Substrate dilemma on existing tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate dilemma on existing tank

Hi guys hoping to get some advice on whether I should add either Eco complete or fluorite to already existing regular premium sand or to rescape and replace the premium sand completely to maximize HC growth.

Tank: 10 gallon
Filter: Aquaclear 30
Lighting: satellite led+ pro (upgraded from hood led)
Current substrate: regular premium sand around 1.5 inch

Currently EI dosing along with excel

The tank has been running almost 3 weeks and was fish in cycled along with stability.

Current plants are 2 Java ferns, 2 rotala, 2 long Amazon swords, 1 ozlote sword and 1 myrio green.

I really underestimated my interest in a planted tank initially and that's why I started with low/ med light plants. Now reading more into it and doing more research, I really want to start a HC carpet hence the upgrade to satellite led pro.

Is it worth adding better substrate to my existing regular substrate to maximize HC growth or should I rescape and replace the regular substrate completely?

Currently have 10 Pygmy cories and a betta.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 02:48 PM
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Would remove the sword plant's for they will get too big for 10 gal and must have fairly deep substrate to do well.
Other than that, I would just plant the HC and continue what your doing.
Plant's don't care where they take nutrient's from and can do just as well with water column dosing as they can from enhanced substrate with exception of the sword plant's that really do seem to do better with both enhanced substrate and also water column fertilization.
Need three to five inches of substrate for sword plant's to get good growth potential which as mentioned,would soon result in them taking over the tank IME
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 03:27 PM
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HC carpet + corys is not a good idea

HC carpet without CO2 is also not a good idea

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Originally Posted by roadmaster View Post
Would remove the sword plant's for they will get too big for 10 gal and must have fairly deep substrate to do well.
Other than that, I would just plant the HC and continue what your doing.
Plant's don't care where they take nutrient's from and can do just as well with water column dosing as they can from enhanced substrate with exception of the sword plant's that really do seem to do better with both enhanced substrate and also water column fertilization.
Need three to five inches of substrate for sword plant's to get good growth potential which as mentioned,would soon result in them taking over the tank IME
+1 to everything roadmaster said

Your swords WILL take over the entire tank. Most high tech plants are not 'root feeders' like crypts and swords are. They will be fine in sand.

A few more things:

HC + corys is not a good idea. The corys will probably wreck the HC as it is a very delicate plant and difficult to keep anchored until established.

HC without CO2 is also not a good idea

Your substrate is not going to be the issue here. HC's roots really don't do much except anchor the plant down. Do not underestimate how good regular sand works. Unless you have something like ADA aquasoil then IMO sand is better than other substrates for various reasons. Easier to plant in, delicate plants (like HC) anchor more easily, etc.. Others may disagree but as someone who used to have eco complete I enjoy my blasting sand tank much more.

To have a chance with HC a good pressurized CO2 setup is almost required. Otherwise you will most likely not be successful. Substrate doesn't really matter (keep the sand)

Spend your money on a CO2 setup. It is far more valuable than higher lighting, substrates, etc


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Is excel inadequate at all for the time being? Was hoping to upgrade to pressurized co2 eventually.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 04:20 PM
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Its OK for those plants.
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