planted tank substrates - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2008, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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planted tank substrates

one of my low light tanks started out with only fish poop and seachem root tabs for fertilizers, and i had phenomenal growth even though i was barely above 1 WPG. this went great for a few months until the tabs ran out, and growth basically came to a dead halt, with no perceivable movement. at that point, the only fertilizers were from a half stocked tank of fish. hoping to rectify the issue, i swapped out the bare gravel for eco-complete in the hopes that i could get something near what i had before. i had a 2 inch thick covering of eco complete... and nothing. they didnt grow much at all and it was basically the same as when i had bare gravel. i've since started adding liquid ferts to the water column and growth has picked up, although it is still nowhere near what i had with the root tabs.

for my next planted tank, i think i'll try soils since having an excellent substrate seems to be a key to running a low light planted tank. this has been my first experience with special plant substrates which are enriched with nutrients beneficial to plant growth. my question is, is my experience typical of such substrates? if not, what could be causing this? are other widely available products like flourite better? what about high quality substrates like ADA's aqua soil? or garden soil?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2008, 09:45 PM
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Why don't you just pop some new root tabs in?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-20-2008, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by epicfish View Post
Why don't you just pop some new root tabs in?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-21-2008, 12:05 AM
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I can't compare against EC since I've never used it, but I've always had good results with Flourite in low light tanks. I think as far as nutrient content the 2 are pretty comparable, though.

I agree, I think nutrients in the substrate are pretty important in a low light tank, since the plants can pretty much use them at their own rate.

I'm about to start up a tank with ADA AS and then one with a mineralized soil method, so then I'll have a little bit better basis for personal comparison.

I also use root tabs, though. I really like the WonderGro from The only tab I've found so far with NPK in addition to all the micros.

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