substrate particle size - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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substrate particle size

Are all nutrient rich substrate particles small? I was looking for one that would not get sucked up when I deep vac. I have used uncoated gravel up to this point.

75g, pair of gold rams , ABN, 1 adult 2 young discus, 2oto's, 6ADF's, 3 anglefish. 96w 6700k-light 6hrs raised, No C02, Excel, EI dry macro's and micro's, Eheim 2126, 18w UV, 2 Nano 270 powerhead. wall of bubbles for more O2 for such a deep tank.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 08:29 PM
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Yes, most plant substrates have smaller particle size (3 mm is what I've seen recommended as the "ideal") because this encourages better root growth. Once you have the tank planted, you don't vacuum the substrate any more b/c that will damage the plant roots as well as remove the nutrients that the plant roots will be breaking up and taking in.

I only vacuum areas of the tank where I have no plants, and in those areas I have regular gravel.





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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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With my new set up I want to change the substrate. I have used my hot shot micro vac on the uncoated gravel and it sure does bring up a lot of crud. With me having Discus I thought I needed to reduce this over abundance of crud. I know I have to vac the top where the discus make a mess with their algae wafers. I have used uncoated gravel since I began this hobby a 4 years ago. I was always afraid to over feed and then have it build up to much. I was told that most plants feed from their leaves and I had made natural weights for the plants so they stay down. This time around I want to try Aqua design, not just planting. My new tank will 18" deep so it will give me room to move plants forward and back.
I will be doing dry Non-CO2 EI method for fertz.
This will go slowly. This month the new 67g tank with the few plants I have. As money comes available (I hope) I can then add the desired fish. Not just ones to keep the cycle going.
Do you know I can't find a lot of nice tank pics that use low light and no CO2. Most are of high light and CO2. Which does show more color but I don't want to go there.

75g, pair of gold rams , ABN, 1 adult 2 young discus, 2oto's, 6ADF's, 3 anglefish. 96w 6700k-light 6hrs raised, No C02, Excel, EI dry macro's and micro's, Eheim 2126, 18w UV, 2 Nano 270 powerhead. wall of bubbles for more O2 for such a deep tank.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 11:13 PM
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Check out the Low Tech forum for lots of tank pictures. All of my own tanks are low tech as well (links are in my Signature)

One of the most common designs for planted discus tank is to have an unplanted area in the front or side of a tank where the discus are fed (with sand or regular gravel) for easy cleanup, and then use plant substrate just in the other planted areas of the tank (where you don't then do any vacuuming in the planted areas).

It's key to have very good water circulation- this helps ensure that debris is sucked into the filter intakes instead of able to fall to the bottom of the tank in the first place.





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