Eco-complete and flourite sand separation? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2008, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Eco-complete and flourite sand separation?

I'll set up a 30g tank soon: bottom is 36 x 12. I'm aware of substrate calculators. My question: I want a dark substrate, suitable also for growing plants. I want a dark, sandy substrate with few/no plants (only maybe a few carpet plants, or none) in part of the tank (for cory cats to play in/on) maybe 20-30% of the tank bottom, maybe 1.5 inches deep. I want the other 70-80% of the tank bottom to be Eco-complete, moderately planted, depth of maybe 2" at front, sloping to 3-3.5 inches at the back. A smallish driftwood/rock pile in this area also, snuggled into the substrate.

Plants: Probably will have a couple java fern, a couple crypts, a couple anubias, maybe other - not sure yet just what I'll use. The goal is a fairly low maint, slow growing setup, not too dense. I'll use excel as a carbon source.

Now, am I crazy? My goal is to keep the eco-complete and sand separated by either: make a plexiglass divider 2-3.5 inches tall, sloped like the gravel, silicone it into the tank bottom. This would help keep the sand and eco-complete separate. My other idea was just a 9" pyrex pie plate with the sand in it. Not sure how this would look. Plan to strategically place plants to hide any plexiglass or pie plate edge that is visible. Your rumination would be appreciated. I'd consider using 3m colorquartz in place of sand, but can't get it and nobody around here has 1-3mm gravel, thus the sand for the cory cats.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2008, 03:37 PM
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I kept my substrate and small gravel seperate by building a stone wall but the pie plate might work. check out Michaels if you have one near you. They have small gravel, pebbles and river rocks on sale right now.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2008, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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OK, anything special about their gravel to know as far as safety for the aquarium, pH change, stuff like that? I mean is their stuff "aquarium suitable"? I could also use my wifes rock collection (I've previously done the fizz test for them with vinegar to see if they have carbonate content). She has cool rocks from places around the world, including some cool rounded ones from Kalighandaki region of Nepal. Thanks.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2008, 08:29 PM
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Hi fellow NC'er

Are you wanting to do an aquarium somewhat similar to the following picture? It doesn't show any rocks, though. IMO, aquariums look better with one type of stone and not many different kinds, different colors, etc.

If you decide to use those stones, get some Muriatic Acid. It is a weak version of HCl. You can get it at masonry stores, pools supply stores and the big box stores. Vinegar is just too weak.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-23-2008, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Howdy. Sure, it would be great (but my shrimp tank size is and will need to be small... for a long time...). If I could some scale of that, with nice foreground/sideground areas that remain open, for the cories, it'd be fine. Got it about the muriatic- I'll test more thoroughly before using. Agree about to many colors/types of rocks too - too busy. What are your plants (think I see java fern, mosses). What's tall in the back and what moss do you use? I'll be limited to low light, no Co2, easy, iron-clad plants in my tank.

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