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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I bought 2 bags of eco-complete plant substrate and have about 100 lbs of 3m quartz black S-grade. I wanted to use the eco for some sort of fertilizer for the plants, but I really like the even colored, sized s-grade to be on the top (looks). I also have a group of corries being the primary reason.

Will I be able to top off eco-complete with 3m quartz S-grade or will the cq eventually make its way under the eco complete substrate?

Thanks in advance.

-newb
 

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It will eventually mix there's not much you can do to stop it. The Eco isn't going to do much for fertilizing ether it's mostly inert ~ it's washed in a fert bath at the factory but that wares off fast and then mostly just leches Fe. Ether one will work great or mix it's up to you but I'd recommend dosing water column ferts ether way.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Brad,

Seeing as ecocomplete is mostly inert, what fertilizer substrate is recommended in which I can actually top it off with 3m CQ s-grade? Aside from MTS which I dont really want to spend the time to make, what do you recommend that I can readily purchase. Main reason for cq s-grade are for my panda corries, but I would like to heavily plant. I have a pressurized co2 system ready to go.

If i go straight CQ S-grade as my substrate, will it have any effect on plant growth, will I be able to grow most plants or will i be limited. ie short forground plants etc..

Ive been searching everywhere, but I cannnot seem to find heavily planted tanks with CQ s-grade.

Thank you,
 

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I don't like S grade CQ, it's too fine, I prefer the T grade.

I'd definitely mix the CQ with another substrate, as otherwise you're providing no nutrients at all. Personally, I mixed mine with Flourite black.

You should be just fine capping/mixing CQ with Eco if you want. I just wouldn't get more than 3 inches total depth, as S grade is so fine you may end up encouraging anaerobic spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you Laura for your advice.

My reason for s-grade is because I want whats best for my panda corries (also having 150lbs of it). I heard T grade is relatively sharp and will tear their bellies. I just want a inch layer of the S-grade for the surface, only problem would be that it would sink to the bottom. I dont know what other fert substrate I can use that will keep a inch or so of S-grade at the top. FYI, I am using black 3m cq s-grade, if that may help. I really like my substrate to be black.
 

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I put a layer of s-grade over flourite to have the look of sand with beneficial substrate beneath it. The flourite gravel sifted to the top eventually and I don't like the mixed up look at all. I'm not looking forward to pulling all that out of my 75 someday.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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You could mix it with Flourite black sand, as it's smaller grained than most of the Eco pieces. No matter what, the smallest grains will go to the bottom over time, though.

IMO the whole "tearing bellies and barbels with sharp substrate" is a myth. I've kept Cories on Flourite and CQ for years and years with no issues. I've also caught Cories in the wild on VERY sharp river gravel (hurt my feet to walk on!)- and they were perfectly happy.
 

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The S-Grade will work fine, anything in the 1mm to 3mm size range will grow plants as long as you dose water column ferts and maybe some root tabs. It comes down to how much money you want to spend and if your OK with the sand settling to the bottom over time or putting up being very careful when you plant or move stuff around if you go with just the sand.

Depending on the size of the tank I'd recommend pfertz.com NPK+M ferts for small tanks (1gal to 30gal) but for bigger tanks I'd go with dry ferts to save money. Two good places to buy from are:

{ http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html }
{ http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp?Option1=cats&Edit=2&EditU=1&Regit=2 }

What you would want is:

KN03
KH2P04
K2SO4
Trace (CSM+B) ((or pfertz.com's M bottle))

Optional but good stuff:
GH booster (only used after a large WC)
Iron Chelate 10% (if you need extra iron for finicky plants)

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again Brad for your advice.

So, S-grade is ok, with the use of root tabs and liquid fertilizers, and if I use fertilized substrate with cq, it will probably settle and mix. I guess I wont be able to have a nice clean black sand look. I guess I wasted money on buying eco complete..

I just started fish keeping (goldfish) 2 months ago, and now I am very captivated by aquascaping from seeing all the nice aquascapes online. I currently purchased a 3ft 65r tank, was hoping to keep some discus while planting moderate to heavy with some schooling tetras, and algae cleaning crew. Much advice is very appreciated.

I bought some manzanita driftwood too, but they are all just straight pieces, slightly bent/curled. I'm puzzled on how I am going to attach these pieces together. I should probably post this in another sub-forum.

Thank you,
 

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I'd go with Dry ferts on a tank that big. The Eco isn't wasted just keep it for your next tank and use it by itself, it's a good substrate.

Superglue is your friend, get a couple of slate floor tiles from the discount bin at a big box store and superglue your wood to that in any pattern you want. I also superglue java moss to slate tiles for easier cleaning/maintenance.

- Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Brad,

SO im not so familiar with dry ferts. I guess its adding your own measurement of planted required minerals and such directly into the tank. So does that mean I do not need a fertilized substrate? Since you mentioned the size fo the tank, (is that for cost reasons? So for rooted plants, I would just add things liek root tabs, and dose the water with the "dry ferts." right?

someone said that packing the s-grade 3mcq too high would cause anaerobic activity, so if i wanted to make slopes, what would be a good solution?

Thanks in advance
 
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