bones!

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

EDIT:
If at first you don't succeed, FAILURE is your destiny
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2008, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by confuted View Post
Blood and bone?

Your layers will end up mixing. Smaller grains will work their way to the bottom with time and as you plant.

Try just the fine gravel, and fertilize in the water column and with root tabs.

No nails; the idea isn't to just rust stuff out in your tank.
Hey guys I'm a noob also, i'll be setting up my first planted tank as soon as i can gather up all the info i need. I'm goin to take this advise about fine gravel, but i'm not sure what "and fertilize in the water column and with root tabs" means, could anybody clarify please??? Also, should i still mix in flourite with the fine gravel if i am fertilizing these water columns or wutever, if so wut ratio? wut size should the grain of the gravel be? Tryna have a bed of Baby's tears on the bottom of my tank if that helps give me answers, any advise will be appreciated a thousand times
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2008, 12:59 AM
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He's refering to blood meal and bone meal. good ferts for soil but not sure how usefull they would be in the aquarium
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