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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 06:55 AM
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you'll be better off buying eco-complete.

you wont be able to grow many plants without a good substrate.
and if you're not heavily planted, that means you'll be using activated carbon which removes trace minerals from the water.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 12:46 PM
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Define sand.

Fine grained sand is not a good choice for planted tanks. Coarse sand works well.



That's about as fine as you would want to go.

Flourish Excel is really not a nutrient but a source of organic carbon.

Depending on your light level you are going to have to add nutrients no matter what substrate you use. And by nutrients I mean nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and traces.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 01:58 PM
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its like comparing a Yugo to a Cadillac (and Eco ain't no Yugo!).

As rex said, coarse sand, like pool filter sand, will grow plants but you'll likely need some substrate fertilization if you grow any heavy root feeders.

Regardless of whether you used eco or sand, you'll still need water column fertilization. How much light you have will dictate nutrient dosing needs, and whether you need a CO2 system.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 06:07 PM
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I have used jobes sticks for root suplements, but beware, they can cause a lot of problems if they get into the water colum, do a search for jobes if you want to know more.
Plus isnt there a problem with some types of sand going anarobic? I am not sure if that was covered by Rex's coars grain.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 08:27 PM
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Drop some Malaysian trumpet snails in there and forget about the anaerobic aspect.

Eric


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-11-2005, 10:21 PM
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An alternative to Eco and other boutique substrates is soil. That works great and doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Check Diana Walstad's forum at http://aquabotanicwetthumb.infopop.c...m/f/4686048124

And don't let anyone tell you soil is too hard to use. Just follow the directions.

With a soil substrate (covered by 2mm - 3mm gravel, not sand) you might or might not have to dose. But you will definitely have to dose with Eco and the other expensive substrates.

Bill
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-12-2005, 12:45 AM
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there is a tank on the latest AGA galary with sand substrate. I think it is one of the best looking tanks that enterd this year, but it didnt win any ribbons. It seemed to me that the plants were growing really well in the sand. Not sure if he/she used root tabs or not?

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With a soil substrate (covered by 2mm - 3mm gravel, not sand) you might or might not have to dose.
I think no matter what kind of substrate you use, you will alwayse have to dose your watter collum. Sand, eco, fluorite, dirt, gravel, whatever; you stil have to dose ferts.

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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