how important is a good substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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how important is a good substrate?

I've been trying to fix my algae and fertiliser issue and have decided to rescape the entire tank. Right now i have black silicia gravel as substrate. I wanted to know if its really worth it to replace that with Eco-Complete. Would my current gravel be sufficient? or is Eco Complete just that much better for rooted plants (like hair glass, or little chain swords etc). I know stem plants dont really need a good substrate.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 06:03 AM
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I have set up a lot of tanks with the basic gravel and have always had to supplement root fertilization for my heavy root-feeders. Stem plants get the vast majority of their nutrients through the water column.
I have noticed in my latest tank with 100% flourite substrate those root-feeders got going a lot better. Your 'plant' substrates will tend to have higher Fe content and be more porous to hold nutrients so they will last a lot longer.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 06:35 AM
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Having the nutrients in the substrate makes it less accessable to algae and you don't need to fertilize your water as much as you do without it. It just seems good to me if plants can get nutrients from both water and roots.

You will still want to add fertilizers to help with the nutrients you are lacking. CO2 for one you should have because with it availiable plants will grow faster and outcompete algae for nutrients that is in the water..
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I was just thinking if its really worth it for me to spend $240 (AU) on getting eco-complete. Or if i should just use my current black silica gravel and add root tabs near the rooted plants.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 11:49 AM
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You could always mix some EC into your gravel, it would provide the plants something that your gravel isn't while not costing you as much. I'd make the volume at least 1/4 EC if I were going that route.

Sean

Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah i think i might do that Sean.

That or just put EC in the back area for my swords and other rooted plants. and also a thin later on the front for the foreground carpet. 1 x 10kg bag should be enough then.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-29-2005, 06:08 PM
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I haven't bought substrate in a while, I either use granitic sand or river gravel.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-05-2005, 11:08 PM
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I use Onyx sand. It is still fracted clay, works great and I like the color.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2005, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [RK]
Yeah i think i might do that Sean.

That or just put EC in the back area for my swords and other rooted plants. and also a thin later on the front for the foreground carpet. 1 x 10kg bag should be enough then.
I'd check around Oz a bit and ask local folks to see what is a good price and where you might be able to get various products.

Regards,
Tom Barr



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2005, 12:24 PM
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I know a guy in WA that sells Eco Complete for about $35 a bag (Aus) plus shipping which is reasonable.

Thanks,
Dave.
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