Changing to a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Changing to a planted tank

Lots of information here, but I am new to planted tanks and still confused.
I did plant up a 10G with eco- complete and It was very easy to plant, water cleared up in just an hour or so and plants are doing ok. It was expensive though and I had to go all the way to Houston to get it (90 miles one way)
Locally I only have Petco and Petsmart and except for 1 5lb bag of fluorite there is nothing for a planted tank here in town.
I would like to convert my 20 gal to a planted tank. All that is in there now is regular gravel.
I was going to try the Schultz aqua soil if they have it at my local Lowes or home depot.
Is there a way to plant in the gravel I already have by just putting soil in certain areas or do I need to replace the whole thing?
Should I do it a little at a time or move my fish to another tank for the day and redo the whole tank at once?
maybe I should just buy another tank and leave this one unplanted?????
Any suggestions appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:35 PM
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Do both things. Buy a new one and plant the old one.

I haven't tried a plain gravel setup yet, but many people have run them successfully. Given your tank has aged and there's gunk among/beneath the gravel, it makes for an interesting experiment. Go low (moderate) light and it should be all ok. Think of all the feedback you'd get from it. You can always enrich the substrate with root tabs if necessary.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 11:42 PM
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Gravel is ok, some smaller carpeting plants might not get as dense as you want. Nutrients can be added with liquids and root tabs, so that's not an issue unless you want an el natural type setup or low maintenance. All you get out of a rich substrate is Fe and some other traces minerals, so that's easy enough to cover on your own.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 05:54 AM
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I used normal gravel on my old tank, and since it was aged, the plants grew alright. Like said, if it is a foreground plant, it will not grow densely. I had swords crypts and anubius. I have swarf sag in my 28 with normal gravel, and it has been in there for months, and maybe a couple new shoots have made it up through the gravel. In my 210, my dwarf sag is nuts, nice and thick and everywhere. I replanted them both at the same time.

If you do keep the same tank and change substrate, you have to remove everything, especially since there is all the waste, etc, in the gravel.

210 g - Empty right now
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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My son had the idea of using pots for the plants and burying those in the gravel. It would not be densely planted but I will keep researching.

I think I like the idea of getting a new bigger tank and starting it out as a planted. That way I get to have more fish and some fish that won't go in a 10 or 20 gal.

Thanks for your help
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 07:20 PM
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That's a feasible option (plant pots), probably not necessary for most plants though, it's the finer ones used in the foregrounds that don't appreciate such a large grain. For a dense foreground you can do the riccia in steel mesh trick.
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