Wanting to do a planted tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-25-2002, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone,

I'm wanting to set up a planted tank. What is the best substrate to use? I have a 58 gallon reef ready tank I'm going to use. Is there any use for a sump in a planted tank or should I just block the overflows. I plan on using VHO lighting and adding C02, but I'm open to all suggestions. I'd rather set it up right the first time so all help is appreciated. I hope you don't get tired of all the questions I'll ask along the way.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:11 PM
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The most useful feature a sump would have in a planted tank would be a place to put a large CO2 reactor and all your heaters and filters, etc. But the action of the surface skimmer would also deplete a lot of your precious CO2, so I would stick without one.

I'm glad you're open to going with a CO2 system. You can have some success without it but won't really enjoy the planted tank hobby unless you get the kind of lush growth that a CO2-assisted planted tank can have. And with your VHO lighting, the plants will need even more CO2 to balance out their requirements.

I use Flourite for my substrate, but if cost is prohibitive, I'd rather see you use cheap gravel and buy the pressurized CO2 system than buy Flourite and either have to run several Yeast Reactors or not use CO2 at all. A 25 lb bag of Kitty Litter from the grocery store (non-brand, no additives, fragrances, etc) will make an excellent base for plants, and then you can cover it with some other color to balance it out.

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plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. Cost isn't really a problem.I'd rather do it right. I have most of the stuff laying around from my reef tanks. How deep should the flourite be?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 12:21 AM
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How deep should the flourite be?
That is really all up to you. Were you planning on only having flourite as your substrate or normal pea gravel as well??

If you are only using flourite then I would put in around 3-4". This will give sufficient room for the plants to take hold.

You can also use flourite and gravel. The most common way to do this is having 1 - 1 1/2 " under 2-3 " normal gravel.

This is cheaper and is just as useful.


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