starting a platned aquarium help!!!?!? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation starting a platned aquarium help!!!?!?

I am thinking about starting a planted aquarium. Can yuo use any type of gravel with the Flourite and is there anythign else that needs to be in the substrate? how long can it last before you have to replace it. do yuo ever have to syphen it? if not then why doesnt the ammonia build up in the plant mat? what are some good attractive plant combos? and how often should i do a water change.

ive herd so many diffrent things i need to know what the right way to do it is. if any one can answer these question it would be greatly appreciated.
-chuck
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 04:25 AM
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Fluorite can be used without any other material. I have a 10G with straight Fluorite as the substrate. It's attractive and the plants seem to be quite happy. If you don't like the look, you can add a layer of gravel, sand, or whatever over the Fluorite.

I'm not sure what a 'plant mat' is, but amonia should rarely be an issue in an established tank with just about any substrate.

Lots of folks here like a substrate called Eco Complete which is basically black and seems to have some desirable properties. I've yet to try it, but it comes highly recommended. (Many fish like a dark substrate...less stressful.)

I recommend that you start out with LOTS of fast growing plants and bright light, and cycle your tank with tough fish like White Clouds. Don't forget to do those water changes, especially during the first month or two, when the bugs are getting established and you might experience Nitrite spikes that your fish will not enjoy.

Good luck with your setup!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 05:32 AM
 
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 02:52 PM
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My advice:

1) You can mix anything with Flourite. Up to 50/50, as the manufacturer suggests. But keep in mind the look of Flourite. I really don't think you'd want to mix a very light gravel with it, but hey, it depends on the look you want.

Several people on the site advocate sand. You could mix sand or another fine substrate with Flourite. But you will find over a period of time the finer substrate will settle to the bottom.

2) Re plants. Personally I would say the recipe for success is to forget about the aquascape for the first few months. Just jam as many fast growers in there as you can, get them growing well, and then start figuring out what look you want. The fast growers then can be slowly eliminated, if need be.

3) Take your time and plan things carefully. Spend lots of time here before you make any final decisions. A good starting point (K the c posted a good link as well) is www.rexgrigg.com. Remember planted tanks are all about balance. You need to know what type of tank you want to have. I realized I wanted a moderately high tech set up. So I have > 3wpg, pressurized CO2, Flourite, heavy doses of ferts. It is nonsense to say you can't have success with a lower tech setup. But you must balance things out. You are looking for trouble if you put a ton of light over the tank and don't plan on adding CO2.

4) Some of us do 50-70% water changes weekly. There is also the PPS system where folks do less frequent water changes. Again, do some reading, do some more, figure out what method you want to use, then setup the tank. Personally I recommend the estimative index, I am somewhat of a newb to ferts, and have had success thus far. There is no one right way to do things.
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