Tank Break Down - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Tank Break Down

I think I'm going to break down my tank and redo it. I hate my jungle val, it just spreads too quick and in all honesty sucks if you want a nice looking tank.

Since I'm going to do this, the roots are so thick on these things, it's going to pull up all my dirt and I might as well just redo my tank.

I want to redo the substrate, I want to get away from dirt. What is a good substrate that's not going to mess with my PH. I want a substrate that will allow me to have a carpet. I really like the look of ada aquasoil, but I dont like the ph buffering.

What's a good substrate to use?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 03:52 AM
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I cant make any recommendations, but glad to hear you are giving it another shot!

But if you still have thoughts about dirt, you could just cut the vals off at the roots (enough to remove the plant with some roots, but not stir up too much dirt). The old roots will just break down and other plants can "harvest" off them.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WaterLife View Post
I cant make any recommendations, but glad to hear you are giving it another shot!

But if you still have thoughts about dirt, you could just cut the vals off at the roots (enough to remove the plant with some roots, but not stir up too much dirt). The old roots will just break down and other plants can "harvest" off them.
Oh I wasn't going to give up on the planted tank. I was, possibly am still going to give up on fish. I wont be purchasing any more fish anyways.

I guess I could just cut all my jungle val out like you suggest. Then I wouldn't have to redo the tank.

I'd still like to get away from dirt though.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 04:12 AM
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Blasting sand, Flourite Black Sand, pool filter sand, any small-grain gravel, really.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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Blasting sand, Flourite Black Sand, pool filter sand, any small-grain gravel, really.
none of which hold nutrients.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 04:49 AM
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none of which hold nutrients.
Well, you didn't ask for that. You asked what you could grow a carpet in, and you can grow a carpet in all of them. High CEC doesn't necessarily mean it'll grow plants better, especially if you're doing root fertilization. It mostly means that you get some slack when you start forgetting to dose.

Though one correction, Flourite Black Sand does hold nutrients. It's just a finer-grain version of Flourite Black. It's the most expensive of the few I mentioned, but I like it a lot.

Last edited by kevmo911; 10-24-2015 at 04:52 AM. Reason: correction
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WickedOdie View Post
none of which hold nutrients.
You mean like Eco-Complete is supposed to do? I have Eco capped by a gravel with 1-2mm size grains. Before putting Flourish tabs in the substrate my crypts were putting rooks up into the water. Plants are growing just as well in another tank that only has the gravel.

Next time I do a tank setup it will only be gravel. Grain size of 1-2mm dia. is supposed be the ideal size. It allows the right amount of water circulation for the roots, but doesn't allow food to be trapped where corys can't get it. I like CaribSea Peace River Gravel.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 09:34 AM
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Mate! Glad you are keeping at it. That other thread went haywire haha!
I moved from Diamond Quarts sand (or whatever its called) to CaribSea FloraMax - Midnight Black when I tore down my tank. Cant tell you how its going as I haven't planted it yet but it looks fantastic! The ADA substrate is meant to be fantastic, but it comes with a high investment price. What aesthetic were you going for? I have heard that DYI dirt is a lot cheaper if you are still under budget constraints.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 02:54 PM
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I just set up a 55 with miracle grow organic (2 bags). I then sprinkled a bit of flourite dark on top and capped the entire thing with black diamond blasting sand. I have lightly planted (more plants coming in the mail) and filled the tank. After 24 hours I did a 30% water change and then added c02 as the 55 is in proximity to the 120 (which has the co2 set up). I will do another 30-40% water change later today or tomorrow.

If this substrate creates "wow" I will probably convert the 120 to dirt- tho that will be a significant undertaking as it has 3 inches of eco-complete right now.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 06:59 PM
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If you are going to get away from dirt then you will have to redo the tank. May I ask why you want to stop using dirt? I personally love it.

When removing plants slowly pull them up while very lightly tapping the roots as they come out to remove any dirt attached. Also use a small siphon while your doing this to suck up the dirt that tries to drift away.

Sorry I can't recommend any other substrates. All I use is dirt and caps like black diamond.

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 06:33 PM. Reason: restored
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by goatnad View Post
If you are going to get away from dirt then you will have to redo the tank. May I ask why you want to stop using dirt? I personally love it.

When removing plants slowly pull them up while very lightly tapping the roots as they come out to remove any dirt attached. Also use a small siphon while your doing this to suck up the dirt that tries to drift away.

Sorry I can't recommend any other substrates. All I use is dirt and caps like black diamond.
Probably the only thing that's making it so I dont like dirt is the fact that I'm pulling up jungle val twice a week and making a mess. LOL.

I also wanna get rid of my swords. The leaves are 2 feet long.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 08:39 PM
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Ah ok. I can understand that. I kind of felt that way when I first started using it. Had dirt everywhere and brown water from moving stuff around. Then I started pulling them up slowly and that made a big difference. But Your best bet would be to do like waterlife said and just cut them out if you don't want them anymore. Same with the swords, they will make 10 times the mess your Val's make. Swords are insanely large rooters. Same reason I got rid of all but 1 sword. They just get so freakin huge!

Last edited by somewhatshocked; 10-26-2015 at 06:33 PM. Reason: restored
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah my Oriental Sword, the one that puts out purple leaves, it's staying small. But the rest! Woah! HUGE! I'll just cut them out then. Thanks.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 10:23 PM
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My next tank will contain SafeTsorb as a substrate that I will need to charge initially.
I have read good things about it, we shall see.


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Growing is not that difficult.
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