setting up a plant ONLY tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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setting up a plant ONLY tank

Hey everyone,

So I got into planted tanks this summer and set up 2 of them at home, a 40 gallon Amazon tank, and a 10 gallon Southeast Asia tank. I'm heading back up to school in a month or so and I wanted to set up a completely planted "tank". Being that I am a college student with good knowledge of DIY, I was thinking of setting up a very very cheap tank just to grow plants and maybe sell them on here or locally up at school. My idea:

Tank: big clear storage tubs from walmart
Substrate: some cheap gravel-like substrate (or dirt if I can do that)
Fertilizer: I have Osmocote Plus so I may use that and sell Osmocote gelcaps as well. Then maybe use the GLA NPK+micros dry ferts.
Lighting: wire up some cheap CFL bulbs for high lighting
CO2: like 8 bottles of yeast (8 being a random number) to produce a good amount of CO2.

This will give me something to do and maybe fund college for me. At least the food and more fish and plants for home fund.

Anything else I would need? I would like to keep it all plants and have the ability to grow different plants. I realize using a tub from walmart kinda bastardizes the hobby. But I am a college student I have to cut corners where I can.

Thanks


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 11:36 PM
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Something to make sure the water stays moving. I keep plants and animals in plastic totes and have used a tote to temporarily sump a tank.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 12:33 AM
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I would suggest something like Safe-T-Sorb or Turface as substrate. Lightweight, really cheap (so you can pot up the plants and sell them with 'soil')
Good light, CO2 to grow them the fastest to make the most money.

Are you living in a dorm or other housing with 'pet' restrictions? I often hear about a 10 gallon aquarium size limit in such situations. I suppose you could go with a rather shallow tub (maybe 6-8" deep?) to have the most area for the most plants.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 01:15 AM
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If it's just for plants, definitely get dirt rather than just cheap gravel substrate that provides no nutrients. I've seen some setups around these boards like what you mentioned, just look around
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven p View Post
Something to make sure the water stays moving. I keep plants and animals in plastic totes and have used a tote to temporarily sump a tank.
That is a good point. I was thinking about how to create a powerhead or some sort of filter. I guess I can just buy one. I know a place near me that sells a 180-200GPH powerhead for 8 dollars. I guess that is pretty budget friendly If not, I could always use a HOB filter.

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I would suggest something like Safe-T-Sorb or Turface as substrate. Lightweight, really cheap (so you can pot up the plants and sell them with 'soil')
Good light, CO2 to grow them the fastest to make the most money.

Are you living in a dorm or other housing with 'pet' restrictions? I often hear about a 10 gallon aquarium size limit in such situations. I suppose you could go with a rather shallow tub (maybe 6-8" deep?) to have the most area for the most plants.
I will look into the Turface substrate if they have it at my school. It's located in a terribly rural area and not much is there except Home Depot. If they have it there then I will learn what to do now and then apply there
I will be living in townhouses provided by the school but about 5 minuntes from campus, walking. I was going to use those storage tubs or the rolling ones that you can put under your bed. I figure that's a huge footprint to grow plant.

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If it's just for plants, definitely get dirt rather than just cheap gravel substrate that provides no nutrients. I've seen some setups around these boards like what you mentioned, just look around
The one concern I have for dirt substrate is that it is hard to prepare and I dont think I will have the time to do it. If I do though, it will be very easy to come by at school.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 06:08 AM
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[IMG]The one concern I have for dirt substrate is that it is hard to prepare and I dont think I will have the time to do it. If I do though, it will be very easy to come by at school.[/IMG]

That's what ADA Amazonia, Eco-Complete, and other plant-friendly substrates are for. Just buy it I was just not recommending getting some boring petsmart rocky gravel substrate as your goal is for plants, so get plant-special substrate
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 06:26 AM
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Dirt is not hard to prepare at all..
Pour dirt in tank...
Cap with cheap sand..
Thats it...

You don't even need to cap it really..
Just get some sort of heavy soil. Like the kind people pick up for cheap to use in ponds...
Topsoil or something like that.. Costs like $5 for a big bag.
Just pour the dirt in. It will sink.

I believe someone on here has a rubbermaid tub to grow plants and all they did was fill it with water and throw in a layer of soil.


Even in my tanks with MGOPS all I did was cap it with sand.
MTS is a laborious process though.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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[IMG]The one concern I have for dirt substrate is that it is hard to prepare and I dont think I will have the time to do it. If I do though, it will be very easy to come by at school.[/IMG]

That's what ADA Amazonia, Eco-Complete, and other plant-friendly substrates are for. Just buy it I was just not recommending getting some boring petsmart rocky gravel substrate as your goal is for plants, so get plant-special substrate
Oh I thought you mean like actual soil, not the plant substrate stuff. I would use those if I could find them for cheap. Around SF, it's easy to get. Up at my school...not so much haha

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Dirst are not hard to prepare at all..
Poor dirt in tank...
Cap with cheap sand..
Thats it...
I don't have to rinse the soil out? In the substrate section I read that I had to rinse the soil many times. Do you know the brand of the soil you mentioned. That would be really convenient!


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-26-2012, 04:49 PM
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Use Miracle Grow Organic potting soil capped with pool filter sand. The MGO is $8 a bag, and PFS is $5 for a 40 or 50lb bag.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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Will I have to clean the Miracle Gro? Or can I use it straight out of the bag? And there happens to be a pool supply store near me. Maybe I can get just a bit of PFS from them. So far the costs are:
Tub: Walmart $18
MGO: HD $8
PFS: $5
Lighting: $30-$50
Ferts: $20
Powerhead: $8
Yeast and Soda Bottles: Free
I guess this will set me back about $100 should I try to do this. I'll have to weight costs versus benefits now haha, especially since I have to sell plants to make money.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-27-2012, 07:03 AM
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Just use it straight out of the bag.
The point of the washing in the article you read is to minerlize it.
Which is done for numerous amounts of reasons if thats the direction you wanna go in.
But plain soil straight from the bag is just fine.
Thats whats in all my tanks.
I find that a thin layer of laterite is helpful when doing this method. Right on the bottom before you top it with soil.


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