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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-01-2009, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Noob Question Need Help

Hello all, i am fairly new to the forums and planted tanks as well. So here is bit of background before i ask my question.

I have been growing plants in a 30 gallon tank for almost a year now with only gravel for a substrate, and no florite. I do around 15-20% water changes twice a week and only use the python on the gravel maybe once a month. My plants thrive, enough so that i have had to give some away to keep swimming space for my cardinals.

Well i just bought a 75 gallon bowfront and was looking into substrates. I have access to alot of bricks and thought maybe i could crush them with a mini sledge, then put the desired sized peices in a 5 gallon bucket with holes drilled in the bottom and stir them harshly with the handle end of a spade while they are being sprayed with water to dull the edges.

My question is, is it safe to use crushed brick in a planted tank that will house a large school of cardinals? (my school isnt large yet as my original tank is small) I have looked and looked via google but have found little info on this and what i did find was vague, also some say its fine, others say dont do it. Lastly, these are red bricks and i also was wondering if i could mix a bit of crushed terra cotta in to mix it up a bit?

Thanks in advance everyone! Jesse
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by CLASSIC View Post
My question is, is it safe to use crushed brick in a planted tank that will house a large school of cardinals?
Have read that you can test rock with vinegar. Pour some vinegar on them, if they bubble/fizz you don't want to use them. They're limestone. Limestone raises the Ph.

How about putting it in a bucket
with some water from the tank and see if it changes the parameters. Could also put 1 fish in the bucket with an airstone over night to see if it is safe for the fish.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:45 AM
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I think it won't be a good substrate for plant growth
there will definitely be sharp edges your fish could hurt themselves on
and it will take you a LOT of work to achieve the size of grain you'd be shooting for

sorry to be a nay sayer- it just sounds like an ungodly amount of work for something that won't benefit you at all.

i'm always looking for cheaper options too- have you looking into the aquatic soil people on this forum have tried from home depot and lowes?

cheers-K
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 07:59 AM
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That seems like an awful lot of work for a substrate that is probably going to be a disaster.

Look into oil-dri, since it appears you may be on a tight budget, it's $3.50 for a 25lb bag in the automotive area at Walmart.

Pool filter sand is another popular and inexpensive option.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 09:57 AM
 
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I agree with Imeridian-s Pool Filter Sand recommendation. i have no experience with Oil -dri but some have posted issues of it dropping PH to much and too fast while others claim no issues. I say it may entail some risk, but you may not have issues. Pool filter sand is inert and I have seen some jaw dropping tanks where the owner used minimal water column fertilization with T5NO lighting, no pressurized c02, no excel, where plant growth was explosive and the owner was selling plants almost on a biweekly basis due to rapid overgrowth. Keep in mind that substrate is something that you cannot easily change over if you make a mistake, so best to pick a quality substrate and do things right from the start.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response all. I went with sand and a mineralized sub. I am on a bit of a budget and wanted to save enough for a Co2 system. The brick was just a bad idea and soon after posting i realized that lol. Cutting corners is all wrong. Thanks fellas.
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